History of The Ravensworth Arms and Lamesley Pastures

The Ravensworth Arms takes its name from nearby Ravensworth Castle, built on a fortified site known as Ravenshelm that can be traced back to the 12th century. Little is known of the history of the site in medieval times, but documents confirm that in 1367 the manor was owned by Elanora, Countess of Ravenshelm.

In 1607, the lands were bought by Thomas Liddell of Newcastle, a merchant adventurer made a baronet in 1642. Home to the Liddell family for over 350 years, the atmospheric Grade II listed ruins are all that remains today of the grand Gothic mansion built in 1808 by John Nash, the renowned architect responsible for Buckingham Palace, Brighton Pavilion and much of Regency London. The Liddell family included a long line of politicians and peers, and Nash was commissioned by Sir Thomas Liddell, Baron Ravensworth, to build the grand new mock castle. It witnessed many splendid receptions and played host to some important 19th century figures, including the Duke of Wellington, Sir Walter Scott and members of the royal families of Europe. The castle remains were the subject of the BBC’s Restoration programme in 2003.

One well-known member of the Liddell family was Alice, later Alice Hargreaves, who provided the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, and the famous photograph of a young Alice in costume as The Beggar Maid was taken by Carroll (real name Charles Dodgson) during a visit to Ravensworth in 1858. He stayed at The Ravensworth Arms on occasion and is said to have written parts of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland there. The function room at The Ravensworth Arms is named The Lewis Carroll Room.

Another literary link connected to The Ravensworth Arms is the prolific locally-born author Catherine Cookson. Her mother, Kate Fawcett worked behind the bar for a time. Of the 100 novels Cookson wrote, many were set in and around the area of South Shields, Durham and South Tyneside and the area is known as ‘Cookson Country’.

Set in the lovely Conservation Area of Lamesley Pastures and overlooked by Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North, The Ravensworth Arms is a perfect country pub for a relaxing Sunday lunch or for meeting up with friends for a delicious pub meal. Several tranquil trails set out from the pub itself, taking in the unique medieval landscape, the atmospheric ruins of Ravensworth Castle and the abundant wildlife of the River Team. Yet all the attractions of the city are just minutes away. Whatever the reason for visiting, guests enjoy a warm welcome at The Ravensworth Arms, a delightful country pub serving delicious pub food every day of the week.


You can find The Ravensworth Arms on Greenford Lane just south of Lamesley and the A1. To find us by satnav use the postcode NE11 0ER.