Bellister Castle close to the South Tyne stands on a partly man-made mount and was owned by Robert de Ros and his descendants from 1191 to 1295. There is a very old Sycamore tree in front of the west side of the castle which is known as the ‘Hanging Tree’. In 1312 it was acquired by Gerrald Salveyn, but confiscated from him in about 1354. John de Blenkinsopp is reputed to have built its tower after he came into possession in about 1480. John Bacon bought the ruined tower c1715 after which it changed hands several times before coming into the possession of The National Trust in 1975 who let it to the present tenants. It is reputedly haunted by a ‘Grey Man’, the ghost of a minstrel who, having been unjustly accused of being a spy, was cruelly killed by hounds as he fled the castle in fear of his life. The attached house dates from 1669 and was substantially remodeled by John Dobson, the famous Newcastle architect in 1841. The castle is a private resident and may not be visited, whereas the adjoining woods, also owned by The National Trust, have delightful footpaths open to the public.