The Neville Family
The Nevilles were one of the leading families of the North East and held two of Durham’s most important castles: Brancepeth and Raby. Descended from the Earls of Northumberland, they were a Saxon family who, surprisingly, held on to their estates and influence even after the Norman Conquest.
Ralph, Lord Neville was the hero of the decisive defeat of the Scots in 1345 at what became known as Neville’s Cross. The family was later ennobled as Earls of Westmoreland, but finally fell from power in the troubled Tudor years after the sixth Earl joined the rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I in the ’Rising of the North’.