I NOTE that Lord Barnard is passionate about his family estates (Echo, Mar 7). This passion does not seem to extend as far as the castle whose name he bears.

He admits that he owns it but he does not know who owns the walls, hence he will not contribute to their maintenance, even if they are falling down.

His ancestor Sir Henry Vane harboured no such doubts. In 1630 he carted large amounts of stone away from Barnard Castle to extend Raby Castle. As a writer at the time put it: “O Misery.”

Perhaps it is time for the folk of Barney to ask: “Can we have our stone back?”

What with Raby’s indifference and Durham County allowing huge lorries to destroy our town centre, where will it end? The sign will have to be changed to: “Welcome to Barnard Castle, Historic Ruined Town.”

Bill Bartle, Barnard Castle