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Castles

Northumberland is a county full of historical Castles which have all played an important role throughout their past...

 Some of the castles such as Bamburgh and Alnwick are incredible, they are still intact and lived in. Others such as Dunstanburgh and Edlingham are modest ruins but still have so much character and history to discover. The castles of Northumberland are unmissable while staying with us. 

How many will you be visiting? See if you can find them all!

 

Alnwick Castle

 

One of the most famous castles in the area. It is one of the largest inhabited castles in Britain and has been home to the Percy family for over 700 years and remains a family home today for the 12th Duke and Duchess and their four children. 

Since Norman times, Alnwick Castle has been a constant presence in the landscape, evolving and adapting its purpose and appearance throughout the centuries.

The castle's rich history is brimming with drama, intrigue, and extraordinary people; from a gunpowder plotter and visionary collectors, to decadent hosts and medieval England's most celebrated knight: Harry Hotspur.

In recent years it has also taken starring roles in a number of film and television productions, featuring as the magnificent Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey's 2014 and 2015 Christmas specials and previously appearing as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films.

OPEN DAILY 

Telephone 01665 511100 OR Visit www.alnwickcastle.com to book your tickets for entry into the Castle.

 

Bamburgh Castle

 

Archaeological history dates back to the 1st century BC, showing that the Celtic tribe was probably the first occupier of the land. Bamburgh was also used as a home for soldiers during the Roman Conquest. It was “the very foundation stone of England” and as a royal city was home to the Kings of Northumbria. Many royals inhabited Bamburgh Castle throughout the years, some adding their own personal build onto the castle grounds.

Today, the castle is open to visitors and for tours. 

November-Feb: Weekends Only 11am-4.30pm

Feb-Oct: Daily 10am-5pm 

Visit www.bamburghcastle.com OR Telephone 01668 214515 for any enquiries. 

 

Berwick-Upon-Tweed Castle and Ramparts

 

Here you will find the remains of a medieval castle thatwas crucial to Anglo-Scottish warfare. Probably built about 1115, Berwick Castle is first recorded in 1160, Berwick castle now stands in ruins along the riverside affording beautiful views of the River Tweed and the three bridges.

The castle is free to explore all year round but for more information visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/berwick-upon-tweed-castle-and-ramparts/

 

Brinkburn Priory

 

Situated by a bend in the River Coquet, this picturesque 12th Century Church of the Augustinian priory of Brinkburn survived a completely flooded roof and was restored. It might not be a castle as such, however it is well worth a visit for its breathtaking beauty. Perfect for the budding photographer! 

Visit www.brinkburnnorthumberland.com

 

 

Chillingham Castle

 

The remarkable fortress of Chillingham Castle has been continuously owned by a shared blood line with the Earls Grey. Those Grey Lords built the Castle’s alarming dungeons and torture chambers, as well as the beautiful parklands and gardens. 

This spooky castle makes for a fantastic day out for all ages. 

Evening Ghost Tours are available for over 16s.

Visit www.chillingham-castle.com OR Telephone 01668 215359 

 

 

Dunstanburgh Castle

 

Even though it is now an iconic ruin, Dunstanburgh Castle was once one of the largest and grandest fortifications in Northern England and it dominates one of the most beautiful and picturesque stretches of Northumberland coastline. Many walkers enjoy the famous walk starting from the small fishing port of Craster. 

Visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/dunstanburgh-castle/ for opening times throughout the year

 

 

 

Edlingham Castle

 

A small Castle ruin in a small valley just west of Alnwick. Once just a Hall House, it was upgraded to a Castle as the political situation between England and Scotland deteriorated. The most extensive remains are that of the early 14th Cent Solar Tower that, despite a large crack running down the side, still stands tall. The layout of the remaining Castle is still clearly visible. 

 

For more information, Visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/edlingham-castle/ 

 

Etal Castle

 

Built as a defence against Scots raiders in the mid 14th Century, it fell to James IV’s invading Scots army in 1513, immediately before their catastrophic defeat at nearby Flodden. At the castle you will find an exhibition which outlines the interesting story of the bloody Anglo-Scottish warfare at this border Castle.

You can also visit the Flodden Battlefields to get a real sense of what it was like! 

Visit www.ford-and-etal.co.uk/what-to-do/etal-castle to find out more

 

 

Ford Castle

 

Unfortunately, this is a private castle which offers residential group activity holidays for schools. 

The castle however can still be seen surrounded by stunning scenery.

To learn more about the castle, visit www.ford-castle.co.uk 

 

 

Harbottle Castle

 

Now just a ruin, Harbottle Castle was built under the orders of Henry II to aid the defence of Northumberland and was once of great strategic importance to the area. Much of the stone from which the castle was built was plundered for the building of local houses.  Today only earthworks and some standing masonry remains, however on a clear night this spot is perfect for star gazing! 

 

 

Lindisfarne Castle

 

Built in the 16th Century, Lindisfarne Castle was used to defend the Harbour of Holy Island which was repeatedly under attack by Vikings. It is very small by usual standards, it was more of a fort than a castle. It sits on the highest point of Holy Island, a ghinstone hill called Beblowe.

WARNING - if you plan on visiting the castle, please consult the SAFE CROSSING TIMES.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lindisfarne-castle for more information. 

 

 

Norham Castle

 

Ranking among one of the finest sights in the border county, Norham Castle holds a strong importance in this once turbulent region. It was also one of the most frequently attacked by the Scots, it was besieged at least 13 times. Flodden Fiel.d is near by, where there was once a famous battle battle between England and Scotland. After James IV’s defeat at Flodden Field, extensive rebuilding followed to adapt the fortress for artillery. This work is still clearly traceable today. 

Visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/norham-castle/ for more information and directions

 

 

Prudhoe Castle

 

Prudhoe Castle was built as part of a series of Norman Castles along the River Tyne after the 1066 Norman Conquest. It has fallen into ruin by the 1700s, dispite being occupied for over 9 centuries, however its fortunes were reversed by Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland, who over saw a complete renovation in the early 1800s which is how you see it today. 

 

For more information, opening times and prices visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/prudhoe-castle/

 

 

Tynemouth Castle

 

Although a little further by car, Tynemouth Castle and Priory on the coast of Northumberland  was once of of the largest fortified areas in England. With it’s 2000 year history and beautiful views it makes for a great family day out. Offering an interactive ‘Life in the Stronghold’ exibition, you are taken on a journey through the original beginning as an Anglo-Saxon settlement right through to how it was used to defend the river Tyne in the First and Second World Wars.

Visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/tynemouth-priory-and-castle/ for opening times and prices. 

 

 

Warkworth Castle

 

This ruined medieval building dominates the hilltop overlooking Warkworth. In the past, Warkworth Castle was a fortified residence, a great castle and a centre of authority. Today, that power is gone, but the majestic ruins still rule the countryside!

Visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/warkworth-castle-and-hermitage/ for opening times and prices. 

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