Built: It started with the realm’s foundation in c.420 until 547 and continued to grow ever since that day.
Location: Northumberland Coast AONB, Bamburgh NE69 7DF
History: Bamburgh’s written history begins in the times of the Anglo-Saxons with one chronicler citing Bamburgh as probably the most important place in all of England. But even before this there were people living here, there is archaeological evidence that as early as 10,000 BC there were people here. There are Bronze Age (2,400 -700BC) burials nearby and pottery sherds dating to the Iron Age (700 BC – 43AD). With little evidence of their occupation, only the name Din Guayrdi gives us a hint that Romans were sometime between 43AD and 410AD.
It was during the early medieval period between 411AD and 1066AD that Bamburgh grew in stature and importance. With the arrival of the Saxons, the creation of an important Christian site and the coming and going of the saints Oswald, Aidan, and Cuthbert, it was a pivotal time. Following this period we saw the arrival of the Normans and the construction of our Great Tower, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses with the siege of 1464. The arrival of the Foster family gifted the ruins by James 1 with the subsequent acquisition by Lord Crewe and the formation of the Crewe Trustees. A resurgence in stature as under the guidance of John Sharpe the castle became a leading surgery and dispensary for the poor and sick.
Finally, the castle passed into the hands of the First Lord Armstrong, with the intention of creating a respite home, he passed away before its restoration was complete and became the Armstrong family home. It is still owned by the Armstrong Family who opened it up to visitors in the mid-1900’s and remains to this day an icon of the North East of England.
Review: It was a wet, rainy day when I went to go see this castle. My friend and I had decided that we were going to make the one-hour bus ride from the place we were staying, despite the rain.
One thing I must mention is how friendly that bus driver was. I have no idea what his name was, but he was very happy to let me off so that I could take some pictures at one of the bus stops. He was also incredibly helpful in telling us what the latest bus was that we could get so that we could get home. I greatly appreciate the fact that he knew exactly what to say to help me and my friend. I like people who are friendly.
Even he, the bus driver, commented on how amazing this castle was as we slowly got closer and closer to it.
The sheer size of it is one to commemorate it for. It certainly is a huge site to take in.
And even though it was rainy, it didn’t stop my friend and I still enjoying this castle.
It’s not so much a ruin as some of the other castles that I have explored, but rather this is one that was used as a fortress type, and you clearly see this in the preservation and size of it.
Even through the rain, there is so much to see (and explore for that matter).
Furthermore, even with the rain, you won’t be spending that much time outside anyway, as most exploring is to be done inside (with a fully functioning roof might I add).
There is certainly different types of history throughout this castle, as it is not just a castle, but also there are people who are residence inside some of the buildings (I mean can you believe it? One of these days, I’ll be able to say that I live in a castle).
This place is perfect for everyone (although there is a small walk to get to it). Kids will love the fact that there is a grassy area for them to run on, and when everyone has had enough and just wants to sit down, there are plenty of benches and a nice cafe on hand.
If you haven’t been yet, I strongly suggest that you go, as this is a unique castle that cannot be missed.
The feature image is from http://www.lindisfarnecottages.co.uk/bamburgh-castle-the-wars-of-the-roses/
The History is from http://www.bamburghcastle.com/history