Monday, 1 October 2012


We managed to see several castles whilst in Northumberland.  As the northernmost (and nearest to Denmark) county of England, this area was constantly under attack and anyone who could afford it built fortified homes, so there were plenty around.  One of the most complete, and arguably most beautiful, is Bamburgh Castle, still lived in today.  Here it is from the town.

And this is it from seaward.

Northumberland still has some of the most spectacularly unspoilt coastline in Britain and the castle stands out clearly on the beach.

Here it is from miles further along the coast.

It will have had a commanding view of any maritime invasion.

The first castle on the site was built around 800BC.  The Vikings destroyed what remained of that wooden structure towards the end of the 10th century AD.  A hundred years later, the Normans rebuilt it - in stone.  And there it stood impregnable, until it became the first castle in England to be taken with the new-fangled gunpowder, ironically not by a foreign invader, but during the War of the Roses.  This is the keep.

Inside, this is the very beautiful main hall.

It was quite extraordinary to see so much carved stonework and indeed wood uneroded and undamaged.  This is the living area.

And here is part of the dining room.

There were lots of weapons and pieces of armour around to look at.  I am always amazed at the detailed decoration on military equipment.  Somehow it seemed as though more time was devoted to making it look pretty than to making it effective.  Here is a helmet I liked.



  1. I'd seen a piece about Bamburgh on the BBC series 'Coast', and immediately put it on my list of places to visit and photograph. It's impressive from the outside, but those interiors look wonderful.

    1. One of the few castle interiors worth spending time over, Mitch. But, when you go, plan for a hike along the beach (at low tide!!).