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After our morning in Newbiggin Sophie and I went up to visit Craster, and on the way stopped off in Rock at a cafe Sophie found on Trip Advisor.

Rocking Horse Cafe

The owner there was lovely and had a good chat with us.  He had 2 gorgeous sheepdogs, and the cafe is dog-friendly with an area outside for dogs to run around in.  Good food too.

Breakfast Stottie- couldn’t eat it all!

Then we drove on to Craster which is famous for its kippers.

Smokin’ Fish

Craster, with Dunstanburgh Castle in the backkground.


That boat’s not going anywhere soon.

We walked up to see the castle, the sea was being quite dramatic.

Sea doing stuff

The sky was lovely

Dunstanburgh Castle

The castle was built between 1313 and 1322 by Thomas the Earl of Lancaster.  Thomas was an immensely powerful English baron, the second richest man in England after the King, his cousin, Edward II, with major land holdings across the kingdom.   Edward was not the greatest King we ever had and was having a bit of a fling with his friend-with-benefits Piers Gaveston.  Thomas and other earls did not like Piers’ influence on the King so led an army against Edward and Piers. The king escaped by sea, but the earls captured Gaveston at Scarborough. During his journey to London under arrest, they summarily executed him in Warwickshire, on Lancaster’s land. The King was pretty peed off about that, but he pardoned everyone involved.  It was then that Thomas decided to build the Castle,  and it is currently believed that Thomas probably intended to create a secure retreat, a safe distance away from Edward’s forces in the south. In the years following Gaveston’s death, civil conflict in England rarely seemed far away, and Thomas probably hoped to erect a prominent status symbol, illustrating his wealth and authority, and challenging that of the King. The resulting castle was huge, protected on one side by the sea cliffs, with a stone curtain wall, a massive gatehouse and six towers around the outside. 

Castle Sheeps

Unfortunately for Thomas, life went tits up.  The only time he even saw his castle was on the way to the siege of Berwick.  Also by 1321, Edward had new favourites the Dispensers, father and son and both named Hugh.  He especially liked the son though. The Dispensers were absolutely ruthless & horrid chaps, so Thomas and the other noblemen yet again went into battle, but this time their campaign failed, and though they tried to make it to Dunstanburgh a royalist army intercepted and defeated them at Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, on 16 March 1322, and captured Thomas. After a humiliating trial, Lancaster was beheaded at his own castle at Pontefract. The king took Dunstanburgh Castle into his own hands, garrisoning it with 40 foot soldiers and 40 hobelars (lightly armed cavalry).

So poor old Thomas! The castle’s history doesn’t end there (obviously as it’s still standing 🙄 ) but I’ll cover the rest when I return for a second visit.

We didn’t go in as the sun was sinking by the time we got there and we wanted to get back before it was dark, but a return trip is planned.

and we were treated to a nice sky on the way back.

Walking back to Craster

The fishermen at the harbour were packing up to go home

Next time we go we shall be lunching with this fine chap

Stay tooned we’re off to see the art galleries in Newcastle next time.

Also pop over say hi to me on my OTHER BLOG where I’m making pretty in Black & White. 🙂


34 comments on “Rock & Craster & Dunstanburgh Castle

  1. beetleypete says:

    I visited that castle in the early 70s, and must go back one day. I really like that part of England. Your ‘mackerel sky’ shot is great!
    I could probably have finished the breakfast too. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha couldn’t believe Sophie wolfed it down (she’s well picky 🙂 ) but I gave the rest of mine to the dog! Cheers Pete nice to see you back!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pit says:

    What a breakfast! And shoing me that when I’m trying to lose weight!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha far too many carbs and fats in it!


      1. Pit says:

        If one wants to lose weight, yes. But then, can there be too much fat and/or too many calories in any food??!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. M.B. Henry says:

    Beautiful pictures of that castle! (Am I the only one that wishes people used the phrase “tits up” more often?) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahah it is a classic isn’t it ? 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kmSalvatore says:

    Oh wow Fraggy, first your breakfast made me drool!! And I love smoked fish too:) . How kool it must be to step back into time and see these marvelous castles and surrounding areas. Your history is so old. And best if all it doesn’t seem to take you long to get to the places . These are great, I can’t wait to see the next installment 🙂 !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Kathy, I can’t wait til you do Europe! You’ll be mental 🤣🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kmSalvatore says:

        I’m thinking your right 🙂 lol

        Liked by 1 person

  5. enmanscamera says:

    Ok, I admit your picture of the mouthwatering food must be paused to look at. However, what an adventurous location. You gave us another series of excellent photos to view fragg..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you N-man am chuffed you like them.


  6. joshi daniel says:

    Another beautiful set 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joshi 🙂


  7. April Munday says:

    Beautiful shots of the sky and sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eddy Winko says:

    Some great dramatic shots Frags, love em, the whole thing seems to have a very Scottish feel about it, hard to believe ts just across the road from my home town, don’t think I ever went there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Eddy, 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great pics. That breakfast…..oh, that breakfast

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha all my lovely castle shots and everyone likes the breakfast! 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s early morning here. A somewhat natural reaction. lol

        Liked by 1 person

  10. The castle history is interesting. I love the sky shots –what great colors in them today. There’s a beautiful, melancholy aura about this set of pictures.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Cindy, we were so lucky with the sky that day.


  11. Been there several times and love it. but your photos don’t have ANY holes in them at all… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤣🤣. Thanks Mike 😊


  12. Easymalc says:

    Some beautiful photos of a beautiful place

    Liked by 1 person

  13. MarySmyth says:

    Beautiful images!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary 🙂


  14. It looks like a movie set!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Sarah, one of the few castles up here that hasn’t been in the movies!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. steviegill says:

    Lovely shots. I love a good ruin, especially when it comes with an entertaining history!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lots of that up here 😊


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