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Sophie and I last visited Bamburgh on a rainy day in June 2016, when our planned boat trip to the Farne Islands got called off due to the rotten weather, and it was the nearest place to hand. In summer this year Sophie’s chap came over from Spain and he got to choose our destination, so back we went to Bamburgh and spent a sunny day there. For readers who were not followers back then, here is the history of the castle, the rest of you can scroll down 🙂

THE HISTORY BIT, mostly from wiki with added extras

There is archaeological evidence of people living in this are from 10,000BC, along with Bronze Age (2,400 -700BC) burials nearby and bits of pottery dating to the Iron Age (700 BC – 43AD). Built on a dolerite outcrop, the location was previously home to a fort of the native Britons known as Din Guarie and may have been the capital of the British kingdom of the region from the realm’s foundation in c.420 until 547, the year of the first written reference to the castle. In that year the citadel was captured by the Anglo-Saxon ruler Ida of Bernicia (Beornice) and became Ida’s seat. It was briefly retaken by the Britons from his son Hussa during the war of 590 before being relieved later the same year.

His grandson Æðelfriþ (I mean, who thought up these names!!??) passed it on to his wife Bebba, from whom the early name Bebbanburgh was derived. The Vikings destroyed the original fortification in 993.

The Normans built a new castle on the site, which forms the core of the present one. William II (a badass old bugger) unsuccessfully besieged it in 1095 during a revolt supported by its owner, Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria. After Robert was captured, his wife (a bit of a girl by all accounts),continued the defence until coerced to surrender by the king’s threat to blind her husband.

Bamburgh then became the property of the reigning English monarch. Henry II probably built the keep. (The Castles own website says the keep is Norman) As an important English outpost, the castle was the target of occasional raids from the pesky Scots. During the civil wars at the end of King John’s reign, it was under the control of Philip of Oldcoates. In 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, it became the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery, at the end of a nine-month siege by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.

The Forster family of Northumberland provided the Crown with twelve successive governors of the castle for some 400 years until the Crown granted ownership to Sir John Forster. The family retained ownership until Sir William Forster (d. 1700) was posthumously declared bankrupt, and his estates, including the castle, were sold to Lord Crew, Bishop of Durham (husband of his sister Dorothy) under an Act of Parliament to settle the debts.

The castle deteriorated but was restored by various owners during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was finally bought by the Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, who completed the restoration.

The castle still belongs to the Armstrong family, and is opened to the public. It also hosts weddings and corporate events. It has been used as a film location since the 1920s, featuring in films such as Ivanhoe (1982), El Cid (1961), Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), Elizabeth (1998) and both the 1971 and 2015 adaptions of Macbeth.

So on with the pictures.

We had a wander around the grounds this time,

The Armstrong Museum is in the modern additions to the castle.

Repelling the Vikings, or someone in a boat anyways.

Might need to get a man in..

In the foreground, archeological digs.

Bamburgh Village Fete

A very nice French gentleman who let me pet his dogs 🙂

The space in front of Monsieur is where St.Peters Chapel once stood, and the chapel bell is placed within it

in the apse, where the altar and the relics of King Oswald once were held.

The Keep is the oldest part of the castle and the walls are 11ft thick to the front and 9 ft wide elsewhere, and it sits on top of a massive plinth so attackers can’t burrow under it. Safe as houses in that!

Stay tooned for next time when we’ll visit the museums in the castle.


28 comments on “Bamburgh Castle Revisted ~ August 2019 2019 ~1

  1. Hah…I remember this from 2016… of badass buggers and bits of girls!Classic Fraggle. Such a cool castle x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Missis, 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    As you know, one of my favourite castles in England. The location on the coast makes it look just wonderful, and I never tire of seeing it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers Pete, 2 more parts to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, since I can’t visit, your posts are the next best thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pit says:

    That’s another castle that is still on my bucket list. Btw, wasn’t the beach there used in Polanski’s “Macbeth”?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely. When I think of last July, trying to maneuver around hundreds of people at Edinburgh castle, I look at your pictures and would like to trade experiences with you. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to let you have mine but no way do I want to do yours, I am not keen on herds of people!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. April Munday says:

    It’s already on the list based on views from the outside, but the inside is interesting. It looks pretty Victorian, but I’m sure there’s enough old stuff there to keep me happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you might like the museum of finds from the excavations at least, but the whole place is lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. richlakin says:

    Great pics. Love the chapel bell. Bernard Cornwell writes a lot about Bamburgh……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read them all! 🙂


      1. richlakin says:

        They’re great. Glad to see Mercia gets a look in too….

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow!!! Waffles, viewing your posts you actually feel you are there at the Castle feeling the history. You are beyond talented.😍❤📷💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks hunny 😘


        1. Blimey, ‘dear’ makes me sound old, which I am of course, but prefer to forget that! 🤣


          1. So sorry! Sometimes us Southerners say dear or deary as a sign of endearment to friends & such. Didn’t mean to make you feel old. Girl, you know you got it going on!😘

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Haha that’s ok you can call me dear anytime 🤣


  9. steviegill says:

    I think Bamburgh is one of the castles up there I never got around to visiting. Cool shots.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thom Hickey says:

    Visited here a year or so ago. When the weather is right nowhere more glorious.

    Stay well

    Regards Thom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You too Thom, Bamburgh a favourite of mine too.

      Liked by 1 person

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