Rock & Craster & Dunstanburgh Castle

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. 🙂

 

Raby Castle – August 2018 – Exterior~part 3

Part 1 HERE 

Part 2 HERE

Now the history is out of the way, lets have a few more pictures around the outside of the castle.

The south front of the castle has views over the lake

 

and from the terrace we could also see some of the deer grazing

 

as we walked up to the castle, looking back we could see the greenhouse

and a little cottage perhaps for the groundsman

we also saw some more deer in the distance

The castle has a huge herd of deer on the estate, which Sophie and I decided to hunt for after we’d done the inside of the castle, and had our lunch!

A couple more of the entrance

the other side

The rear aspect of the castle

Next time we’ll have a trog around the inside of the castle, so stay tooned folks!

Poland 2017 ~Part 5~ Łańcut Castle~ interior

Here we go on the 1/2 hour run through the castle, without a guide we had nothing to tell us about anything, but there’s plenty on wiki and the castle’s own site.

Artists and architects who worked in Łańcut incorporated a variety of styles in the castles architecture. The lush classicist stucco works, which can still be seen today were made by Fryderyk Bauman. Apart from classicist, also rococo and Neo-Gothic decorative elements were created. Some made clear reference to the Orient and pre-romantic trends. The castle also received an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures purchased mainly during numerous trips made by the couple and later by the Duchess, who was very creative and constantly looking for artistic inspirations. In fact, even today, in spite of all the later alterations and modernisations, the castle largely retains the character which it received in the course of the few decades, until Duchess Izabela Lubomirska’s death in 1816.

it has it’s own theatre…

The southern corridor, which is accessed from the Ballroom, features the most sophisticated painted ornaments. The Duchess had the walls and ceiling decorated with illusionist design, which transformed the interior into a gazebo located amongst ruins, overgrown with grape vine and hollyhocks. The scenery of the corridor was used by the Duchess as a background for a gallery displaying her collection of sculptures, both antique and 18th century replicas.

So that gives you an idea of how beautiful the place is, and am a bit sad not to have done the full tour with a guide, but I am sure there’ll be another chance one day.

Next time we’ll go for a walk in Big Wood and visit the Bar-B-Q

Stay tooned 🙂

Bamburgh Castle ~ final part

Part 1  Part 2

More bits and bobs from inside the castle

Oriental vases

Pewter Jug

Upholstery

Mirror

Serious chains!

More serious chains and some sort of buffalo/cow/bull thing’s head

The Laundry room

Oh K

Windows

And that’s the end of our visit to Bamburgh Castle, but just down the road, on our way home we saw a field of huge poppies, so had to stop and take some shots, in the rain of course.

Bigger than Sophie’s hand

Next time we finally get to the Farne Islands again for Puffins and Seals 🙂

Bamburgh Castle~part 2

Part 1

I was quite impressed with all the cannons

They should be OK when the next boatloads of Vikings come 🙂

Built on the site of the medieval Great Hall, the King’s Hall is a Victorian masterpiece. Its magnificent false hammer beam ceiling is made with teak from Thailand, then called Siam. The King of Siam, a good friend of Lord Armstrong who visited Bamburgh, is said to have helped carve some of the intricate designs. The King’s Hall was to be the castle’s main social reception and banqueting room. Lord Armstrong built a minstrel’s gallery where the musicians playing at the balls performed.

Beautiful old clocks

and suits of armour

Lots more to see yet so hang on for the next part.

Fraggle Report ~ Bamburgh Castle ~ Part 1

Well we’re cracking on through 2016, May done and onto June. Back in June 2015 Sophie and I had our first trip to the Farne Islands to see the puffins, and of course we wanted to do that again in 2016, so booked a trip for our weekend outing. Unfortunately when we got there the weather was so awful that the boat trips were cancelled. A bit disappointing after a 1&1/2hr drive, but Bamburgh Castle is only a mile up the road so a quick change of plan and off we went.

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.

Rear Aspect

The grounds

View over to the Farne Islands

Ready to repel borders

The Castle Front

The Norman keep

Entrance

There are still archaeological digs going on around there, and as they have found bones from the Bronze Age we were there on the day that they were being re buried, they had a proper funeral for them.

View over Bamburgh village, standing on the ramparts,

Where we should have been!

More to come so stay tuned 🙂