Castles monuments in Northumberland
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Castles & Ancient Monuments in Northumberland

Heritage sites also including Battlefield sites, Historic Landmarks & Roman Forts in Northumberland...





Northumberland Ancient Monuments, Castles, Roman Forts, Battlefield Sites, etc

 
blank tabBAMBURGH CASTLECastles & Historic Monuments
Bamburgh, Northumberland, NE69 7DF
Establishment Photo
Spanning nine acres of land on its rocky plateau high above the Northumberland coastline Bamburgh is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country.

The great fortification of Bamburgh Castle sits on an outcrop of volcanic dolerite.

Known locally as whinstone for the sound it makes when hit by a stonemasons hammer, it provides a natural throne upon which the castle sits forty five metres above sea level.
Tel: 01668 214515
E-mail: administrator@bamburghcastle.com
See our website

blank tabPRESTON TOWERCastles & Historic Monuments
Chathill, Northumberland, NE67 5DH
Establishment Photo
This pele tower was originally a 14th century rectangular keep, with turrets in each corner and a vaulted basement.

Only the southerly turrets and adjoining walls remain.

It is now used as a clock tower.

Open daily, all year round, 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, free car parking available.
Tel: 07966 150216See our website

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1NQ    Tel: 01665 510777    
E-mail: info@alnwickcastle.com     Web: www.alnwickcastle.com

Alnwick Castle - Photo ©  Dr D. Jones
Alnwick Castle -
Photo: Dr. D. Jones

 

The second largest inhabited castle in England, Alnwick Castle is home to the Percy family, who have been Dukes of Northumberland since 1309.

It has been used as a location for many films including as Hogwarts in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone".

The castle interior is furnished in the Italian Renaissance style and houses paintings by Titian and Canaletto and a large collection of China.

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Dunstanburgh Castle

Alnwick, Northumberland
Tel: 01665 576231     E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk

 

Dunstanburgh Castle with some friendly local inhabitants - Photo Dr D Jones
Dunstanburgh Castle -
Photo: Dr. D. Jones

Dunstanburgh Castle North-West Tower Photo © Roy Byrne
Dunstanburgh Castle
North-West Tower -
Photo:
Roy Byrne CCL

Dunstanburgh Castle Photo © Roy Byrne
Dunstanburgh Castle -
 Photo: Roy Byrne CCL

 

Opening Times: 1 April to 30 Sept, 10am - 6pm daily. 1 Oct to 31 Oct, 10am - 4pm daily. 1 Nov to 31 March Thursday to Monday.

 

A magnificent fourteenth-century castle with a dramatic past.
 

 

Outlined against the sky, on a basalt crag more than 30 metres (100ft) high, stands the jagged silhouette of this magnificent fourteenth-century castle.
 

 

The stormy seas that surround the rocky shoreline beneath the walls and the screaming of the sea birds echoing under its cliffs lend the area a distinctly dramatic feel.
 



The background to the building of Dunstanburgh Castle and the history of those associated with it is one of turmoil and unrest, as dramatic in itself as the Castle’s surroundings.

 


Built at a time of political crisis and Anglo-Scottish conflict, the strained relations between King Edward II and his nephew, Thomas Earl of Lancaster, who built the Castle, led eventually to rebellion and to the capture and execution of the Earl in 1322.

 

 

By the sixteenth century, Dunstanburgh had fallen into decay.


 


The Castle, which had been built on the grandest possible scale and had reflected the lavish tastes of the Earl, was by then perceived to be of no use and so left to ruin.

 



However, even at this time, Dunstanburgh retained its sense of the dramatic: a ballad told of a resident ghost, that of Sir Guy the Seeker.


 


Having failed to rescue a beautiful lady held captive in a hall under the castle, Sir Guy was said to roam the castle ruins, moaning dismally to anyone who would listen.

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Lindisfarne Priory

Holy Island, Northumberland, TD15 2RX
Tel: 01289 389200     Web: www.holy-island.info

Lindisfarne Priory - Photo Dr D Jones
Lindisfarne Priory -
Photo: Dr. D. Jones

Lindisfarne Castle - Photo Dr D Jones
Lindisfarne Castle -
Photo: Dr. D. Jones

 

Few places have such significance as Lindisfarne Priory.

The corpse of St. Cuthbert was found un-decayed in 698AD and it has become one of the most sacred shrines for Christians.

It has been a place of pilgrimage For 1300 years.

The priory has exhibitions on what life was like was like a millennium ago and about Lindisfarne itself.

Special events related to early Christian life are run throughout the year.

There are facilities for the hearing impaired.

Also to be seen on Lindisfarne is the magnificently sited Lindisfarne Castle seen here from the grounds of the Priory.

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Lindisfarne Castle

Holy Island, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 2SH
Tel: 01289 389244    Fax: 01289 389909     E-mail: lindisfarne@nationaltrust.org.uk

Lindisfarne Castle Photo © Nigel Chadwick
Lindisfarne Castle -
 Photo: Nigel Chadwick CCL

 

Romantic 16th-century miniature castle transformed by Lutyens into an Edwardian country house.


Perched atop a rocky crag and accessible over a causeway at low tide only, the castle presents an exciting and alluring aspect.


Originally a Tudor fort, it was converted into a private house in 1903 by the young Edwin Lutyens.


The small rooms are full of intimate decoration and design, with windows looking down upon the charming walled garden planned by Gertrude Jekyll.

Discount National Trust Membership

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Edlingham Castle

Edlingham, NE66 2BL


Edlingham Castle -
Photo: Maureen Jones

 

The Castle was built by Sir William De Fenton.


It is believed that there was a church on the site in 740 AD and that this was replaced with a another later.


The intricate ruins contain a 13th century hall and a defence tower built in the 15th century.


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Souter Lighthouse

Coast Road, Whitburn, Sunderland, SR6 7NH
Tel: 0191 529 3161    Fax: 0191 529 0902     E-mail: souter@nationaltrust.org.uk

Souter Lighthouse Sutherland Photo © Ann Hodgson
Souter Lighthouse Sutherland -
 Photo: Ann Hodgson CCL

 

Striking Victorian lighthouse.

Boldly painted in red and white hoops, Souter lighthouse opened in 1871 and was the first to use alternating electric current, the most advanced lighthouse technology of its day.

The engine room, light tower and keeper’s living quarters are all on view, and there is a video, model and information display.

A ground-floor closed-circuit TV shows views from the top for those unable to climb.

The Compass Room contains hands-on exhibits for all visitors, covering storms at sea, communication from ship to shore, pirates and smugglers, lighthouse life, lighting the seas and shipwreck.

Immediately to the north is The Leas, 2½ miles of beach, cliff and grassland with spectacular views, flora and fauna, and to the south, Whitburn Coastal Park, with coastal walks to the Whitburn Point Local Nature Reserve.

Discount National Trust Membership

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Hadrian’s Wall & Housesteads Fort

Bardon Mill, Hexham, NE47 6NN
Tel: 01434 344363     E-mail: info@chillingham-castle.com

Housesteads Fort Photo © Andy Beecroft
Housesteads Fort -
Photo: Andy Beecroft CCL

 

Roman wall snaking across dramatic countryside.

One of Rome's most northerly outposts, the Wall was built around AD 122 when the Roman Empire was at its height.

It remains one of Britain's most impressive ruins.

Housesteads Fort, one of sixteen permanent bases along the Wall, is one of the best-preserved and conjures an evocative picture of Roman military life.

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Holy Jesus Hospital

City Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2AS                          
Tel: 0191 261 7383    Fax: 0191 232 4562    
E-mail
: innercityproject@nationaltrust.org.uk

An extraordinary mix of architecture from over seven centuries of Newcastle upon Tyne's history. In the shadow of domineering 1960s city centre developments, Holy Jesus Hospital survives, displaying features from all periods of its 700-year existence. There are remains of the late 13th-century Augustinian friary, 16th-century fortifications connected with the Council of the North, a 17th-century almshouse built for the Freemen of the City and a 19th-century soup kitchen. The National Trust's Inner City Project is now based here, working to provide opportunities for modern inner-city dwellers to gain access to and enjoy the countryside on their doorstep.

Discount National Trust Membership

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Berwick Castle

Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1HP     Tel: 0870 3331181

See the remains of what was the most important castle during the border wars of the 16th century. Built in the 12th century by King David the first, over the years it has been reinforced with a 16th century gun tower. However, much of the castle was destroyed to make way for a railway in the 19th century. Admission is free, and the grounds are open at any reasonable times. There are no other facilities i.e. toilets, cafe etc, on the grounds of the castle.

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Berwick-upon-Tweed Main Guard

Palace Street, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1HN

A Neo-Georgian military guardhouse, run by the local civic society. It has been developed to show the history of Berwick walls and forts, with Its "The Story of a Border Garrison Town" exhibition. Free admission.

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Berwick-upon-Tweed Ramparts

Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1HP

Amazingly unique and complete set of ramparts that contains 16th century gateways, walls and bastions. Provides a good view of the river and general walks around the town. Open at all times.

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Black Middens Bastle House

Northumberland

This particular bastle house is a fortified farmhouse, however the roof and floor is missing. The ground floor would be used to protect livestock during raids in the 16th century, whereas the top floor was a living quarters for the farmers, reivers and their families. Nearby are the ruins of what was an 18th century cottage, built on the remains of what was possibly another bastle house.

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Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

Belsay, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE20 0DX
Tel: 01661 881636     E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk

Opening Times: 1 April to 30 Sept, 10am - 6pm daily. 1 Oct to 31 Oct, 10am - 4pm daily.
1 Nov to 31 March, 10am - 4pm Thurs to Mondays.

The cream of British fashion designers are producing art installations taking their inspiration from the architecture of the hall, castle and wonderful gardens. A medieval tower, a house like a Greek temple and stunning gardens. The magnificent 30-acre garden at Belsay Hall, listed Grade I in the Register of Parks and Gardens, is largely the work of two men. Sir Charles Monck created the dramatic Quarry Garden: a series of ravines, corridors and pinnacles. His grandson, Sir Arthur Middleton, enriched it with all manner of rare and exotic plants. Species rhododendrons flower for most of the year and there is also a two-acre Hybrid Rhododendron Garden, at its best from late May to June. There are also formal terraces and a winter garden. Belsay is a plantsman’s garden where much of the original planting survives, including magnolias, Pieris floribunda and Exochorda giraldii, all flowering on the terraces. The Castle is a dramatic, well-preserved medieval towerhouse, to which a Jacobean manor house was added in 1614. Belsay Hall (1807), designed by Sir Charles in Greek Revival style after the Temple of Theseus he had visited in Athens, has great architectural importance within Europe. Sir Charles strove to create a modern country house that still resembled an ancient temple. Belsay has something for everyone: a magical place with a fascinating history, wonderful buildings and a unique garden for all seasons.

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Etal Castle

Etal Village, Cornhill-On-Tweed, Northumberland, TD12 4TN
Tel: 01890 820332

Etal Castle started out as a three-storey tower house, but its location near the border with Scotland made it vulnerable to attack. In 1341, the owner, Robert Manners, was granted a licence to fortify his home. He created a roughly square courtyard enclosed by curtain walls, with the tower house in one corner and a large gatehouse diagonally opposite and a tower at each of the other corners. The tower house was improved with the addition of another storey and crenulations. By the start of the 16th century the Manners were living elsewhere and the castle was in the care of a constable. In 1513 the castle fell to the army of James IV of Scotland during his failed invasion of England. James was killed nearby during the Battle of Flodden, when a hastily recruited army of 20,000 Northerners decisively beat his army of 30,000 Scots. In 1549 the castle was ceded to the Crown, possibly in an attempt to reduce the neglect of this strategic border castle. With the union of the English and Scottish crowns in 1603 Etal ceased to have any military purpose and the decay, which had already set in was allowed to continue unabated. An award-winning exhibition tells the story of the Battle of Flodden and of the border warfare which existed here before the union of the English and Scottish crowns in 1603.

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St. Mary's Lighthouse & Visitor Centre

St. Mary's Island, Whitley Bay, Tyne And Wear, NE26 4RS
Tel: 0191 200 8650     Email: stmaryslighthouse@northtyneside.gov.uk
Web: www.norttyneside.gov.uk

Cross the causeway, climb the tower and experience spectacular coastal views. Exhibitions and gift shop. Outside is a nature reserve with fascinating rockpools, flights of birds, a beach and clifftop walks. The famous lighthouse is one of the most photographed and painted buildings in the country.

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Carrawburgh Temple of Mithras

Chollerford, Hadrian's Wall, NE46 4EN

The Roman army first encountered the cult of Mithras in Persia during the reign of the emperor Nero, although in India its origins have been traced back to 1400 BC. Mithras was one of the many cults that the Romans brought from the east. The Temple dates back to the 3rd century, and is situated outside a Roman fort. Mithras was the God of the Sun during the Roman era.

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Corbridge Roman Site

Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5NT
Tel: 01434 632349     E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk

Opening Times: 1 April to 30 Sept, 10am - 6pm daily. 1 Oct to 31 Oct, 10am - 4pm daily.
1 Nov to 31 March, 10am - 4pm weekends only.
5 miles north of Corbridge is the site of this well-known Roman camp - the main supply depot for the armies building and guarding Hadrian's wall nearly 2000 years ago. The substantial remains of this excavated Roman settlement include the best example of military granaries in the country. The museum houses finds from the site, including the famous stone fountainhead - the Lion of Corbridge, giving a fascinating insight into Roman life. Inclusive audio tour. It is well worth a visit, especially if you intend to tour the Hadrian Wall sites.

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Aydon Castle

Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5PJ
Tel: 01434 632450

This Borders home was built for an unusual - and brief - time of peace. Secluded from the rest of the Tyne Valley, Aydon Castle stands in a most attractive wooded landscape, overlooking the steep valley of the Cor Burn. One of the finest examples in England of a thirteenth-century manor house, Aydon Castle was originally built as an undefended house during a time of unusual peace in the Borders. When peace ended, the house was fortified, but even so, it was pillaged and burnt by the Scots in 1315, seized by the English rebels two years later, and subject to frequent repairs and modifications. Robert de Reymes, Aydon’s builder, and once a wealthy Suffolk merchant, was left impoverished. In the seventeenth century, the Castle was converted into a farmhouse, which it remained until 1966.

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Chesters Roman Fort

The Chesters, Humshaugh, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4EU
Tel: 01434 681379     E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk

Opening Times: 1 April to 30 Sept, 9.30am - 6pm daily. 1 Oct to 31 March, 10am - 4pm daily.
Sophisticated water systems and Edwardian museum. Chesters was one of the series of troop bases added to Hadrian’s Wall soon after it was built in ad122-23. It is the best preserved example of a Roman cavalry fort in Britain. It seems to have been occupied for nearly three centuries, with several changes of garrison during that time. There is much to see on the ground: the four principal gateways are well-preserved, the east and west with short lengths of Hadrian’s Wall adjoining them. The entire foundation of the headquarters building is visible with a courtyard, hall, regimental chapel and strongroom. The military bath house is extremely well-preserved, with changing room, latrines and bathing rooms, as is the Roman bridge abutment on the far bank of the river. Chesters Museum is home of the Clayton Collection, which includes many important early archaeological discoveries relating to the central sector of Hadrian’s Wall.

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Chipchase Castle

Wark, Northumberland, NE48 3NT     Tel:01434 230203

The castle is possibly one of the best examples of Jacobean architecture. Its later additions include a 14th century pele tower. There are also wild flower and vegetable gardens with a lake and a border containing herbs. The castle is only open during the month of July.

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Morpeth Clock Tower

5 Churchburn Drive, Morpeth, NE61 2BZ     Tel: 01670 513492
Web: www.northumberlandlife.org/mb

Open all year round this secular bell tower, one of only 8 in England, was built in the 17th century, with the bell itself dating back to the 18th century. There is also a guide in the art of bell ringing, and visitors are welcome to try and have a go.

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Norham Castle

Norham, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 2JY
Tel: 01289 304493

Norham was one of the strongest of the border castles. Built in the latter half of the twelfth century, it came under siege several times during its 400-year history as a military stronghold. Norham’s massive walls proved impenetrable during many of these attacks, but when James IV stormed it in 1513, it fell and was largely destroyed. The Great Tower shows signs of four building phases spanning the twelfth to sixteenth centuries. Much of what can be seen today dates from the extensive repairs to the castle, and the re-roofing of the Great Tower, that followed the siege of 1513.

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Prudhoe Castle

Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42 6NA
Tel: 01661 833459     E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk

Opening Times: 1 April to 30 Sept, 10am - 6pm daily.
On a wooded hillside overlooking the River Tyne stands the remains of this formidable castle. Archaeological evidence reveals that a defended enclosure existed on the site as early as the mid-11th century. Today, inside its defensive ditches and ramparts the Georgian manor house is a dominating feature. The castle was successfully defended against Scottish attacks, resisting sieges in 1173 and 1175, famously recorded by the contemporary chronicler, Jordan Fantosme. Small Exhibition and Video Presentation. Beautiful Picnic Spot. Brass Rubbing.

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Warkworth Castle & Hermitage

Warkworth, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 0UJ
Tel: 01665 711423     E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk

Opening Times: 1 April to 30 Sept, 10am - 6pm daily. 1 Oct to 31 Oct, 10am - 4pm daily.
1 Nov to 31 March weekends and Mondays only.
A hillside stronghold and home to the Percy family of Shakespearean fame. The magnificent eight-towered keep of Warkworth Castle stands on a hill high above the River Coquet, dominating all around it. A complex stronghold, it was home to the Percy family, which at times wielded more power in the North than the King himself. Most famous of them all was Harry Hotspur (Sir Henry Percy), immortalised in Northumbrian ballads and Shakespeare’s Henry IV, several scenes of which were set at Warkworth. Harry dominated the Borders in the fifteenth century with his father, the Earl of Northumberland, and fought off the Scots on behalf of the King before assisting in the removal of Richard II from the throne. As headquarters and home to the region’s most powerful family, Warkworth needed to be an impressive castle - and it remains so to this day.

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Brinkburn Priory

Longframlington, Northumberland, NE65 8AR     Tel: 01665 570628

Founded in 1135 for the canons of the Augustinian order. Repaired in 1858 and survives in its entirety. Restored in the 19thC. Car parking. Picnic site provided. Toilets. Guide dogs accepted.

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Tynemouth Priory & Castle

East Street, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE30 4BZ     Tel: 0191 257 1090

In the 12th century a priory was built by the Benedictines on the site that was originally a 7th century Anglo-Saxon monastery. Set atop a dramatic clifftop landmark, the Priory and Castle have dominated the entrance to the River Tyne since the seventh century and provided spiritual and physical refuge. Once one of the richest priories in England and an important religious house - two saints are buried here - it has been the site of strategic importance since its founding. Raided by the Danes in the Dark Ages, it was still a military garrison until 1956. The steep banks of the river provide a good vantage point to view the busy river life, fishing trawlers and shipyards.

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Saint Paul's Monastery

Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, NE32 3DZ

Founded 682, home of the Venerable Bede, re-founded 1075. Remains of cloister buildings. Part of Bede's church survived as chancel of parish church. Open all year, daily, at any reasonable time.

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Lady's Well

Holystone, Rothbury     Tel: 01670 774691

Set in the small village of Holystone. The well has been associated with both St. Ninian, who baptised hundreds in its holy waters and St. Mungo, who passed through the are on his way to Glasgow. It is a dark and peaceful pool that dates back to the Anglo-Saxon era of Britain.

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