BAMBURGH CASTLE

Once the royal seat of the Kings of Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle has stood guard over this beautiful coastline for over 1,400 years. Spanning nine acres of land on its rocky plateau, Bamburgh Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country.

EXPLORE Bamburgh Castle and discover everything this iconic building has to offer. The castle enjoys more than its fair share of legends and myths. With dragons and ghosts it’s also believed to be the site of Sir Lancelot's fictitious castle, Joyous Garde.

MYSTERY awaits as the past comes to life with dark tales of royal rebellion, bloody battles and spell-binding legends. The adventure starts here – what will you uncover?

DISCOVER the legacy of the Armstrong empire as you take a trip back through time. With 14 rooms and over 3,000 items on display, ranging from arms and armour to fine porcelain, china, artworks and furniture, there is plenty to discover.

DEFENDING itself from its position 150 feet above the sea, Bamburgh Castle dominates the Northumberland countryside and coastline. It sits on a natural throne of volcanic dolerite, known locally as whinstone for the sound it makes when hit by a stonemason’s hammer.

NATURAL BEAUTY like this is a rare treat. The magnificent castle stands proudly on the coast with breath-taking views out to The Farne Islands and Lindisfarne. It’s little surprise it has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.

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From Bamburgh to Hollywood

Standing tall above miles of empty beaches it’s easy to see why this majestic building has an impressive film and television pedigree.

Bamburgh Castle has been in high demand and appeared everywhere from Countryfile’s Christmas Special to blockbusters including Transformers 5, The BFG and Macbeth.

Richard Burton came to Bamburgh to shoot scenes for “Becket” with Peter O’Toole in 1964, bringing screen idol Elizabeth Taylor on location with him. The castle’s harsh beauty and history has captivated directors like Roman Polanski who filmed a violent interpretation of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” at the castle in 1971. In the same year acclaimed director Ken Russell chose Bamburgh as the backdrop for cult film, “The Devils” starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave.

Over the years the castle has starred in many a historical epic including the 1952 adaption “Ivanhoe” starring Elizabeth Taylor, “El Cid” with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren in 1961, the 1972 film "Mary Queen of Scots" with Glenda Jackson and more recently “Elizabeth” with Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes in 1998.

The castle’s archaeological and historical discoveries have featured in the recent BBC series of “How the Celts Saved Britain”, “Coast”, “Meet the Ancestors” and “Time Team” as well as appearing on the Discovery Channel.

Welcoming the Greats

From the 1927 drama “Huntingtower” directed by epic British filmmaker George Pearson to modern day TV series, the castle has welcomed some of the greatest actors and presenters during the course of television and movie history.

Dan Snow, television presenter and historian: “I have always loved Bamburgh Castle. As a child I found it impossibly powerful and dramatic. It was a privilege to come and film there and have the run of the place!”

Sir Tony Robinson: "I'm pretty passionate about the history of the North East, particularly those mysterious early years of the Northumbrian Dynasty after the Romans had left Britain. So I suppose it was inevitable that someday I would end up at Bamburgh Castle, following in the footsteps of St Aidan. I've enjoyed working there both with “Time Team” and “Walking Through History”, discovering for myself why people are so fascinated by this colossal piece of architecture. From its Anglo-Saxon origins to its Victorian chimney pots it is bursting with history, and it was great fun helping to recreate the Anglo-Saxon throne which would have played such an important part in the making of this iconic castle."

Dr Michael Scott, tutor, presenter and historian: "I can think of few more breath-taking locations, few more interesting exhibits and examples of multi-period architecture, few places where history feels so tantalisingly close to your fingertips than Bamburgh Castle – a place made all the more special by the friendly and knowledgeable staff. A must visit."

Drew Pritchard: “Bamburgh Castle is a fascinating and exciting landmark that looks as if it emerged from the cliff face itself. I found the interior spaces inspiring and of a superior quality, and was greeted with a lovely and warm welcome”

Charlie Luxton: "Bamburgh Castle has a stunning location, amazing buildings and an incredible history. Worth visiting again and again"– Photo © Kate Luxton

Visit Bamburgh Castle and see what inspired all these TV and movie greats


 

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