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HISTORY

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.

Bamburgh CastleBamburgh’s written history begins in the times of the Anglo-Saxons with one chronicler citing Bamburgh as probably the most important place in all of England. But even before this there were people living here, there is archaeological evidence that as early as 10,000 BC there were people here. There are Bronze Age (2,400 -700BC) burials nearby and pottery sherds dating to the Iron Age (700 BC – 43AD). With little evidence of their occupation only the name Din Guayrdi gives us a hint that Romans were sometime between 43AD and 410AD.

King's HallIt was during the early medieval period between 411AD and 1066AD that Bamburgh grew in stature and importance. With the arrival of the Saxons, the creation of an important Christian site and the coming and going of the saints Oswald, Aidan and Cuthbert, it was a pivotal time. Following this period we saw the arrival of the Normans and the construction of our Great Tower, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses with the siege of 1464. The arrival of the Foster family, gifted the ruins by James 1 with the subsequent acquisition by Lord Crewe and the formation of the Crewe Trustees. A resurgence in stature as under the guidance of John Sharpe the castle became a leading surgery and dispensary for the poor and sick.

1st Lord Armstrong

 

Finally the castle passed into the hands of the First Lord Armstrong, with the intention of creating a respite home he passed away before its restoration was complete and became the Armstrong family home. It is still owned by the Armstrong Family who opened it up to visitors in the mid 1900’s and remains to this day an icon of the North East of England.