My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology


13.6.13
  Castles in Northumberland and the Scottish East Coast

I'm back and over the next days I will present the usual photo overviews. The weather wasn't bad; in fact, the rain stopped during my way up to Scarborough Castle (my first place to visit) and never came back while I was traveling around. Must have been scared of me, lol. Several days were even warm and sunny, though Orkney was a bit on the grey and windy side.

Without further ado, here are a few castles I visited with special interest of some readers in mind:

For Anerje: Scarborough Castle

Scarborough Castle; the keep seen from the outer gate

No wonder the Earl of Pembroke tried to coax Piers Gaveston into surrendering; laying siege to that place would not have been fun. And with the wind like the day I visited it would have been nasty and cold, too. You owe me a cookie or two for braving that wind. *grin*

The curtain wall on the town side

Look at those walls and the steep slope in front of them. I know what I talk about; I walked the blooming path all the way to the top. And there I had thought only German castles sat on hilltops and cliffs. ;-)

Scarborough Castle seen from the northern beach

I took this one a few days later on a sunny evening when the sea fog was just coming in with the tide. The atmosphere became a bit mysterious, but I didn't see a headless Piers. Or one with a head.

For Kasia: Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle, the keep with the state rooms

Alnwick (pronounced something like 'Annick') Castle is still the residence of the Dukes of Northumberland and thus some features have been altered over time. But the overall layout of the bailey is still the original one.

The Barbican

The barbican dates to 1440 (albeit the figures were added by one of the later duchesses). It was built by Henry 2nd Earl of Northumberland - known as Harry Hotspur - during the wars with Scotland at the time. He must be a particularly popular member of the Percy family since he got his own statue and a charming little video presentation of his life.

The inner bailey from the inside (the Norman entrance is to the right)

William the Lion may have entered the castle through this gate. No plaque or anything though, the focus lies more on the later Medieaval history of the castle and the state rooms.

Alnwick Castle is also a place where you can meet Mrs. McGonagall on occasion, and a bunch of wannabe wizards on broomsticks. Some scenes of the Harry Potter movies have been filmed there and there are Potter-y events for kids.

For Kathryn: Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle in the evening sun

I was lucky to find a castle I didn't have on my list but which fit into my schedule quite well and which turned out to be connected to Thomas of Lancaster and fell into King Edward's hands after Lancaster's execution. So you'll get your castle as well. *grin*

Closeup of the keep

Lancaster built that one after his relationship with Edward II detoriated. It sits in sight of Bamburgh Castle (at least on a clear day) and there was an element of 'neiner, neiner' to the place which the duke actually never lived in. He was caught before he could flee to Dunstanburgh.

View from the keep towards Constable's Tower (in the middle) and Egyncleugh Tower (close to the sea)

It's a lovely ruin I had a lot of fun exploring. Even though I got a sunburn on my nose for a change.

Here are the other castles I visited this time.

Richmond Castle is one of the oldest Norman castles of which parts still remain.

Richmond Castle, the keep

Quite substantial parts, as you can see. Richmond Castle was the kernel of the large Honour of Richmond that would play a significant role in history.

Richmond Castle, view towards Scollard's Hall and Gold Hole Tower, with the Fallen Tower to the left

Warkworth is another of the Percy of Northumberland castles. They kept collecting those. :-)

Warkworth Castle, the keep seen through the gate of the Lion Tower

It's a beautiful, picturesque ruin I enjoyed very much.

Warkworth Castle, view from the keep to the eastern hall range

The famous Bamburgh Castle. I could not get the seaside view you find on every book cover about Northumbria, but I got some decent pics nevertheless.

Bamburgh Castle, seen from the land side

Bamburgh has been rebuilt in Victorian times, and I must admit that some of the architecture jars a bit. The Wartburg reconstruction is more in style, imho.

Bamburgh Castle, the Keep (one of the original Medieaval buildings)

A cliff, a knife edge way that's closed to the public, and lots of stairs down one hill and up the other. Constance may try her best with Dunottar Castle, hehe.

Dunottar Castle, sitting on a cliff

Did I say: stairs, lol? And those likely weren't around in former times.

Dunottar Castle, the way up along the outer curtain wall

I visited Urquhart Castle in 1998, but I wanted to go back with a digital camera since I had fond memories of the place.

Urquhart Castle, view to 14th century keep and gatehouse

There is a new visitor centre now, and lots more tourists. Just well they start getting dinner-hungry long before the castle closes.

Urquhart Castle, view to the 12th century part of the castle

So a nice booty overall; enough for a score of posts. Like I have no other stuff in my archives. *grin*

 
Comments:
Gabriele, thank you! It's good to have you back :-) I love Alnwick, especially the Barbican ;-)
 
Wow, lovely pics! You really have been busy! ;) Hope you enjoyed seeing them all, and thanks for taking all the pics!
 
Thank you.

I love taking photos, don't worry. ;-) I came back with some 2600 of them.
 
Did you visit Alnwick's Poison Garden?
 
Anerje, no, I didn't have the time and they would not have allowed me to bring some of the stuff home anyway. *grin*
 
OMG! I've missed all these posts! I didn't check the dates! argh! I just knew Piers wouldn't attempt to give you a shove at Scarborough:> I feel a bit humbled - living in the UK, but have never visited any of these Northern castles. Must get my act together.
 
and thanks for taking the pictures!
 
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The Lost Fort is a travel journal and history blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, as well as some geology, illustrated with photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.
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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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