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Bamburgh Castle

BAMBURGH CASTLE The first fortress on the Great Whin Sill outcrop at Bamburgh, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was erected in 547 by Ida, King of Bernicia (the northern half of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria). When Ida's grandson, Etheifrith, King of Northumbria from 593 to 616, gave the fortress to his first wife, Bebba, the settlement became known as 'Bebba's Burgh' or 'Bebbanburgh' (from which the name Bamburgh is derived).

After the Norman Conquest, the castle was rebuilt in stone as a Border fortress against incursions by the Scots. It became the first castle in England to fall to artillery fire, when it was captured by Edward IV during the Wars of the Roses.

In 1610 the Crown gave the property to Claudius Forster, whose descendants allowed the castle to fall into decay. Restoration of the castle was begun in the eighteenth century by Nathaniel Crewe, Bishop of Durham, and completed at great expense by the Victorian industrialist (and owner of Cragside), William, 1st Lord Armstrong, whose family still owns the property. It is open to the public.

Click on a photo to enlarge it.

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