ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Bamburgh and its Castle, Northumberland, England: an archetypically bleak fortress facing North Sea winds

Updated on November 13, 2015
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Bamburgh Castle seen from from Seahouses
Bamburgh Castle seen from from Seahouses | Source
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland | Source
Bamburgh Main Street
Bamburgh Main Street | Source

Weather-beaten for many centuries

The village of Bamburgh in Northumberland in the North-East of England, with memories of the ancient kings of Northumbria, attracts many visitors. However, it needs to be pointed out that Bamburgh is probably not thought of as the most popular of winter vacation destinations: the North Sea winter winds here are often strong and even forbidding.

The Bamburgh Dunes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The pyramidal orchid and the petalwort are among its flora; its fauna include varieties of warbler, the reed bunting and the short-haired owl.

St Aidan's parish church in Bamburgh dates from the 12th century. Opposite the church building is the Grace Darling Museum, commemorating the daughter of the lighthouse keeper from nearby Longstone Island in the Farne Islands, who in 1838 heroically assisted in the rescuse of some of the survivors of the wrecked Forfarshire.

It is the Castle, executed in sandstone, which is the most visible presence in Bamburgh. First recorded mention of the Castle dates from 547AD. After the Viking destroyed an existing structure, the Normans built a substantial part of the Castle. The keep is 12th century; its strongly square features dominated the structure.

For centuries the Castle was the property of the Crown, with the Foster family the hereditary governors for 400 years. After the Bishop of Durham acquired ownership in the 18th century, the condition of the Castle became degraded.

So why would a bishop need such a huge castle? A good question, maybe, if posed today, but going back some centuries the Bishop of Durham was regarded as a most splendid personage, with the See of Durham ranking highly among the English Bishops. All the splendour of the Bishop of Durham, however, was not able to stop the castle, under ecclesiastical administration, becoming rather dilapidated.

Enter William Armstrong in the 19th century. The Armstrong and Aviation Artefacts Museum is housed in the Castle, named for William, 1st Baron Armstrong (1810-1900)(1), who bought the Castle and restored it and whose company Armstrong Whitworth was later a significant aircraft manufacturer.

November 13, 2015

Notes

(1) The Armstrong family continue to own the Castle.

Note on spelling: The spelling 'Bamborough Caslte' is sometimes seen, although today 'Bamburgh Castle' is usually preferred. In World War Two the HMS Bamborough Castle used the old spelling.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia.


Map location of Northumberland
Map location of Northumberland | Source

Also worth seeing

From Seahouses (distance: 6 kilometres) boat tours of the nearby Farne Islands are avaiblable, weather permitting.

Lindisfarne (distance: 31 kilometres): island linked to the mainland by a causeway, with a 16th century castle and a recorded religious history going back to the 6th century.

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, (distance: 78 kilometres) sights include: the Tyne Bridge; Grey's Monument commemorating Prime Minister Earl Grey; Newcastle Castle Keep, dating from the 12th century; St NIcholas' Cathedral, built between the 11th and 16th centuries, with its distinctive lantern tower feature; and many others. Newcastle is a university city; the Armstrong Building at Newcastle University is particularly distinctive.

Hadrian's Wall, dating from Roman times, is one of the great, historical sights of the North of England. Heddon-on-the-Wall (distance: 87 kilometres) is a popular place for visitors to see the Wall.

...

How to get there: British Airways flies from London Heathrow Airport to Newcastle International Airport, where car rental is available; the nearest railroad station to Bamburgh is Chathill (distance 10 kilometres) Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)