Located on the coast of Northumbria, this is one of the oldest sites in the country that originally housed a fort believed to be the home of native Britons known as Din Guarie. It is thought the foundations date back to around 420 AD. However; written records don’t start until 547 where it is documented that the site was captured by the Anglo-Saxon ruler Ida of Bernicia. Ida was the first known king of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia and is believed to be the founder of a long line of ancestors from which later Anglo-Saxon kings in this part of northern England and southern Scotland claimed to be related.
The castle stands on a volcanic dolerite outcrop stretching across nine acres. The original fortification was destroyed by the Vikings in 993.
The Normans built a new castle on the site, the core of which can be seen today. In 1095 the castle came under siege when its owner Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria, backed a revolt and was subsequently captured by William II’s army. Robert’s plucky wife carried on defending the family home for some time but eventually gave in after the King threatened to blind her husband.
During the Wars of the Roses in 1464, it was defeated by artillery fire and fell into enemy hands.
Bamburgh Castle eventually became the home of the Forster family, a dynasty spanning 12 generations and lasting 400 years. However, in the 18th century, Sir William Forster was posthumously declared bankrupt and his estate was transfered to Lord Crew, Bishop of Durham in lieu of debts.
After a period of decline throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, during which its ownership changed through many hands, its deterioration was halted when it was purchased by Victorian industrialist, William Armstrong, who made his name through his company ‘Armstrong Whitworth’ which manufactured cars, trains, aircraft, ships and armaments. His nearby factory made the Gloucester Meteor which was the first British jet fighter.
The castle remains in the Armstrong family and is open to the public for corporate events and location filming for TV and cinema. Bamburgh Castle is also a museum and open to visitors. However, people are advised to check opening times as these are subject to seasonal changes.
Bamburgh Castle is reputed to be haunted by the ‘Pink Lady.’ Legend says she haunts the castle having been prevented by her father from marrying her lover. Climbing the castle stairway to the highest battlements, she threw herself to the rocks below. Her lover returned to claim his truelove only to find that she had died. Her ghost is now said to haunt the castle and shoreline searching for her true love.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
B1340 (Rd), Beadnell, Chathill
Northumberland, England, NE67 5BX
+44 (0)1665 720 586
- Address: B3140, Bamburgh, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom, NE69 7DF
- GPS: 55.60881892944551,-1.7094683647155761
- Phone: 0044 (0)1668 214 515
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: NE69 7DF
- Entrance Fees: Yes
- Disabled Access: Generally good - some areas are not accessible to those who are mobility impaired.
- Visibility from Road: Excellent
- Image Credits: Header Image: Dave Head