Photographer's Note

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland.

The day was pretty gloomy generally, with a blank grey sky. Not conducive to landscape photography. But for an hour or so when we were at Bamburgh, the blanket partially cleared, and I was able to knock off a few snaps. Actually I rather like the effect of the overcast gloom. Those are the Farne Islands in the distance.

The Normans built the castle on the site of a previous Anglo-Saxon fort, destroyed by the Vikings. What you see here has the Norman castle as its core. William II unsuccessfully besieged it in 1095 during a revolt supported by its owner, Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria. After Robert was captured, his wife continued the defence until coerced to surrender by the king's threat to blind her husband.

Bamburgh then became the property of the reigning English monarch. Henry II probably built the keep. As an important English outpost, the castle was the target of occasional raids from Scotland. In 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, it became the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery, at the end of a nine-month siege by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.

The Forster family of Northumberland provided the Crown with twelve successive governors of the castle for some 400 years until the Crown granted ownership to Sir John Forster. The family retained ownership until Sir William Forster (d. 1700) was posthumously declared bankrupt, and his estates, including the castle, were sold to Lord Crew, Bishop of Durham, under an Act of Parliament to settle the debts.

The castle deteriorated but was restored by various owners during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was finally bought by the Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, who completed the restoration. The castle still belongs to the Armstrong family, and is opened to the public. It also hosts weddings and corporate events. It has been used as a film location since the 1920s, featuring in films such as Ivanhoe (1952), El Cid (1961), Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), and Elizabeth (1998).

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Additional Photos by Will Perrett (willperrett) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1070 W: 301 N: 3098] (14153)
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