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Once home to the kings of ancient Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle is one of Northumberland’s most iconic buildings.
The Bamburgh castle we see today is a relatively recent structure, built by famed industrialist the first Lord Armstrong at vast cost in late Victorian times. Lord Armstrong was also responsible for building Cragside House, Gardens & Estates.
But the castle boasts a much longer history. There have been settlements on the site since prehistoric times and the regular archaeological digs that take place on the site have unearthed some spectacular finds.
Excavations were started in the 1960s by Dr Brian Hope-Taylor, who discovered the gold plaque known as the Bamburgh Beast as well as the Bamburgh Sword.
During the summer you can see archeologists working on the site, and there is even the chance to get your hands dirty and see what you and your family can find.
During its more recent history, Bamburgh Castle feted royal guests and English kings, one of whom – Edward IV – destroyed it in the Wars of the Roses.
Lord Armstrong’s restoration saved it from ruin and the castle provides an ancestral home to the Armstrong family to this day.
Bamburgh Castle has 14 public rooms and more than 2,000 artefacts, including arms and armour, porcelain, furniture and artwork.
Bamburgh Castle’s epic scale attracts film and television crews and it has featured in everything from Time Team to Becket. It has recently become a popular wedding venue.
It won a bronze award in the 2008 North East Large Visitor Attraction Awards and a silver at the Green Business Scheme. And to prove it’s universal appeal, the castle was recently a finalist in ITV1’s Britain’s Favourite View competition.
Home to the Kings of Northumbria this magnificent coastal castle was completely restored in 1900. Collections of china, porcelain, furniture, paintings, arms and armour. It is the home of the Armstrong family, and the building is all in use which maintains a welcoming lived-in atmosphere. A Royal Centre by AD547, the rocky outcrop has been occupied since the prehistoric period. The present fortress is the result of restoration and expansion over the centuries, a building of historic and general interest with the public tour passing through the museum room, grand kings hall, cross hall, armoury and the Victorian scullery. Live archaeology during July and August, complete with children’s dig pit, a tea-room and gift shop.