Alnwick Still looks like a
stronghold of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland. You may enter from
the South through the narrow medieval arch of Hotspur Tower and within moments
confront the great barbican guarding the gateway to Alnwick Castle. Within
the town, age speaks for itself from the narrow streets, cobblestones,
passageways, sturdy grey buildings and monuments. The town grew up on the
River Aln beside the great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres.
Below and around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765
which now form a beautiful park. In the town a broad main street with slopping tree shaded
cobblestone parking space alongside, passes near a market square. A free
standing 18th Century hall has an arcade for shops on the ground floor and
assembly rooms above. A very interesting town steeped in history and the
ravages of this wild border country.
The main seat of
the Duke of Northumberland. this great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres
of park has survived many battles during its chequered history. Below and
around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765 which now
form a beautiful park. The castle was begun by the Vesci family in the
early 12th Century. When the last legitimate member of the family line
died in 1297 the castle was held in trust by the then Bishop of Durham who
subsequently sold it on to Henry Percy in 1309. The family Percy
eventually became Dukes of Northumberland and have lived here ever since.
Outwardly the castle has altered little since the 14th Century. However it
was severely damaged during the border wars and stood as a ruin for nearly 200
years before the 1st Duke restored it in the 18th Century.
Some of the state rooms in the castle are open to the public displaying superb
paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto & Van Dyck. Augmented by
collections of Meissen pottery and superb furniture the fine library is the
largest room in the castle and the main staircase exquisite.
Gardens The rose garden with over 2,000 roses, the grand cascade linking
over 120 water jets into a display utilising 7,000 gallons of water per minute.
Ornamental Garden, woodland walk and much more as this garden opened only very
recently begins to grow.
Built on a towering outcrop 150ft above the sea this was chosen to be the
seat of the Kings or Northumbria or Bernicia as it was known, as early as 547AD.
The name Bambrugh comes from the time of 607AD when King Aethelfrith rained.
He gave the Castle to his wife Bebba and the castle was renamed to Bebbanburgh
in her honour. King Oswold, later St Oswold was the eldest son of
Aethelfrith, when he came to the thrown he invited Aiden to come to his lands to
convert his people to Christianity. It was at this time that he gave the
island of Lindisfarne for a Monastery, which still stands today. During
700-800AD the Northumbrian Kingdom started to dissolve with regular attacks from
other Kingdoms and the Vikings. in 993AD the Vikings attacked Bamburgh and
the Castle fell into disrepair.
Venerable Bede Born probably in 673. In 680 he was sent school in Monkwearmouth but stayed only two years before being sent to Jarrow in 682. He loved knowledge and found the libraries of St Pauls fascinating. He enjoyed astronomy, numbers, Latin and wrote the life of St Cuthbert. He also wrote a famous history book. The first of its kind about the English Church and People. He also loved the Bible and was working on St Johns Gospel when he died on may 25th 735. He was 62 years old. He was buried in Jarrow. During the 11th Century his bones were stolen and brought to Durham. At the time they were put in the same coffin as St Cuthbert. However in the 13th Century they were separated and brought to a new tomb in the Galilee Chapel also in Durham Cathedral.
owes its existence to its unique position above the
A natural fortification lending itself to a mighty castle which dominates the
Built in 1150 in 6.5
acres of ground by Bernard,
son of Guy
and one of the knights who fought alongside
town takes its name from this most important benefactor.
The town which grew
up outside the castle walls has two main thoroughfares,
The market hall built in 1747 and the
ancient Kings Head Hotel
where Charles Dickens stayed
in 1838 when writing Nicholas Nickleby,
together with St Mary`s
Church founded in the 12th Century
are just some of the gems which make this town one of the 51 historically and
architecturally important towns in Great Britain
Beamish museum Step back in time at this wonderful open air museum. 30 years old this magnificent museum spread over more than 300 acres is dedicated to life as it was in the North East of England in 1825 & 1913. From the Manor house to the Wagonway, the town, the garage, the station, sweetshop, pit cottages, school & chapel, the colliery, transport, the farm, all aspects of our ancestors living conditions are bought back to life in reconstructions using original & actual memorabilia.
Berwick upon Tweed
the most Northern Town in England with a fascinating history, this is the town
that has changed hands 14 times in the past thousand years, it is now English
(act of Parliament 1746) but still a Scottish Burgh (1958) confused, so are the
residents. Sold by Richard 1 to Scotland to get money for his crusade.
Destroyed in 1216 by King John. When William Wallace was executed in 1305,
one quarter of him was displayed here as a warning to rebels. The Tweed
Estuary is spanned by three Bridges, Berwick Bridge, a handsome bridge with 15
arched dating back to 1624. Royal Tweed Bridge built in 1928 is a concrete
structure. The Royal border bridge carrying the main East line railway 38
metre high with 28 arches built in 1847 by Robert Stephenson and opened by Queen
Victoria in 1850. Berwick has a well worn appearance which seems to suit
its historical role as a buffer town.
A surprise, what
is a French
doing in the English
in the French
style for John
and his French
started in 1862 and was completed in 1892.
lived to see the completed work.
the illegitimate son of the 10th
died he inherited all the family fortune but not the title which went to his
and his wife who had no children of their own therefore set about putting
together a remarkable collection of artefacts over a period of nearly 15 years
intending that the public should be able to see and enjoy them.
was the purpose of the building, to house the collection.
the collection does have a strong
influence, more English
displays have now been added.
collection is said to feature 10,000 objects in 22 exhibition rooms in a home
which stands in a 21-acre park.
textiles, furniture, tapestries, paintings, clocks, objet d`art,
furniture, silver, costume, toys etc.
one of the finest
buildings in the country, stands in the shadow of the
castle and its inhabitants are a part of the history of
but the church is entwined with them all.
oldest part is the tower thought to date from the
era of 1170.
It is not only the lover of
architecture who will be thrilled by Durham. It is one of the most
visually exciting cities in Britain. The magnificent Norman Cathedral and
the Castle stand proudly on a sandstone hill almost enclosed by a steep banked
wooded bend of the River Wear. It is a scene well worth looking at from
every vantage point. The best views are obtained from the railway station,
Prebends Bridge, South Street, Silesgate and also Palace Green. The Castle
was built in 1069 by the Norman invaders and the town grew up under the Castle
walls between the two river crossings at Elvet and Framwellgate. Durham is
not a large city but is a centre of local government and education (Durham
University was created as the third university in England by an act of
Parliament in 1832)
The Cathedral was
founded as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert. When Viking raids forced
on Lindisfarne to flee in
875. They carried with them the body of the saint, they reached Durham in
995 after time at Chester le Street and Ripon. In Durham the coffin seemed
to become rooted to the ground and the spot for the new shrine was revealed in a
vision. By 998 they had built a church (nothing remains of this early
building) it quickly became a place of pilgrimage. The Bishops became
Prince Bishops of Durham giving the city the right to raise armies, own
nobility, coinage and courts. All these privileges were ended in 1836.
The present Cathedral Church of Christ and blessed Mary the Virgin was built
between 1093 and 1133 to a plan of Bishop William of Calais. He died but
the work continued under Bishop Flambard. It is possibly the finest Norman
building in Europe. St Cuthberts body was brought to his shrine behind the
high altar in 1104. The Cathedral was the first in Northern Europe to be
covered with stone ribbed vaulting and it has the earliest pointed transverse
arches in England. There are few monuments because of a long held rule
that no one should be buried in the shrine of st cuthbert. From the South
side aisle a door leads to the monks dormitory, a great timbered hall 194ft by
39ft where some of
the Cathedrals prized possessions can be seen, they include St Cuthberts
illuminated manuscripts. In front of the font is a line of marble, the
nearest point that women were allowed to get to the altar. Almost no
amount of time is to long to spend in this unique place of worship.
Escomb Church A place of Christian worship for over 1,300 years. It is impossible to tell who built this little church, when, or why in this particular location. Though not mentioned by Bede the fabric is definitely 7th Century. Archaeologists consider somewhere between 670 & 690AD. Built of reused roman stone. The circular (Celtic) Churchyard and sloping walls are evidence of the Irish influence prior to the Synod of Whitby in 664AD. The South wall offers visitors a window each of Saxon, Norman & Gothic traditions whilst the old cobbled flooring in the Nave could well be Saxon. The Church is not large or a real architectural gem, it sits so simple in the landscape, its importance really magnifies the Christian faith of endurance and those who work tirelessly to preserve such wonderful buildings.
Hadrians wall The most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. It is a world heritage site and is by far the best known frontier in the entire Roman Empire. Built by order of Emperor Hadrian on his visit to Britain in 122AD. It took 6 years to build and is 73 miles in length, 15ft high and runs from Wallsend in the East to Bowness on Solway in the West. It was built to separate the Romans from the Barbarians. When the Romans left in about 400AD the wall became derelict and stones where used in buildings and walls all, over the area.
Harrison & Harrison (Organ Makers) The firm was started by Thomas Harrison in Rochdale in 1861 and moved to Durham in 1872. After 124 years in the city centre the firm moved in 1996 to a new purpose built workshop on the city boundary.
contrasting church styles set in one building. The old church to the East
comprising the magnificent Crossing and Chancel. Together with Temple
Moores Scholastic Nave started in 1905 to the West. Hexham has suffered
more than most from its prime location, not far from Hadrians Wall. The
7th Century foundation by St Wilfred was burnt and plundered by the Vikings.
The restored Augustine Priory refounded in 1113 was then attacked by the Scots
under William Wallace at the end of the 13th Century, the Nave was
destroyed and not rebuilt. Therefore it is to the East end one naturally
is drawn, early Gothic architecture in a Parish Church. It is in this area
where the transept is dominated by the Priory`s famous night staircase.
Described by many as one of the finest Monastic relics in an English church.
A treasure trove of architectural gems. Lest not forget the Crypt,
beneath the Nave a Saxon Tunnel vaulted chamber built primarily of Roman Stones
its arch reputedly dating from the 7th Century. Many Celtic and
Roman relics of their occupation adorn the fabric of this lovely Church
Holy Island (Lindisfarne)
Lindisfarne is famed as the
birthplace of English Christianity. A 3 mile causeway connects the island
with the mainland at low tide and can be crossed during six hour spells between
tides. approx 300 people live on the island, with fishing and tourism the main
employment. In 635 A.D. St Aidan came on the invitation of King Oswald
from Iona on the West Coast of Scotland to teach Christianity to the Angles of
Northumbria. Linidsfarne Monastry was established and the first English
diocese founded. The Sixth Bishop was St Cuthbert who came to the island
in 664A.D. and was buried here until the monks fled
with his coffin ahead of the Danes in 875A.D. The Danes destroyed the
Abbey and the island lay deserted until a Priory was founded by a Benedictine
order in the 11th Century.
Housesteads Fort (Vercovicium) Possibly the remains of the most complete Roman Fort in Britain. Superb position with commanding views all round, spectacular scenery. See the foundations of the fort, granaries, barrack blocks, hospital, latrines. Excellent views of the wall as it joins the fort.
A market town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is believed to be the
birthplace of Henry 1st in 1068, only son of William the Conqueror to
be born in England. The Abbey is the dominant building facing the broad
Founded by Benedict of Auxerre, a Nonk in 1069 who directed by a vision was
instructed to go to Selebaie a area in England to build a Church. The
story goes that he sailed up the River Ouse to the spot he had dreamed about and
at that very moment three swans alighted on the river. He took this as a
sign of the Holy Trinity’s approval. He planted a cross and built a hut at
the spot. However this was the Kings land and he was trespassing but he
eventually gained approval and assent from the king. William made Benedict
an Abbot and gave him a large area of land.
St. Pauls Church, Jarrow The Parish Church of St Pauls Jarrow has been a place of worship for 13 Centuries. The Church & Monastery were built on land given by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria in 681AD. The Chancel of St Pauls is the original Saxon Church built as a separate Chapel and thus offers at least a relic of Bede`s time. Much of the cut stone is Roman, do look for the three single splayed Saxon windows, the middle one containing Saxon stained glass made in the monastic workshops, it was excavated from the site in 1980 and inserted here in the Chancel. Reputedly the oldest such glass in Western Europe. The Monastery where Bede came as a boy thrived in the 7th & 8th Centuries. Outside the church are the remains of the domestic buildings of that monastery, it was here that he lived, worked and worshipped. The buildings where sacked by the Vikings in 794AD. It was not until 1074 that the church was repaired by the Normans and the Monastery re-founded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire. Do look for the original dedication stone of 685 (above the Chancel arch) supposedly the oldest in England. Although St Martins Church Canterbury does predate Jarrow by maybe 100 years and therefore holds the honour of oldest church in England.
The recovery of two parts of a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon sculptured
cross shaft from the 15th Century towers West wall and the discovery
of two cross shafts and part of a cross head of the 10th or 11th
Century found during the 19th Century suggests an ancient foundation,
even a church on the site before the community of St Cuthbert settled on the
Durham Peninsula in 995. Surveys have since suggested evidence of a Pre
Norman building underlying the current structure. The earliest known
rector, Dolfin was here in 1156. The earliest visible portions of the
current church are the four Eastern arcades of the Nave and the Chancel arch
dating from 1195. The church was enlarged in the 13th Century
and in 1412 the West ends of the aisles were added. The tower was added in
the 15th Century and a Clerestory added to the Nave with a fine
hammer beam roof.
Famed as one of
the earliest and most important centres of Christianity in England. In 657 St
Hilda founded the Abbey for King Oswy of Northumbria in thanks for his victory
over the heathen Penda of Mercia. It was also the setting for the Synod of
Whitby in 664 who committed the English Church to the Roman Rite rather than the
Celtic one and also fixed the Precise date on which Easter should be celebrated,
the exact formula which is still in use today.