I Wish I was THERE…………(3)

Somewhere very different as one of my favourite locations, a place I love not just for the majesty of the buildings and the rich glow of the stone, nor indeed its strategic location high above a loop in the River Coquet….but mainly for the magical aura of a place once so central to Britain’s history.

WARKWORTH CASTLE. NORTHUMBERLAND

Warkworth Castle, Northumberland

Lion Tower (left) and The Great Tower surrounded by high defensive walls, offering distant views over the coast and countryside, dominate the Inner Bailey. They are indeed grand on the own account but it is the historical importance of the family that has lived here over the centuries who even to this day have strong connections to Northumberland, that is so intriguing.  The castle was built circa 1200 by Roger fitz Roger and came into the ownership of the Percy Family in the 1300’s.  The Percy Family…later to become the Earls, then the Dukes, of Northumberland were intrinsically linked with the history that shaped the British Isles.  They were key to deposing King Richard II  and  replacing him with Henry IV with whom they famously quarrelled (a quarrel depicted by William Shakespeare). Harry Hotspur both a factual and fictional hero.  The Percy ‘s were always in the thick of the action be it the War of the Roses, The Civil War and even the Gunpowder Plot.  Nor could they not be involved with the border wars with Scotland, notably the 7th Earl was taken prisoner by the Scots, sold o Queen Elizabeth I and executed on her orders upon his return.

There are a great many castles across Northumberland and most have family links to the Percy’s, the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland…the most important to-day is Alnwick Castle home of the present Duke and his family….so the history continues.  But beyond any doubt our present is inextricably linked to its Northumberland roots…..roots you can feel when exploring these dramatic ruins*.

* Warkworth Castle is now in the care of English Heritage.

16th July