Built: Built between 1313 and finished in 1322
Location: Dunstanburgh Rd, Alnwick NE66 3TT
History: Built on the most magnificent scale, Dunstanburgh Castle stands on a remote headland in Northumberland.
The castle was built at a time when relations between King Edward II and his most powerful baron, Earl Thomas of Lancaster, had become openly hostile. Lancaster began the fortress in 1313, and the latest archaeological research indicates that he built it on a far grander scale than was originally recognized, perhaps more as a symbol of his opposition to the king than as a military stronghold.
Unfortunately, the earl failed to reach Dunstanburgh when his rebellion was defeated and was taken and executed in 1322. Thereafter the castle passed eventually to John of Gaunt, who strengthened it against the Scots by converting the great twin-towered gatehouse into a keep.
The focus of fierce fighting during the Wars of the Roses, it was twice besieged and captured by Yorkist forces, but subsequently fell into decay.
Review: This is a great place to visit. Not just for the castle, but for the views as well.
I feel like this castle is a little different to others because it kind of hidden away – it’s a little bit of a walk away from the car park as well, but it is definitely worth it.
There isn’t much to it really – you have the ruined gatehouse, but there is not much left of the fortress. But don’t be alarmed, you can still walk around the outer wall and there is plenty of it left.
You can spend a good while just walking around the grounds and taking in the stunning views that accompany this castle – there is so much to see and when else will you come across a castle with the sea right there?
I did feel that there wasn’t enough information as you make your way around the castle, but the staff were very helpful for any questions that we had.
I do think that this castle is worth it, it’s a hidden gem. Please go if you are in the area, even just for the views (which are brilliant if you’re into photography by the way).
There is a small shop on site, but nothing major. However, there are pubs and shops in the village. There is even a gallery (called The Mick Oxley Gallery) if you want to go see something different. And I do suggest you go there because there really were some nice things to views (it is only small though).
There is plenty to do in Craster, once you have finished with the castle. So if you’re planning to take a day trip out to there then you won’t be disappointed.
Just hope that the weather is good! Or else that could put a dampener on things.