Keys to the Past

Bamburgh Castle (Bamburgh)

Bamburgh Castle. Photo by Andy Brown, 2003.
Bamburgh Castle. Photo by Andy Brown, 2003.

Bamburgh Castle is a spectacular medieval castle built in a long narrow outcrop of rock on the coast. The earliest occupation probably dated to the Anglo-Saxon period. The carved arm of a stone chair has been found. Its decorations belong to the late 8th or early 9th century. Geophysical survey has shown a number of features, which may be Anglo-Saxon buildings in the Inner Ward. However, no other remains of this period can be seen. Most of the buildings at this site belong to the medieval period. The central part of the castle is the 12th century keep. There are three enclosures, or baileys, next to the keep. These are entered through fortified gatehouses. The remains of a 12th century chapel can also be seen. It had fallen into ruins by the early 18th century, when it was bought by Lord Crewe. When he died, he left it to a charity. The trustee of the charity, Dr Sharpe, set about making it habitable, and the buildings were used for schools, a hospital, a granary and a lighthouse. The entire site was completely restored in 1890. The castle is a Grade I Listed Building protected by law.

Reference number:N5089
Historical period: Roman (43 to 410)
Early Medieval (410 to 1066)
Medieval (1066 to 1540)
Neolithic (4000BC to 2200BC)
Legal status:Conservation area
Listed Building
Event(s):EARTH RESISTANCE (RESITIVITY) SURVEY, Inner Ward, Bamburgh Castle 1997; Bamburgh Research Project
GROUND PENETRATING RADAR SURVEY, Inner Ward, Bamburgh Castle 1999; Northumbrian Surveys
TRIAL TRENCH, Inner Ward, Bamburgh Castle 2004; Bamburgh Research Project
TRIAL TRENCH, Inner Ward, Bamburgh Castle 2008; Bamburgh Research Project
TRIAL TRENCH, Inner Ward, Bamburgh Castle 2010; Bamburgh Research Project

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Bamburgh


Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.