Visit Bamburgh and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Bamburgh, Northumberland. No castle could look more imposing than Barmburgh, a magnificent red sandstone mass which presents a startling sight whether approached from North or South. The road takes the motorist directly under its walls on its land side, while on the other it towers over the sea from a 150-ft precipice. Bamburgh was founded in 547 by King Ida who built a wooden fortification here. It was given by his grandson, Ethelfrith, to his wife Bebba and became known as Bebbanburgh, from which the modern name derives. Although the seat of the government of Northumbria moved in the mid-8th century to Corbridge, Bamburgh remained a royal residence. It was rebuilt in Norman times and by then included a keep, chapel, living quarters and enclosures for the garrison and for prisoners. Much of the castle was restored and altered in the 18th century by trustees of Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, who had acquired the property after marrying into the Forster family. They added a long range of domestic buildings. During the late 18th century, out of Lord Crewe's beneficence, the castle was used as a boarding school to train servant girls, as a surgery and dispensary for the poor, as the site of a windmill to grind corn for those in need and as a haven for shipwrecked sailors. In 1894, the 1st Lord Armstrong bought the castle and it was again extensively restored. It is open daily and from the upper terraces where the guns still point out to sea, there is a celebrated view of the Farne Islands.
The castle rises boldly at the apex of a triangular wooded green which is the centre of a still unspoilt and — despite the endless streams of Sunday motorists — peaceful village of soft grey stone. St Aidan's Church is mainly 13th-century with a fine and large chancel. During work in 1837, an unusual l3th-century crypt was discovered. In it were coffins of the Forster family, who owned Bamburgh and Blanchland. The crypt may have been built originally for relics of St Aidan.
In the churchyard is an over-elaborate monument to the l9th-century heroine of the village (and the country) Grace Darling. She was born here in 1815 in the house which is now the post office and she died at the early age of 27, but not before she had engraved her name in the hearts of her own and later generations. She was the daughter of the lighthouse keeper on Longstone Light. On 7 September 1838, the Forfarshire was wrecked in a gale. Grace and her father rowed out in the storm to rescue nine survivors. The coble they used and other souvenirs of the heroic event are in the Grace Darling Museum of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution which stands opposite the church.
Nearby towns: Alnwick, Amble, Holy Island, Kelso
Nearby villages: Beadnell, Belford, Chatton, Cheswick, Chillingham, Craster, Detchant, Eglingham, Ellingham, Embleton, Fenwick, Hepburn, Holburn, Kirknewton, Kyloe, Lucker, New Bewick, Newham, North Charlton, North Sunderland, Preston, Rock, Roddam, Seahouses, Smeafield, South Charlton, Stamford, Swinhoe, Warenford, Wooperton
Have you decided to visit Bamburgh or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Bamburgh bed and breakfast (a Bamburgh B&B or Bamburgh b and b)
- a Bamburgh guesthouse
- a Bamburgh hotel (or motel)
- a Bamburgh self-catering establishment, or
- other Bamburgh accommodation