Norham Castle in Northumberland

History and Heritage

As the buffer between England and Scotland, Northumberland’s location has shaped a history of iconic battles and conflict. Roman invasions and Viking attacks have resulted in stunning castles and landmarks for you to feast your eyes on.

It’s all in our history

Every inch of Northumberland hides a piece of history and heritage. The buffer between England and Scotland, Northumberland’s very geographic location has shaped a history of violence and conflict.

The legacy of Northumberland’s embattled past can still be seen today through the region’s historic sites. From the incredible architecture of ancient castles, to 73-miles of Hadrian’s Wall, the county’s heritage sites are a reminder of the many conflicts that have been and gone.

From the Roman invasion 2,000 years ago, Northumberland has witnessed plundering Viking attacks, seen Anglo Saxon kings fight to the death protecting their kingdom and set the scene for murderous raids by the notorious Border Reivers. There have been territorial battles between England and Scotland which saw the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed change sides 13 times.

The legacy of Northumberland’s embattled past can still be seen today. There are more castles than any other county in England within its boundaries. The Roman megastructure of Hadrian’s Wall snakes for 73-miles across high volcanic ridges while the forts and pele towers peppered throughout Northumberland’s now peaceful and scenic countryside are a reminder of centuries-old carnage.

The past is everywhere you look in Northumberland. The best way to discover it is to explore its ancient sites, battlefields, castles, museums and stately homes.

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Chillingham Castle

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Cherryburn: Thomas Bewick Birthplace Museum

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Union Chain Bridge

The Union Chain Bridge spans the River Tweed between Horncliffe, Northumberland, England and Fishwick, Borders, Scotland.
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Berwick-upon-Tweed Museum and Art Gallery

Visit Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, located in the Ravensdowne Barracks - the first purpose-built army barracks in England.
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Hexham Old Gaol

Step into Northumberland's past with a visit to Hexham Old Gaol, England's oldest Gaol.
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Berwick Elizabethan Town Walls

Berwick's town walls are its most famous piece of architecture and still stand strong today, hundreds of years after they were built by Queen Elizabeth to keep out the invading Scots.
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Seaton Delaval Hall

Baroque masterpiece with landscaped gardens and grounds designed by Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace architect, Sir John Vanbrugh.
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Wallington House, Gardens & Estate

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Planetrees Roman Wall

A 15-metre (49 feet) length of later narrow Wall on earlier broad foundations, marking the junction between the two wall types.
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King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum

The King's Own Scottish Borderers regimental museum with uniforms, medals, silver and weapons telling the story of the regiment from 1689 until the present day.
Mountain biking in purple heather
Family walk in Northumberland
Couple enjoying a boat trip
Hadrian's Wall
Surf Northumberland
Outdoor adventures in Northumberland

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