History & heritage
Chillingham Castle

History & heritage

It's in our living 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.

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 countryside are a reminder of centuries-old carnage.

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

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Parish Church Choir
Berwick Parish Church
Church
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Visit this beautiful and rare Civil War Church. Opened in 1652 - it is the only parish church built under Cromwell. The church contains one of the earliest installations by Lutyens, a John Knox Renais ...
Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle
Historic sites
Alnwick
Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the UK; home to the Percy family for over 700 years and film location for Downton Abbey and Harry Potter's Hogwarts.  ...
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St Marys Across the Green
St Mary's Church
Church
Ponteland
Norman church in centre of village. Lovely old stone, with some interesting memorials. A place of peace and quiet - the churchyard is beautiful when the spring bulbs are out. ...
Outside Lindisfarne Priory
Lindisfarne Priory
Historic sites
Holy Island
Experience the serenity of Lindisfarne Priory, cut off from the world on the beautiful Holy Island. Take in panoramic views of the Northumbrian coast, unpack a picnic in the priory grounds, and take a ...
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Snowy Castle
Lindisfarne Castle
Historic sites
Holy Island
The Castle is scheduled to reopen April 2018. Iconic Tudor Fort converted into an intimate holiday home in 1903 for Edward Hudson by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. With charming Gertrude Jekyll wa ...
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Castle and Keep
Warkworth Castle
Historic sites
Warkworth
Set in a quaint Northumberland town, this hill-top fortress and hermitage offers a fantastic family day out. ...
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Welcome to Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall
Historic sites
Seaton Delaval
Seaton Delaval Hall comprising a centre block between 2 arcaded and pedimented wings, the east wing contains fine stables and there are gardens with statues. ...
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Paxton Exterior
Paxton House
Historic sites
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Overlooking the River Tweed, Paxton House is a Georgian mansion set in 80 acres of woodland, gardens and parklands on the border of England and Scotland, 4 miles from Berwick upon Tweed.  Paxton ...
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Keep
Bamburgh Castle
Historic sites
Bamburgh
A spectacular castle with fantastic coastal views. The stunning Kings Hall and Keep house collections of armour, artwork, porcelain and furniture.     ...
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Front of House
Howick Gardens & Arboretum
Garden
Alnwick
Beautiful gardens, woodland walks, sensory garden, a Prime Minister and a famous cup of tea - Earl Grey of course since Howick was his home!  Enjoy Snowdrops, Daffodils, and Rhododendrons in spri ...
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The Tower
St Anne's Church
Church
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Ancroft Church is dedicated to St Anne, the mother of Mary, so the granny of Jesus. Follow the trail quiz and climb to the top of the tower to see the sea. ...
St Michaels Church in Alnwick
St Michael's Church
Church
Alnwick
Spacious perpendicular style church with many medieval features, e.g., Hotspur pillar. 1464 charter of Henry VI that two 'burgesses' of Alnwick rebuilt their church. Patronage of Dukes of Northumberla ...
Outside Dunstanburgh Castle
Dunstanburgh Castle
Historic sites
Craster
The ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle tower over the Northumberland coastal line. It is an ideal family day out with a picnic area, fantastic views, and it is not far from the Scottish Borders. ...
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Outside St Aidans in Bamburgh
St Aidan's Church
Church
Bamburgh
A church was founded on this site in 635 by St Aidan; the site of his death is marked by a shrine within the present church which dates from the end of the 12th century. A squint, a fine reredos, and ...
St Cuthberts's Cave
St Cuthbert's Cave
Historic sites
Belford
St. Cuthbert’s Cave is an overhanging outcrop of Sandstone rock, supported by an isolated pillar of stone. It is reputed that the monks of Lindisfarne brought St. Cuthbert’s body to this p ...
St Andrews Church in Corbridge
St Andrew's Church
Church
Corbridge
Important Saxon Church. Impressive 13thC remains - particularly east end lancet windows. Roman arch to baptistery. 14thC Vicar's Pele, built of Roman stones, in churchyard - needed because of Scots ra ...
Etal Castle - Etal Village
Etal Castle
Historic sites
Etal
A 14thC castle in picturesque surroundings, steeped in the history of border warfare. ...
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St Mary's Church and Churchyard at Holy Island
St Mary's Church
Church
Holy Island
The oldest building on Holy Island, the only building that retains work from the Saxon period. It is very likely that St. Aidan worshipped on this site from arriving in 635 AD. ...
Church Building
St Andrew's Church
Church
Bolam
This beautiful Saxon church is a hidden gem nestling in the rolling countryside of mid -Northumberland.  An oasis of calm in today’s world of noise and rush. Spirituality and a sense of pea ...
Outside Church of Our Lady
Church of Our Lady
Church
Seaton Delaval
12thC private chapel for nearly 800 years, a parish church since 1891. Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Georgian features, superb Norman arches. 13thC effigies, six hatchments. Window bought here from the Coli ...
Church External
St Peter's Church
Church
Chillingham
The Church was founded in the 12th century and retains some of the Norman stonework. The South Chapel of Our Lady contains the 15th century tomb of Sir Ralph Grey and his wife Elizabeth. ...
Outside Brinkburn Priory
Brinkburn Priory
Historic sites
Rothbury
Founded in 1135 for canons of the Augustinian order, Brinkburn was restored in the 19th century and now survives in its entirety as Northumberland's finest example of early Gothic architecture. ...
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Inside Bothal Church
Bothal Church
Church
Morpeth
Grade 1 church of Norman origin. Outstanding historical features include tudor tomb, medieval stained glass, Jacobean communion rail, 600 year old nave roof etc. Beautiful seating ...
Inside Warkworth Hermitage
Warkworth Hermitage
Historic sites
Warkworth
The hermitage is cut into the rock of the river cliff, hidden away underneath the wooded bank, a short walk upstream from the castle. Half a mile from Warkworth Castle, tucked away by the Coquet and a ...
Northumberland Countryside
Shotley, St. Andrew
Historic sites
Slaley
On a hilltop almost 300m above sea level, St Andrew’s was built in 1769 to a cruciform plan on the site of a medieval church, and remodelled in 1892. In the churchyard is a magnificent domed mausole ...
Outside Prudhoe Castle
Prudhoe Castle
Historic sites
Prudhoe
Prudhoe Castle stands in a picturesque location, on a wooded hillside overlooking the River Tyne. ...
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View of St Wilfrid's
St Wilfred's Church
Church
Kirknewton
Beautiful light 14th century Grade 1 listed church in which Capability Brown was baptised. This little church consists simply of a nave and chancel, but has striking interior features. ...
Alnwick Castle Grounds
Hulne Park
Garden
Alnwick
Parkland, Gothic tower, lovely views and good walking. No dogs, cycles or vehicles are allowed in the park. ...
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Haydon Old Church
Haydon Old Church
Church
Haydon Bridge
Dedicated to St Cuthbert, this church is a hidden gem with amazing views over the tyne valley. It is said said to be oneof the many resting places of St Cuthbert's bones. ...
Aerial photo of Aydon Castle
Aydon Castle
Historic sites
Corbridge
A beautiful 13thC manor house with strong fortifications against Scottish raiders, Aydon Castle stands in a secluded woodland setting. ...
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