Results 1-9of 9 Reviews
London, United Kingdom
September 12, 2012
ashbourne, United Kingdom
May 19, 2012
From journal A few days up in the North east
May 17, 2012
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
October 30, 2011
From journal Severe and at the same time romantic
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
April 19, 2011
From journal Staying in the UK
by Denise Scotland
Scotland, United Kingdom
July 20, 2010
From journal Northumbria and the North East Of England
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
October 23, 2009
Some of My Favourite Places in Britain,
Some of my favourite places in Northumberland & Scotland,
The North East & Surrounding Countryside Part 2
Riverview, New Brunswick
September 29, 2005
Alnwick is, of course, the home of one of England’s most celebrated families, the Percy’s, Dukes of Northumberland. Henry, the first lord, acquired the barony in 1309 and his grandson, Henry "Hotspur" (1364-1403) still lives in legend as one of England’s greatest medieval heroes. The Percy family would play a role in almost every momentous political event through the 15th and 16th centuries. The castle has always been in their hands and while substantial renovations were done in the 19th century, they didn’t actually turn it back into a family home until 1940. Opened to the public in 1950, it is now the home of Ralph, the 12th duke.
It appears as a really complete medieval pile and has everything that a castle should have, but its staterooms, the section open to the public, are anything but medieval. Having passed through gates and courtyard, you will find a sign directing you to a stairway with walls of marble and Georgian paneling and gilding. At the top of the stair you are directed to a clearly medieval Gothic chapel--but a chapel that is 19th century. From there, it is into the guard chamber which is hung with portraits and has two large statues by Giuseppe Nucci, who handled most of the sculpture during the restoration.
The staterooms seem to go on and on--incredible ceilings, all of which are 20 feet high or more, beautiful marble fireplaces and wall coverings. There is a wonderful library with two floors of books, two marble fireplaces, massive desks and comfortable seating in two lounge areas. It is obviously a place where the present family gathers. Across an anteroom there is a 19th century saloon finished in the regency style with an 1857 fireplace in marble and hung with formal portraits.
The state dining room occupies the place of the former medieval great hall, and as a consequence, is even more expansive than the other rooms. It features a ceiling that is woodcarved and displays the arms of the baronies of the Percy’s. The extra height in this ceiling allows a series of over-sized portraits to adorn the walls.
There is no doubt that the staterooms in this castle are really over-the-top, but the visit here isn’t terribly extensive. This is, after all, still very much a family home so you won’t be poking about in the bedrooms, but what you will see is wonderful.
Other parts of the castle include the Duke’s archeological museum in the Postern Tower and a museum commemorating the Duke’s own infantry and cavalry, which were charged with protecting Northumberland during the wars of the early 19th century. There is also the Museum of the Fencibles of Northumberland. The castle, incidentally, also serves as a teaching campus for students from the University of St. Cloud, Minnesota and there is also a large play area with a medieval theme for children called Knights’ School. There is also the usual gift shop and cafeteria… it all makes for a good visit. For more information, seeAlnwick Castle.
From journal Alnwick Castle and Gardens
Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
July 1, 2002
The castle was probably built shortly after the Norman conquest and was acquired by the Percy family early in the 14th century The fourth Lord Percy became the First Earl of Northumberland and the political power of the family was at its height in national terms in the 14th and 15th centuries. They seemed to find no difficulty in forming alliances with the Scottish kings when it suited but Percy played in important role in the campaign to transfer the throne from Richard 2 to Henry 4 although, as Shakespeare has depicted in Henry the Fourth part 1, htis did not stop his son, harry Hotspur, from being a prominent rebel against Henry 4.
The second earl, reconciled to the crown was the pillar of the defence of England against the Scots and he took the Lancastrian side in the Wars of the Roses, being killed in an early battle.
The third Earl, [since they were all called Henry this is the only way of distinguishing between them]was a prominent Lancastrian, who died at the battle of Towton in 1460. For a tie his title and property went to the brother of the Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker but as Warwick increasingly became a threat to the throne the son of the third became the Fourth Earl about 1470.
He was now a prominent Yorkist and fought for the Crown against Warwick, successfully. He was regarded as a supporter by the last Yorkist King, Richard 3 but something was strange at the battle of Bosworth where he is thought to have substantially contributed to Richard's defeat by not bringing in the rearguard at an appropriate time. Interestingly the website of the castle fails to mention Bosworth at all. No 4 was murdered in 1489.
Although the succeeding earls were extremely important in the North and still played a part in national politics, the great age of the Peers was coming to its end as the Tudors built up the supreme power of the Crown.
The gardens are also magnificent and owe a lot to 'Capability' Brown.
If you are dubious about whether the family will let you go, relax. Alnwick was the set for Harry Potter and the Philosopher,s Stone!
From journal Newcastle, Northumberland, NORTH England