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CastleUK Blog 2013

Castle UK Blog Page July 2013This is the place where I record and then archive my monthly updates and what's new in our hunt for castles UK.

In July we had a 4 day castle hunt in Northumberland, well it was more of lets find a place to live and visit the castles on the way hunt. We have reached a crossroads and have no wish to stop where we are, so it's a new direction for us. My place of work is closing down next year, that means early retirement for me because the Castle Spotter was retiring next year anyway. Full time castle hunters but its where to live, why not head to the sea and be near lots of castles and bastles, in the big open space that's called Northumberland.
We head up the A1 to Newcastle upon Tyne and go through the Tyne Tunnel, heading for Seaton Delaval Hall, it's near the coast just above Whitley Bay. This is the starting point for our hunt, there was an earthwork castle and a later tower come manor house at Seaton Delaval but it's site is now lost. I wanted to snap the hall, for a site of castle picture but when we got there we found it was National Trust and open, so in we went.
We head to the sea and turn north, Blyth is the first town we want to look over, it's not far but the place is too big so we cross it off the list. Next up is Bothal Castle, it's inland to the north-west down in a valley, Bothal is a place in peace we could live here but it's way out of our league, so we get a look of this fine castle and move on to Cambois but we're not looking for this sort of place. Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is next, it's our red hot favourite and its church tower was defensible, so with high hopes we park up. It's a nice little place with a large sandy bay, we look from the outside, at house for sale and we called in to a pub. There are pints of beer lined up on the bar and the barman says I've just pull them off after clearing the lines, you can have one for a £1, this could be my place to live. We go to the church to get a picture, it's on the northern headland with a great view of the bay, it's a lovely sunny day but the place just doesn't feel right, it's a pity, we cross it off the list.
We go past Lynemouth, which is a no and Cresswell is out of our league but we get a picture of its good looking tower. The castle mound and chapel at Widdington will have to wait until later, with time ticking with head to Amble, we park and have a look around. The little main street is nice but we didn't find the harbour, we left thinking Amble is a maybe and we need to have another look. Warkworth with its castle, a rare bridge tower and a defensible church tower is a mile away, it's a lovely little town but it's another one which is way out of our league, so we move on, it's time to get to Seahouses. Back to the friendly Bamburgh Castle Inn and the room with a balcony overlooking the harbour, with views of the Farne Islands, it's still a hot sunny day and we sit on the balcony with a beer, it's good to be back up north. We look at houses in Seahouses and Alnwick and land on Inner Farne Island to get up close to Prior Castells Tower and them puffins, a bird we've never seen. Our stop in and around Seahouses makes us want to live in Northumberland even more, it's just where and when, we will just have to keep on looking. I've posted pictures of the trip on my CastleUK Facebook page, go take a look.

For more information, click on the pictures.

Warkworth Castle OS 81/NU 247-058 Northumberland England WallpaperWarkworth Castle OS 81/NU 247-058 Northumberland England Wallpaper, is my August wallpaper and the picture was taken in July 2013, looking north from the bank of the Coquet river. Its magnificent cross-shaped keep crowns a hilltop above the River Coquet, once home to the powerful Percy family who now reside in Alnwick Castle. Warkworth Castle was and remains one of the largest and most impressive fortresses in North East England, it was once home to 'Harry Hotspur', hero of many Border ballads and the bane of Scots raiders.
TarsetHill House Bastle, OS 80/NY 771-898 Northumberland England.
Was a rectangular early to mid 16th century stone two storey defensible farmhouse. Standing on a low promontory that commands the Tarset Burn valley, Haugh-Hill House was mentioned in 1552, raided in 1583 by the Scottish Armstrong family and held by John Hunter in the mid 17th century. The site is freely accessible in daylight hours.
Visible as earthworks and grass covered walls, the Reivers Trail footpath is a great walk to take, it was a bit wet when we visited but we still walked the walk.
TarsetWaterhead Bastle, OS 80/NY 767-901 Northumberland England.
Was a rectangular mid 16th century stone two storey defensible farmhouse. The earthwork mound of 'Waterheyd' which is listed in the Order of the Day Watch for North Tynedale in 1552, was rediscovered lying south-east of a 19th century cottage. The lower part of the south-east gable wall, is part of a later field boundary and its only feature is a central ventilation slit. The site is visible from the Reivers Trail footpath.
Visible as an earthwork and a boundary wall, I think putting the old caravan in the way is a nice touch, the Reivers Trail footpath is a great walk to take, it was a bit wet when we visited but we still walked the walk.

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