| CastleUK Blog 2013
This is the place where I record and then archive my monthly updates and what's new in our hunt for castles UK.
In November, I got my leaving date in writing, it's January 2014, so it's up the north-east coast, above and below Newcastle, just to check we haven't missed a gem. Mummy lives in Bridlington, so we start there, we stop the night at the Oakwheel pub, Burniston just north of Scarborough, it's a little cracker and we eat the best food of the week. Next morning it's Whitby and we walk under clear blue sky's through the Mulgrave Estate Woodland to Old Mulgrave Castle. Its been over 15 years since our first visit and the castle is further into the woods than we remembered but it's a lovely Sunday morning and we just talk as we go along, it's just so good to be away. The castle was consolidated from 1995-99 but it's not changed much, they don't dig to find any more, just repair what can been seen, we walk the walk, get some pictures and head back, it'll be past 12 o'clock when we get to Sandsend, the Hart Inn will be open, it's great when a plan comes together.
We stop in the Angel Hotel, it's a Wetherspoon pub which only opened in March and already it's our third stay, for breakfast we go next door to the Singing Kettle for a full Yorkshire (great food, large portions and cheap) plus a mug of tea or coffee and a round of bread and butter. Very full we head north-west for Saltburn and Marske by-the-sea, both are very nice but for us not a gem, Redcar is too big, so we cross the Tees, go past Hartlepool and head for Seaham. At Dawdon is a house full of original features, with three large bedrooms, just the place with want but it's the right house in the wrong place, it's a pity but you need to look to find out and there is the ruins of Dalden Tower nearby, so all's not lost. Here are the remains of a medieval fortified house and related earthworks, located in a shallow steep sided valley but there's a large group of primary school children around the ruins, which makes it hard to get my pictures, so we don't stop long. We head north and stop in Tynemouth for a break but the castle's closed, we check out Cullercoats and Whitley Bay but cross them off the list, so that's it no gems found, we go to Seahouses and check in to the friendly Bamburgh Castle Inn, it's like being back home.
Next day we take a boat trip to the Farne Islands, most of the birds have gone but the Grey Seals with pups are back, it's great being all at sea. The wind makes it choppy and we get wet from spray on the way back but it's great fun and this time I manage to get Prior Castells Tower on Inner Farne and Bamburgh Castle in the same picture. Cold, we have a warm drink in the hotel, before going to Barter Books, a secondhand bookshop in Alnwick's old Victorian railway station and we have to look at the dirty bottles in the dirty window of the Dirty Bottle Shop but the Ye Olde Cross pub is now closed.
On our last hunt we walk on Embleton Bay sands to Dunstanburgh Castle which is closed when we get there but it always is, we go to Amble for a last look round and take pictures of Coquet Island Tower, which is now a lighthouse. Leaving the best for last we walk Harbottle Castle, its stone walls were the key to Redesdale from 1200 to 1600 and is possibly the only castle to defend the realm for 400 years.
New for December are 2 defensible church's and an all at sea wallpaper.
I've posted pictures of our north-east coast castle hunt on the CastleUK Facebook page, go take a look.
For more information, click on the pictures or the Facebook link
|Bamburgh Castle & Prior Castells Tower, OS 75/NU 183-351/NU 219-360
It's the wallpaper for December and the picture was taken in November 2013.
It looks west from the middle of the Farne Islands, with Prior Castells Tower
on Inner Farne and Bamburgh Castle on the mainland.
|Church of St John the Baptist Edlingham, OS 81/NU 114-091 Northumberland England.
Is an 11th century stone Norman church, which was defensible. The original entrance doorway into the nave is in the west wall, secured by a draw-bar slot it's now the only way to entered the strong 14th century west tower. Also for defence, the ground floor of the tower is lit by one small rebated southern lancet and a ladder is the only way to access to the upper levels, lit by slatted chamfered loops.
The site is freely accessible in daylight hours and you park by the church when visiting Edlingham Castle.
|Church of St Lawrence Warkworth, OS 81/NU 247-062 Northumberland England.
Is an early 12th century stone Norman church, which was probably defensible. There are high windows in the original north wall of the nave and the chancel has two stone rib-vaulted roofs. A small doorway and spiral stair rises to a narrow, stepped mural passage, which leads to a chamber above the chancel.
The site is freely accessible in daylight hours, fortified castle, church and bridge, Warkworth is a great village to visit.