August 29th, 2010


Holiday. 2, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Alnwick castle is the ancestral home of the powerful Percy family. It was used as a set for Robin of Sherwood, and other films, including Harry Potter.

The most renowned of the Percys was Harry Hotspur, who supported Henry Bolingbroke when he usurped the throne of Richard II, then turned against Bolingbroke, was defeated and killed in battle.


The barbican is original.


An arrow slit.


We were able to walk on a small part of the battlements (left).

View from the castle.

Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take photographs of the interior of the castle. The state rooms are sumptuous, with beautiful furnishings, ceilings, and silk on the walls. There was an interesting collection of ancient artifacts collected by the Percy family, including pottery, weapons and jewelry.

Holiday. 3, Preston Tower, Northumberland

After Alnwick castle we went to Preston Tower.

Preston Tower is the remains (with some Victorian restoration of the top stones, and the addition of a clock!) of a mediaeval and later pele tower. Pele towers were fortified dwellings built on both sides of the Scottish-English border to protect people from rievers (raiders) of both nationalities. They had thick walls with tiny slit windows.



Rampart and tower stairs.


A room in the tower as it would have looked when lived in.

View from the tower.