Mirror Image, 41 Windsor Terrace, South Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 1YL
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No castle could look more imposing than Bamburgh, a magnificent red sandstone mass which presents a startling site, whether approaching from the North or South. The road takes the motorist directly under its walls on the landward side, while on the other it towers over the sea from a 150 foot precipice. Bamburgh was founded in 547 by King Ida who built a wooden fortification here. His grandson, Ethelfrith, gave it to his wife Bebba and it became known as Bebbenburgh, from which the modern name derives.
Bamburgh Castle was rebuilt in Norman times and by then included a keep, chapel, living quarters and enclosures for the garrsion and for prisoners. Much of the castle was restored and altered in the 18thC by trustees of Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, who had aquired the property after marrying into the Forster family. During the late 18thC, out of Lord Crewe's beneficience, the castle was used as a boarding school to train servant girls, as a surgery and dispensary for the poor. In 1894 the 1st Lord Armstrong bought the castle and it was again extensively restored. From the upper terraces there is a celebrated view of the Farne Islands.
St. Aidan's Church is mainly 13thC with a fine and large chancel. In the churchyard is an elaborate monument to the 19thC heroine of the village, Grace Darling. She was born in the house that is now the village post office, she died at the early age of 27. She was the daughter of the lighthouse keeper on Longstone Light. On September 7th 1838 the Forfarshire was wrecked in a gale and Grace and her father rowed out in the storm to rescue nine survivors. The coble they used is housed in the Grace Darling Museum of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which stands opposite the church.
A Visitors Book is available if you would like to make any comments or requests.
The following pages were designed by MIRROR IMAGE. All photographs taken by Ray Urwin©.
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