Built on a basalt outcrop, Bamburgh Castle was known to the native Britons as Din Guardi and had been the capital of the British Kingdom of Bryneich from the realm’s foundation in c.420 until 547, the year of the first written reference to the castle. In that year the citadel was captured by the Anglo-Saxon ruler Ida of Bernicia (Bryneich) and became Ida’s seat. It was briefly retaken by the Britons from his son Hussa during the war of 590 before being relieved later the same year.
His grandson Æðelfriþ passed it on to his wife Bebba, from whom the early name Bebanburgh was derived. The Vikings destroyed the original fortification in 993.
The Normans built a new castle on the site, which forms the core of the present one. William II (Rufus) unsuccessfully besieged it in 1095 during a revolt supported by its owner, Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland. After Robert was captured, his wife continued the defence until coerced to surrender by the king’s threat to blind her husband.
Bamburgh then became the property of the reigning English monarch. Henry II probably built the keep. As an important English outpost, the castle was the target of occasional raids from Scotland. In 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, it became the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery, at the end of a nine-month siege by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.
It is an awesome place, breathing and oozing history every single second. And I want to go back there.