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Bamburgh Castle is probably the finest castle in England. It is perched on a basalt outcrop on the very edge of the North Sea at Bamburgh, Northumberland. It commands stunning views of the Farne Islands, Holy Island and land'ward to the Cheviot hills
The castle has been extensively restored, first by Lord Crewe in the 1750's and more recently by the first Lord Armstrong at the end of the 19th century. The castle continues to be the home of the Armstrong family. A printable version of A short History of the Castle is provided by clicking this link.
The castle is open to day visitors and parties of 15 or more, from April to October inclusive. Bamburgh Castle is licensed for civil weddings, providing unsurpassed photo opportunities. The Armstrong Museum and Bamburgh Castle Aviation Artefacts Museum (BCAAM) are housed in the old laundry building in the north ward of the castle. The Armstrong museum details the life of the first Baron Armstrong, through his work as an engineer. Hydraulics, ships, aircraft and arms were some of the many engineering fields in which Lord Armstrong excelled.
In the same building can be found relics of aviation from its beginnings to the present. Casualties from last two world wars make up a large percentage of the exhibit's in the Bamburgh Castle Aviation Artefacts Museum (BCAAM)
is principally about the activities of the members of the “Bamburgh Research Project” an archaeological research project, set up in 1996 to investigate the archaeology of the Bamburgh area. Prior to this Dr Brian Hope-Taylor excavated at Bamburgh during two season, 1960-62 and there is a report of this dig, but there is little detail given. Another dig in the westward between 1969 and 1974 which produced the Anglo-Saxon coins, as far as is known, was not written up. Until early August 2001 the few known artifacts, like the “beast” and strap ends and coins were those in the castles museum room. The collection of bones and other artifacts unearthed by the Hope-Taylor dig was discovered when members of the Bamburgh Research Project opened a disused storeroom and found them just as they had been left some 27 years ago. More will appear here and on the Projects web site when the contents of the store have been analysed.
In 1998 an excavation just to the east of the castle was undertaken to establish the exact whereabouts of an ancient burial ground at the Bowl Hole. Having established the location the excavation continued during the 1999 season and then again in the 2000 season. During this period the BBC’s “Meet the Ancestors” program became involved with the post excavation process and made the program, which was screened on 5th February 2001. A geophysical survey was carried out during the summer of 1997-1998 by Phil Howard of Durham University and has produced some amazing results. Magnetometry was used in the north ward but was rather disappointing in the results obtained, a few circular anomalies were found in the southern part of the survey are which could prove to be pits of archaeological origin. A resistivity survey of the inner ward lawn has shown some linear features that could turn out to be wall lines of buildings.