Alnwick Castle has been home to the Percy family since 1309 when Henry Lord Percy purchased Alnwick Castle moving the family north from Yorkshire. It is the second largest inhabited castle in England.

The earliest mention of Alnwick Castle in the history books appears soon after 1096 when Yves de Vescy became baron of Alnwick and erected the earliest parts of the Castle.

The Castle was first restored, primarily as a fortress, by the 1st Lord Percy of Alnwick in the early 1300’s and portions of this restoration remain today, including the Abbot’s Tower, the Middle Gateway and the Constable’s Tower.

Since then generations of Percys have continued to make their mark. During the late 17th century the Castle fell into decay until Elizabeth Seymour and her husband Hugh Smithson, later to become the first Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, took up the challenge and turned it into a family residence of “gothick” style with the help of architects such as Robert Adam and the landscape designer, Capability Brown.

Algernon, Fourth Duke later replaced the 18th century “gothick”, employing the architect Anthony Salvin.

Since then modern comforts have been added, and Alnwick Castle was one of the first homes in the North East to have electricity. Run by a recently restored hydro electric system installed in 1889, there was enough power produced to run 100 electric lamps.

When I walked past the garden I must admit to feeling a little regret at not having time to visit it as well. So near but so far… Well there is always next time isn’t there?

Alnwick Castle from the Bridge

Standing Guard

Castle Defences

15 Comments CherryPie on Nov 25th 2009

15 Responses to “Alnwick Castle”

  1. ubermouth says:

    There’s just something about castles, isn’t there?

  2. Andrew Scott says:

    That view of the castle from the bridge is what me and my missus enjoyed on the first bleary-eyed morning of our marriage (late morning, by the time we made it outside) and that was on the 7th of August 1977. It all looks much the same (as do we, of course :) Thanks for the memory.

    • CherryPie says:

      What a wonderful view to wake up to on the morning after your marriage :-) The first time I saw it, I found it quite awe inspiring.

      So glad I brought back some happy memories for you :-)

  3. yes, agree with you there, what is it about castles?
    I suppose they’re romantic as long as you were on the ‘right’ side of the wall. :)

    good post, Cherry, thanks. :)
    (Interesting about the hydro-electric)

    • CherryPie says:

      Yes I had forgotten that it was lit by hydro-electric, before I wrote the post. The famous place in the area for hydro-electrics is Cragside.

      Glad you found the post interesting :-)

  4. Claudia says:

    They say that your home is a castle. Well…mine certainly doesn’t look like that! Alnwick has a grayish, fortress-like look. But it’s also imbued with a mysterious, appealing aura. Great photos, CherryPie.

    • CherryPie says:

      The inside of this castle is quite warm and homely. It is still lived in too, which is good :-)

      I like the way the current Duke and Duchess have made the place interesting and welcoming for visitors. The revenues enable the castle to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

  5. jameshigham says:

    There’s quite a history to the Percy family.

  6. sally says:

    you visit some lovely castles/ houses just like i go on some lovely walks :-)

  7. Phidelm says:

    Gorgeous place – thanks for the visit, as have always wanted to go there. Extraordinary continuity to its history as well, which is rare for such buildings … Look forward to your next visit (and Hotspur!).

  8. [...] my last post on Alnwick Castle I had a special request for some Hotspur. So here he [...]