(NB This post was originally published at https://british-castles.com/alnwick-castle/)
Alnwick Castle – or the exterior of Hogwarts to Harry Potter fans – is a medieval castle in Northumberland.
It is a big-time tourist attraction – especially now with wizard fans – and one of the biggest inhabited castles in England. It’s the home to the Percy family who’ve owned the castle for 700 years.
Where Is Alnwick Castle?
Alnwick Castle is located in Alnwick in the English country of Northumberland. This castle is less than a mile away from the A1. It is also well signposted.
When Was It Built And By Who?
The building of the Alnwick castle is one of a kind. Thus, it becomes essential to know who built it.
The castle was initially constructed in the contemporary Norman form: a so called Motte and Bailey castle. A Motte is a central mound on which a keep is built; a Bailey is the walled courtyard surrounding it.
It was built by Ivo de Vesci. Vesci was a nobleman with titles and lands from William The Conquerer. Some reports say that Robert Adem built the castle as the architect.
The whole fortification was a rather average construction in complexity. Henry Percy later bought it in 1309, which led to its establishment as an elaborate fortification and home.
What Is The History Of Castle?
The history of this castle goes up to 950 years starting from the Norman Period and is closely linked to the history of the Percy Family.
The main purpose of the building was to protect the border, showcase social status and establish power for the new Norman Barons in the country. Therefore, you’ll find many castle boats and defences (inclusive of 2-meter thick walls, seven-metre deep moat, two baileys, and thick oak gates).
The then king of Scotland, William the Lion, attacked the castle in 1173 and 1174.
It has been the home of the Percy family for about 700 years now. At the moment, it is home to the 12th duke and duchess and their four children.
How To See The Castle Today?
To see the castle, you will have first to book your visit. Post-COVID, there are set limitations to visit the castle, and they take special measures to increase safety.
For booking the tickets, you will have to go online. The castle has staggered entry time slots, so keep that in mind. The castle is usually open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm in the summer. The time slots are available every 10 minutes. The final entry slot is at 2:30 pm.
It is better not to arrive earlier than your timeslot to prevent any overcrowding. The booking confirmation is a must before you enter inside.
If, in any case, you feel unwell, you should not visit the castle to avoid any mishaps. You can change your visit timings till 10:30 am on the very same day of your Alnwick Castle visit.
You can also get a free care place for people with a relative with disabilities. Do not forget your proof entitlement on the visit day.
Directions To Alnwick Castle
Here’s how to get to the castle (from Alnwick’s official site):
Alnwick Castle is less than a mile off the A1 and is well signposted. The main castle car park is situated just off Denwick Lane (B1340), and the postcode for the car park is NE66 1YU. A parking charge of £3 per vehicle applies for the day, and the car park is open from 9am during the castle open season. Please note only card payments are currently accepted.
The East Coast mainline from London to Edinburgh stops at Alnmouth station, which is four miles from Alnwick. A taxi or bus (X18 or X20) can be taken from Alnmouth station (a journey of approximately 10 minutes). Plan your journey here.
There are bus stops and a bus station in the centre of Alnwick. The X15, X18 and X20 buses all run from Newcastle, departing from and via the city’s Haymarket bus station. It is approximately a five minute walk to the castle from the bus station.
Plan your journey here.
BY AIR AND SEAhttps://www.alnwickcastle.com/visit/find-us-and-faqs
Newcastle International Airport and the Port of Tyne are 35 miles away.
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