Warkworth Castle Reviews
It's a good enough experience, just don't set aside an entire day for it! May 27, 2014
It's sometimes ALL about the big guns, isn't it? And as beautiful a Castle as this may be, it often gets overlooked amongst the giants that are Alnwick and Bamburgh. But that doesn't in any way make this less inferior to both!
When the castle was founded is uncertain: traditionally its construction has been ascribed to Prince Henry of Scotland in the mid-12th century, but it may have been built by King Henry II of England when he took control of England's northern counties. In the late 19th century, the dukes refurbished Warkworth Castle. Since 1984 English Heritage has cared for the site and proudly display it at the entrance!
Unlike Alnwick and Bamburgh Castles, there are no State rooms here, nothing on display. So yes, you could make the argument that this is just a bunch of ruins. So why visit? It's the unusual shape of the enclosure amongst so many things that leave a lasting impression...
The keep is at the north end, overlooking the town, with the bailey to the south. There are four towers with the Grey Mare's Tail Tower attached to the east wall. Against the east curtain wall was a stable. In the northern half of the bailey, aligned east–west, was an unfinished 15th-century collegiate church with the kitchen right next to it. Apart from the north side, the castle was surrounded by a moat. The main hall was connected to a little hidden passage way which was apparently used to transport wine to the Kings, and was later used as a hideaway during invasions.
The lady at the counter gave us the audio guide but given the paucity of time, I couldn't follow it, but rather rush through most of it.
All in all, it was a great pleasant day out and I'm really glad I made the decision to visit this place. As I wrote at the start, whilst it's no Alnwick or Bamburgh, it's still equally amazing!
Part of the England (Northumberland and London) travel blog
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Children's Paradise Nov 05, 2010
If it were possible to devise a numericaL value for the attractiveness of an English county and divide it by the number of visitors, Northumberland would have one of the top ratings. Within Northumberland, Warkworth is a place that should not be missed. The village, with the river Coquet winding around it has largely retained its medieval plan.
The castle dates back to the 12th century, though it was considerably upgraded and strengthened between that and the 16th century. It is now owned by English Heritage but was formerly a major seat of the Percy family, still enjoying the Dukedom of Northumberland but now resident at Alnwick, a bit farther north.
Although now largely ruined, it is in a good enough state for children to have great games of 'hide and seek' or to have imaginary sieges and battles.
Part of the list England - (Yorkshire + Devon + Cornwall)