The Armstrong family have owned this castle since 1894, but its origins go right back to the 5th century.
The very first building on the Bamburgh Castle site belonged to Celtic Britons and was probably built at some point during the fifth century. The Anglo-Saxon kings owned it for several hundred years until it was destroyed by Vikings in 993. Then, when the Normans arrived, they built a new castle. In 1095 it became the property of the English monarch. James I gave the castle to Claudius Forster in 1610 and the castle passed into private hands from then on, but there wasn’t enough money to support it and it began to fall into a ruin. Though several attempts were made to restore it, this was unsuccessful until 1894, when it was bought by Victorian industrialist William Armstrong. He sadly died before the project was completed, but his great nephew, the second Lord Armstrong, decided to finish the restoration works.
You can visit the opulent state rooms in the castle building, including the Great Hall, which was built in the 19th century on a medieval site and has a teak-beamed ceiling and plenty of portraits. The 12th-century keep holds armour and weapons from across the centuries, including a 15th-century bow. Going back a bit further in time, there’s an archaeology museum showcasing a lot of the Anglo-Saxon finds from the area, and the Armstrong and Aviation Artefacts Museum which will give you more information about the inventor who rescued the castle from dereliction. It’s right by the beach so you can pop down for a walk after your castle visit.