Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dacre & Dunstanburgh - Contrasting Medieval Castles

Dacre Castle (left)

One of the smallest medieval castles we have ever seen! Built in 1313 near Greystoke in Cumbria. The Dacre family was one of the most powerful Norman families in Cumbria and built a number of castles including this one.

Still intact and inhabitable - still lived in today in fact. This castle came up for rental during 2009.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Only ruins left of this once magnificent medieval castle. Built on an ancient site, believed to have been occupied since prehistoric times! Construction took place in the early 1300's (around the time of Dacre Castle's construction). Located on the very top of a basalt crag on the Northumberland coast. The famous English painter W. M. Turner visited the castle and painted it on several occasions. Having been there and seen the breathtaking views, it's easy to imagine the impression this castle would make on a creative artist such as Turner.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Medieval Castles in 2009

During the course of this year we have visited and photographed a number of medieval castles in the Border region that lies between England and Scotland. It is an area that has seen many battles for power over the centuries and is therefore littered with fortresses many of which date back to medieval times and some such as Carlisle Castle having origins even further back - to Roman times.

Carlisle Castle (Cumbria England)
With over 900 years of history. Architecturally fascinating and reputed to be haunted!

Naworth Castle (Cumbria England)
A small, privately owned medieval castle dating back to the early 14th century.

Dacre Castle (Cumbria England)
An even smaller castle, again privately owned which was up for rental at the time we visited.

Dunstanburgh Castle (Northumberland, England)
Castle ruins in one of the most outstanding locations you could ever dream of! Located high on a promintery overlooking the sea. Breathtaking views once you reach it and look down on the surrounding countryside. Legends abound about this castle and it is reputed to be haunted.

Threave Castle (Scotland)
Ruins of a 13th century castle built in a unique location - on an island in the middle of the river Dee.

Hermitage Castle (Scotland)
Another unique location for a medieval castle - this was far from romantic though. A much more desolate location. Castle reputed to be haunted.

Photographs of each of the above will be published in subsequent blog posts.

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