© Mr Steve Miller
BAMBURGH, BERWICK UPON TWEED, NORTHUMBERLAND
Mr Steve Miller
22 February 2006
04 January 1952
Date of last amendment:
04 January 1952
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BAMBURGH BAMBURGH VILLAGE
NU 13 NE
4/28 Bamburgh Castle
Castle, divided into apartments. C12; ruinous when acquired by Lord Crewe in
1704 and made habitable after his death by Dr. Sharpe, the trustee of the
charitable trust endowed by his will. Acquired by Lord Armstrong, who had
extensive restoration and rebuilding of high quality by C.J. Ferguson, 1894-
1904. Squared sandstone and ashlar.
A huge castle, c.¼ mile long and covering 8 acres on a volcanic outcrop in
extremely dramatic-situation. It has C12 keep and 3 wards.
Main entrance on east side is largely C12 with rounded towers flanking tunnel-
vaulted archway. Inside, high walls protect approach to inner gateway which
has C12 vault but is largely C19 above.
East ward: Extensive buildings by Ferguson on south side, incorporating
medieval masonry (cf interior); these include Captain's Lodge and King's Hall
in elaborate Perpendicular style. Buildings left of these, also by Ferguson
in more restrained early Tudor style. In centre, ruins of C12 chapel with
Keep, between east and west wards: high, multi-moulded plinth; C12 ground-
floor doorway with 2 round arches and 2 orders of renewed columns. Broad
angle pilasters rise as higher turrets; battlemented parapet; many round-
headed windows, mainly of the C18.
West ward has 2 gatehouses; the Smith Gate on north-east is largely C19; the
Neville tower on north-west incorporates medieval vault and masonry. Extensive
C19 apartments along south side in Tudor style, ending on right in round clock
tower which is medieval in lower parts. West side has late C19 stables, 5 bays
with octagonal corner towers.
Outer ward to west contains the windmill (q.v.) and extensive fragments of
medieval curtain wall.
Interior: Keep; ground floor vaulted with 2 parallel tunnel vaults on huge
square piers; mural stair to 1st floor; armoury, possibly originally a chapel
with vaulted apse on east side; groin-vaulted ceiling. Captain's Lodge: C14
barrel-vaulted basement (now the shop) with 10 chamfered transverse ribs; all
work above by Ferguson, including vaulted lobby and staircase and fine
cantilevered stair with Art Nouveau balusters. Kings Hall and Cross Hall, on
site of medieval hall, the 3 service doors of which remain: Perpendicular style
with 2 large oriels, huge fireplace with joggled lintel, panelled overmantel
and stone tracery above. 6-bay false hammerbeam roof, elaborately carved in
teak. Much Arts and Crafts detail including window recesses down sides of
hall; screens passage and musicians' gallery. Former pantry, buttery and
kitchen remain. Pantry and buttery have high, pointed tunnel vaults. The
kitchen has 3 huge segmental-arched fireplaces and 4 pointed-arched medieval
doorways, 2 now blocked.
Northumberland County History; Vol. I.
History of the King's Works: Brown, Colvin & Taylor: H.M.S.O. 1963.