The North of England has along history of warfare and skirmishing both across the border and with each other. The most famous fortification of course being the 73 miles of Hadrian’s Wall, built around 122AD, supposedly to keep out the barbarian Picts. But there have been battles and skirmishes ever since right up to the C18 when border Reivers were raiding cattle.
That history has given rise to a wealth of fortified houses from the great Castles across the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria, such as Alnwick, Raby and Langley to the more humble fortified farmhouses, Pele Towers and Bastles.
A reasonably complete list can be seen in the English Castles Wikipedia entry that are reasonably near. Search for Northumbria as well.
Closest and worth visiting are:
- Auckland Castle – Seat of the Bishops of Durham
- Aydon Castle – English Heritage
- Raby Castle – Home of Lord Barnard
- Barnard Castle – English Heritage
- Bowes Castle – English Heritage
- Durham Castle – University of Durham
- Hexham Moot Hall – Civic Amenity and Gallery in Hexham
- Langley Castle – now a hotel– and offering battlement tours daily at 10.15am
- Lambton Castle – now a wedding venue and home of the Earl of Durham
- Lumley Castle – now a hotel and home of the Earl of Scarborough
- Prudhoe Castle – English Heritage
- Richmond Castle – English Heritage
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