On the Northumberland Coast roughly half way between Berwick and Alnwick. Opposite are the Farne Islands


The village of Bamburgh lies under the shadow of, and in the protection of, the spectacular Bamburgh Castle. It was once a royal burgh and the Fosters are the principal family of the region their influence dating from the time of Henry VIII, when the king granted John Foster large tracts of land in the region for services rendered.

Reivers usually avoided operating in the vicinity of the castle so the villagers were spared the frequent harassment their less fortunate neighbours experienced.  Only when the castle was attacked were they at risk, and even then they could take their few possessions with them to the safety of the castle .Their houses were simple, and if the alarm beacons gave them sufficient warning, they would dismantle the wooden frames of their houses and take them with them.

Not far away along the coast are the Farne Islands a group of hard granite rocks which were a serious hazard to the ships that plied their way along the coast. Ship wrecks were quite common and, particularly in the 16th century, provided the local people with a useful source of income. Many a ship was lured onto the rocks and the cargo plundered by the villagers. Scottish vessels were of particular interest as, occasionally, they might carry an important person who could be kept hostage until payment was made for his release.  The 'Wreckers' were particularly active in the winter months when the weather was bad. A common expression of the fisher folk was: "Let us pray for a good harvest this winter."

Towering over the village, to the east, is the great Castle.  The long high street is lined by a variety of attractive stone built houses and at the far end of the village is the 13th century parish church of St Aidan. Many references to the Foster family can be seen within the church. In the village there is an effigy of young Grace Darling who, in 1838, along with her father, rowed amidst a violent storm to rescue the men of the Forfarshire whose ship had foundered on the nearby rocks.

Today, Bamburgh is a picturesque village catering for a regular influx of visitors. There is a museum to Grace Darling in the village.


Around and about Bamburgh

Bamburgh Castle

Berwick on Tweed

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