49 Interesting Alnwick Castle Facts To Know About This Medieval Castle | Kidadl


49 Interesting Alnwick Castle Facts To Know About This Medieval Castle

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Alnwick Castle was erected in the 11th century to govern and guard the border.

It represents prestige and authority for the country's new Norman nobles. As a result of its historical significance, the castle has several defenses, such as 6.56 ft (2 m) thick walls, a 22.9 ft (7 m) deep moat, two baileys, and massive wood gates.

Alnwick Castle has been utilized as a filming site for a number of films and television programs. Famous movies like 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets', 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone', 'Transformers: The Last Knight', and 'Downton Abbey' were shot in Alnwick castle.

Looking at other facts:

  • In 1173 and 1174, William the Lion, King of Scotland at the time, stormed the fortress. On the second attempt, he was caught and compelled to swear allegiance to King Henry II.
  • The Percy family still resides at the castle. Alnwick Castle is England's second-largest inhabited castle, behind Windsor Castle.
  • In its first five centuries, Castle Alnwick had various restorations, the most significant of which was ordered by Henry Percy, the First Baron of the Percy family.
  • In the 11th century, Yves de Vescy again remodeled it.
  • To this day, the castle is continually being rebuilt in order to conserve and improve this significant historic structure.
  • Lancelot Brown designed the grounds that surround the castle. He is recognized for producing some of England's most magnificent landscapes.

Where is Alnwick castle located?

Alnwick Castle is a castle and country house in Alnwick, Northumberland, England.

  • It is the seat of the 12th Duke of Northumberland. It was established after the Norman invasion.
  • The Alnwick castle has been repaired and remodeled several times by the Percy family.
  • It is a Grade I-listed structure in northern England. Along with the Alnwick Garden, it drew over 800,000 visitors per year in 2012.
  • Alnwick Castle is one of England's largest castle complexes and has served as the historic home of the famed Percy family for 700 years.
  • Alnwick Castle offers a beautiful view of the medieval history of England. Alnwick Castle has thick oak gates.
  • The River Aln runs by the north side of the Castle. A wide valley separates the castle from the town to the south and east. It houses the current Duke and his family from the Percy family.
  • The development of the Alnwick Garden has been started by Jane Percy. A formal garden centered on a cascading fountain adjacent to the castle. The garden is owned by a charitable trust that is independent of the Northumberland Estates.
  • Jacques Wirtz and Peter Wirtz of Wirtz International in Schoten, Belgium, developed the landscape.
  • The first phase of development, which began in October 2001, included the construction of the fountain and the first landscaping of the gardens.
  • A huge 6,000 sq ft (560 sq m) 'treehouse' structure with a café opened in 2004. It has become one of the world's largest treehouses.
  • A special poison garden, which grows plants such as cannabis and opium poppy, was designed in February 2005. This is the first time in history that it was ordered by a duke of a family in Alnwick Castle in Scotland.
  • Sir Michael Hopkins and Buro Happold created a pavilion and tourist center that can house up to 1,000 people, which opened in May 2006.

History Of Alnwick Castle

Established in 1096 by the Norman lord Ivo de Vesci, Alnwick Castle was often bombarded by the Scots in its early days.

  • Culminating in its surrender in 1136 by David I of Scotland, King John ordered the demolition of Alnwick Castle. In 1215, after allegations that Eustace de Vesci, Ivo's great-grandson, was scheming against him, the demolition was not executed.
  • It was sold to the Percy family in the 14th century, who launched extensive building work, developing Alnwick into a major fortress near the Scottish border.
  • The Percys have long been strong yet rebellious participants on the stage of England's history, from political influence and military prowess to scandalous romance and gunpowder planning.
  • Harry 'Hotspur' Percy, a fiery knight immortalized in Shakespeare's play Henry IV. He was one of the family's most renowned members. He died in combat in 1403 while leading a rebellion against Henry IV, and his monument still remains at Alnwick Castle today.
  • Hotspur's father, the First Earl of Northumberland, assisted in the deposition of Richard II, the Seventh Earl of Northumberland, who led the Northern Rising against Henry VIII in 1536, and Thomas Percy, one of the notorious Gunpowder Plotters of 1605.
  • In another beautiful Percy legend, Henry Percy, Sixth Earl of Northumberland, allegedly planned to marry Anne Boleyn. A match that sparked an uproar was eventually annulled before Boleyn married Henry VIII.
  • Castle Alnwick itself witnessed a lot of activity throughout history.
  • Especially during the Wars of the Roses, when it was repeatedly fought over by the Yorkists and Lancastrians until being returned to the Percys after they swore loyalty to Edward IV.
Alnwick Castle has been used in a number of films and television programs including 'Harry Potter'!

What is Alnwick castle famous for?

Alnwick Castle has been used in a number of films and television programs because it provides the ideal environment for bringing medieval castles to life.

  • The first two 'Harry Potter' films, 'Transformers: The Last Knight', 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves', and 'Elizabeth' are among the best-known.
  • It has appeared in two Christmas episodes of the renowned drama series Downton Abbey as the spectacular Brancaster Castle.
  • The interior and exterior of Alnwick Castle were utilized to depict Hogwarts in the first two 'Harry Potter' films.
  • Alnwick Castle is frequently utilized as a shooting location for films and TV shows. 'Becket', 'The Black Adder', 'Ivanhoe', 'Elizabeth', and 'Downton Abbey' are just a few of the shows that have used it. The Medieval castles have been utilized in other Robin Hood adaptations, including 'Robin of Sherwood', 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves', and filmmaker Ridley Scott's 'Robin Hood'. Its most well-known cinematic appearance was in the 'Harry Potter' films, when it appeared in both 'The Philosopher's Stone' and 'The Chamber of Secrets'.
  • The Alnwick Garden spans over 26 acres (10.5 ha) and boasts several distinctive attractions. The Poison Garden, which has become a feature of the garden since 2004, is one of the more fascinating. It comprises a number of harmful and hazardous plants. Nightshade, foxglove, Christmas rose, euphorbia, mandrake, and hemlock are among the more dangerous plants in the garden. To add intrigue to the Poison Garden, a copper snake pours mist into the air. The Duchess intended this area to be a location for people to learn about the terrible side of plants, so she included all of these lethal plants.
  • The castle features a large library with around 16,000 cataloged volumes. This library was founded more than 400 years ago.
  • It includes around 150 rooms, but only six are accessible to the public during guided tours. The State Rooms, Drawing Room, Dining Room, and Library are only a few examples.
  • As of 2021, the castle has appeared in 41 films and television shows.
  • The Alnwick Garden includes an incredible treehouse that you can explore by crossing rope bridges and walkways. There is a restaurant, a bar, and a magnificent fireplace within the treehouse.
  • The current duke and his family reside in the castle, but they only inhabit a portion of it. Throughout the summer, the castle is available to the public. It is the second-largest inhabited castle in England, behind Windsor Castle. Alnwick Castle is still England's seventh most visited stately residence. The statistics have risen dramatically in the last decade.
  • The Newcastle Church High School for Girls was relocated to Alnwick Castle during WWII. Since the war, sections of the castle have been utilized by two different educational institutions: Alnwick College of Education, a teacher training college, from 1945-1977, and St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, as a branch campus as part of their International Study Program, since 1981.
  • Three of the castle's surrounding towers contain special displays.
  • The Postern Tower has an exhibition on the Dukes of Northumberland and their interest in archeology, as well as Pompeii frescoes, Egyptian artifacts, and Romano-British artifacts.
  • Constable's Tower has military exhibits such as the Percy Tenantry Volunteers exhibition, which features local volunteer troops organized to fight Napoleon's anticipated invasion from 1798-1814.
  • The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers Regimental Museum is housed in the Abbot's Tower.
  • The castle's usage as a stand-in for the façade and interior of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films increased popular interest in it.
  • Alnwick Castle's presence in films has influenced the public's perception of what the largest inhabited castle should look like. Its state stands in stark contrast to the great majority of castles in the nation, which are dilapidated and unsuited for human occupancy.

Activities To Do At Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle today also remains the Dukes of Northumberland's residence. The present owner is still a member of the Percy family.

  • Visitors are welcome to tour the castle's outstanding picture collection, chapel, and a variety of museums. They highlight the history of both Alnwick Castle and the surrounding Northumberland area.
  • Ancient artifacts from the family's archeological expeditions, such as Pompeii frescoes and ancient Egyptian treasures, can also be shown.
  • The neighboring Alnwick Garden is also worth a visit, with a poison garden, a cascade fountain, and one of the country's largest treehouse complexes.
  • At present, the Percy family still lives in a part of Alnwick Castle. Living in a castle is not rare in England, especially around Scotland, away from town life.
  • Alnwick has also become renowned as the location of the 'Harry Potter' series film set. So there are seasonal tours and related activities. Kids can enjoy broomstick training and archery.
  • Alnwick Castle is off the A1 in Northumberland and is well signposted, with a parking area on Denwick Lane.
  • The nearest railway station is in Alnmouth, which is a 10-minute drive away, while the nearest bus station is in Alnwick, which is a five-minute walk away.
Written By
Sakshi Thakur

<p>Sakshi is a skilled content writer with extensive experience in the education industry. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for helping others, she has developed a reputation for excellence in academic content writing. She has worked with esteemed professionals such as Mr. Kapil Raj, a professor of History of Science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, further enhancing her knowledge and expertise. Sakshi is well-versed in the latest developments in e-learning and has a deep understanding of how to engage students and make learning fun and accessible. In her spare time, she indulges in her creative passions, including painting, embroidery, and listening to soft music. She also enjoys exploring new cultures and traveling, which helps her broaden her perspectives and inspire her writing. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from Panjab University.</p>

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