Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Alnwick castle is the historical and current seat of the Percy family, who were given the property in 1309. The castle now includes a lovely set of gardens and the state rooms all included in a rather expensive ticket price. The set up is very similar to warwick castle but in my opinion not quite upto their standards, having said that it was a very nice day.
I wish a bit more could have been made of the sieges and history involved with the castle and Percys. i did struggle to find information on how the castle had evolved over time and the role of differnet lords in the events of their times. The castle was besieged by the scots in 1093 and 1174 which resulted in the death and capture of the scottish king respectively! a further attack by scottish raiders did partially cature the castle and lead to the rescue of prisoners in 1577.
The difficulty with some of the acces to history may have something to do with the Percys always being on the wrong side of the crown whether it be because of assisting the dethronement of Richard II and the crowning of Henry IV, Henry Hotspur rebelling and dying at Shrewsbury 1403, supporting the lancastrian cause and losing two heads of the family at 1st St. Albans (second earl) and Towton (third earl), followed by a third (the fourth earl) killed by peasants about tax collection (following his standing idle during Bosworth and not supporting Richard III) or conspiring with the gunpowder plotters.
They do have a good area for kids where you can dress as a knight or lady etc overlooked by a rather dramaic statue of Henry (Hotspur) Percy. I have always suspected that Hotspur was an arrogant aggressive probably not very likeable man and this model does seem to get some of this over.
Anyway not a bad day out and i suppose any cost is fair when you think how much these places must cost to run.

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