Alnwick Castle is in the Town of
Alnwick in northeast England,
30 miles south of Berwick Upon Tweed, 35
miles north of Newcastle.
Alnwick Castle was built from the
1090s, soon after the Norman Conquest of
England, for Ivo de Vesci, a Norman
Nobleman. The Percy family bought the
Castle in the 1250s, still the owners
today, second largest inhabited Castle in
England, after Windsor Castle.
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The image top is from the south side, the
entrance where the Gardens are situated.
Inside the Outer Walls is an area used for
entertainment such as Archery, Harry Potter
Lessons, and Medieval Battles are staged now
The tour of the State Rooms is pretty
special, similar to Windsor Castle, no photos
allowed of the State Rooms though. The State
Rooms have been used in TV such as Downtown
Harry Potter films - the Philosopher's Stone
& the Chamber of Secrets - were filmed here
in 2000 and 2001. Broomstick Training takes
place most days where Harry Potter was
Alnwick Castle Gardens are on the south side
of the Castle with a large Cafe and huge Water
Feature. The Water Feature was completed in
2001, with the rest of the Gardens and large
Pavilion completed in 2006, claimed to have
cost over £40 million.
Alnwick Castle History
400s - the Romans departed England,
abandoning Hadrian's Wall that runs between
Carlisle and Newcastle. The area of modern day
Northumberland, containing Alnwick, is on the
Scottish side of the Wall.
From this time, England and Scotland were
made up of a number of Kingdoms.
1066 - the Normans, mix of French and
Vikings from northern France, took control of
England, building stone Castles around the
country so England could be ruled by one
This was also a time Kingdoms of Scotland
were being merged under one King as well, with
Scotland claiming Northumberland belonged to
1090s - the earliest parts of Alnwick Castle
were built for Ivo de Vesci, a Norman.
1136 - Alnwick Castle was captured by King
David I of Scotland. The Castle was then fought
over between the English and Scots a number of
1237 - the Treaty of York
outlined the Border between Scotland and
England to what is seen today, ending the Scots
claim that Northumbria was part of
1250s - the Percy family bought Alnwick
Castle, becoming the Earls of Northumberland,
controlling the area for Kings, and trying to
keep the Scots under control along the Border
between England and Scotland.
The Percy family then began extending the
original Castle into one of the largest Castles
1345 - the Percy family gained control of
Castle 7 miles southeast, with them
extending that Castle into a mighty fortress as
1360s late - Henry Percy
(Hotspur) became the most famous of this
family, leading military campaigns for English
Kings into Scotland and Europe. After disputes
with English Royals, Hotspur was killed in
1403, fighting the forces of King Henry IV of
1572 - Thomas Percy,
7th Earl of Northumberland, was beheaded after
being involved in a plot to overthrow Queen
Elizabeth I. A number of Earls in the north of
England wanted to have the Protestant Elizabeth
replaced by the Catholic Mary Queen of
The execution of Thomas Percy almost led to
their Property and Land being taken by the
Crown, but his descendants managed to keep
1605 - the 9th Earl of Northumberland and
his Cousin were involved in the failed Gunpowder Plot
to kill King James I, with the Cousin killed
and the Earl imprisoned in the Tower of
1700s - the Percy Family were back in
control of Alnwick Castle, having extensive
work carried out to make it one of the most
impressive Castles in England.
1750 - Alnwick Castle Gardens were laid out
on the south side of the Castle.
1800s mid - further work was carried out on
Alnwick Castle, leading to how it looks today,
mainly a mix of the 1700s and 1800s work.
1950 - Alnwick Castle was first opened to
the Public as a Tourist Attraction.
2000 - the Harry Potter film - the
Philosopher's Stone, was partially filmed at
2001 - the Harry Potter film - the Chamber
of Secrets, was partially filmed at Alnwick
Castle, leading to a vast increase in
2001 - the large Water Feature was completed
in the Alnwick Castle Gardens.
2006 - the Alnwick Gardens and large
Pavilion with a Cafe were completed, leading to
the Castle and Gardens being one of the most
impressive places in the UK to visit.
Today - the Percy family still own Alnwick
Castle, with Ralph Percy,
12th Duke of Northumberland, and his
descendants, intending to keep control for a
few centuries yet.