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.
Area Attractions Click on
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 trained.
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
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 the Scots.
1090s - the earliest parts of Alnwick
Castle were built for Ivo de Vesci, a
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 times.
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 in England.
1345 - the Percy family gained control of
Warkworth Castle 7 miles southeast,
with them extending that Castle into a mighty
fortress as well.
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 England.
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 Scots.
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
Plot to kill King James I, with the
Cousin killed and the Earl imprisoned in the
Tower of London.
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
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
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.