ramatic Dunstanburgh Castle was built at a time
when relations between King Edward II and his most powerful baron, Earl Thomas of Lancaster, had
become openly hostile. Lancaster began the fortress in 1313, and the latest archaeological research
carried out by English Heritage indicates that he built it on a far grander scale than was hitherto
recognised, perhaps more as a symbol of his opposition to the king than as a military stronghold.
The innovative gatehouse, for instance, competed with the new royal castles in Wales.
he earl failed to reach Dunstanburgh when his rebellion was
defeated, being taken and executed in 1322. Thereafter the castle passed eventually to John of Gaunt, who
strengthened it against the Scots by converting the great twin towered gatehouse into a keep. The focus of
fierce fighting during the Wars of the Roses, it was twice besieged and captured by Yorkist forces, but
subsequently fell into decay. Its impressive ruins now watch over a headland famous for seabirds.
unstanbugh Castle is owned by The National Trust and entry is free to NT members. The property is
maintained and managed by English Heritage.
How to find us
: Parking in Craster village; approx 1½ miles walk. A charge is payable.
: Arriva 401, 501 Alnwick-Belford with connections from Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle
(passing Metro Haymarket); alight at Craster 1½ miles.
Telephone: 01670 533128 for further details
: Chathill (U), not Sunday, 5 miles from Embleton, 7 miles from Castle; Alnmouth, 7 miles
from Craster, 8 miles from Castle.
: +44 (0)1665 576231
Daily opening times (2019)
1 Apr - 30 Sep: daily 10am - 6pm
2 Sep - 30 Sep: daily 10am - 5pm
1 Oct - 3 Nov: daily 10am - 4pm
4 Nov - 23 Dec: Sat-Sun 10am - 4pm
24 Dec - 25 Dec: Closed
26 Dec - 1 Jan: daily 10am - 4pm
2 Jan - 16 Feb: Sat-Sun 10am - 4pm
17 Feb - 23 Feb: daily 10am - 4pm
24 Feb - 31 Mar: Sat-Sun 10am - 4pm
Children under 5:Free
English Heritage sites to visit
in North Northumberland