Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster,
Northumberland, England

Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster, Northumberland, England

Northumberland's coastline is well supplied with castles and this is among the less complete of all of them. Though it hardly looks to be anything but a ruinous state from a southern approach like that seen in the photo. It only is from the east and north that you really see how much is gone. In its heyday, it must have appeared an impressive structure even if history has not been kind to it. It was started by Earl Thomas of Lancaster during a hostile dispute with King Edward II that ended in his rebellion, capture and execution. Then, it passed to John of Gaunt who fortified it against the Scots. After that, it got caught up in the Wars of the Roses and was left to decay after those.

Now, it draws the eye up along Northumberland's appealing coastline on the approach from Craster and is owned by the National Trust though English Heritage look after it on their behalf. Being up on a height helped towards defences as did the cliffs on its northern side. Still, the knoll is not so hard to scale, so it's hard not to see how it got taken by the Yorkists during the Wars of the Roses, and it mustn't have been so impregnable to siege either.

See more photos from this album (Northumberland)