Today Bamburgh is a small seaside village, population a mere 440, located on the coast of Northumberland some 20 miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed and therefore the Scottish border, and some fifty miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Noted for its Grace Darling Museum which commemorates the famous lifeboat heroine. (Whose grave is also located in the village church.)
The village is dominated by Bamburgh Castle which stands on a basalt crag at the edge of the North Sea with views of Holy Island (that is Lindisfarne) to the north and the Farne Islands to the east.
Probably the site of a much earlier Iron Age fort, this was once the seat of the kings of Bernicia and remained a centre of power for the succeeding kingdom of Northumbria until well into the eighth century.
The castle itself was a built in the eleventh century by the Normans to whom it was an important border fortress and continued as a stronghold throughout the late medieval period and was supposedly the first castle in England to succumb to gunfire when it fell to the artillery of Edward IV during the Wars of the Roses.
But much of what exists today is quiet modern having restored and rebuilt by the industrialist Lord Armstrong who bought the castle in 1894 and who essentially converted it into a country residence. The castle is open to the public, displaying collections of weapons, tapestries and paintings.