History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The great northern stronghold of the powerful Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland. Alnwick is primarily a product of the 14th century, and on the outside looks like nothing so much as a grimly brooding Gothic fortress, suitable for a horror movie.
Its history as a border fortress is evidenced by the fact that there is only one narrow entrance in the thick curtain wall that surrounds the castle.
The inside tells a different story, as the rooms have been remodelled several times over the centuries, most notably by the Georgian master architect Robert Adam in the 18th century for Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland.
One hundred years later Adam's work was altered (read desecrated) by Anthony Salvin for the 4th Duke of Northumberland, who took a fancy to the Italian High Renaissance style. The Duke had Italian decorators imported to supervise the British craftsmen who actually did the work. Good thing for the Duke there were no union restrictions in those days!
The effect inspired by the lavish interior is one of awe. The state rooms are approached by a huge staircase of polished Carrara marble, each tread a solid piece of stone 12 feet in length!
The result of the remodelling is a rich backdrop of damask wall hangings and fanciful coffered ceilings that provides a suitable setting for a remarkable art collection, one of the finest in England. Included are paintings by Canaletto, Gainsborough, Turner, Reynolds, Tintoretto, and Titian. The collection of dinnerware is a match for the paintings, with two Meissen dinner services, and there are also two cabinets which once belonged to Louis XIV. Without a doubt, Alnwick is one of the true treasure houses of England.
About Alnwick Castle
Address: Alnwick, Northumberland, England, NE66 1NQ
Attraction Type: Castle
Website: Alnwick Castle
Phone: 01665 511 100
Historic Houses Association
OS: NU187 135
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Bailiffgate Museum - 0.2 miles (Museum)
Alnwick Abbey Gatehouse - 0.7 miles (Abbey)
Hulne Priory - 2 miles (Abbey)
Alnwick Garden - 4.1 miles (Garden)
Edlingham Castle - 5.1 miles (Castle)
Edlingham, St John the Baptist Church - 5.3 miles (Historic Church)
Warkworth Castle - 6.1 miles (Castle)
Dunstanburgh Castle - 6.4 miles (Castle)
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