Abandoned Castle

High on the Northumbrian coast sits this abandoned Medieval castle, its stone crumbling slowly back into the earth from which it was pulled. Built by the Kings cousin, one of the wealthiest men in the country, it was never inhabited by him. He was instead beheaded by the King, and all his lands and properties including this brand new giant of a castle were seized. It looks out mournfully through hollow empty windows across this now quiet, undisputed corner of England.

The name Dunstanburgh, hints at the long history of this site, perched high on this dramatic cliff top. The Fort of the Rocks, has been used and abandoned several times over the last 2,000 years, and clues have been uncovered from the soil of prehistoric pottery, Iron Age millstones and hearths from 100 BC and 200 AD. Even the Romans reused this site, leaving behind shards of pottery and a brooch, but they too moved on and abandoned it to nature and the elemental forces. Now the fields around the castle are filled with sheep and cows, quietly grazing, unaware of the layers of abandoned history and politics lying just below their hooves. Dreams were made and broken here, all returned to dust and the peace of earth.


About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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65 Responses to Abandoned Castle

  1. Mjollnir says:

    Fascinating post Seonaid. Sorry I haven’t been around as much but fulltime hours and all that stuff. I will get back to you! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • No worries, and good luck with the full-time hours….it can be a bit of a shock to the system!
      Is it a new job, or just more hours of an existing one?

      • Mjollnir says:

        New job. Started on Jan 3rd so I’ve been a bit erratic blogwise these last two months but hopefully with better time management I’ll catch up with everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Tahira says:

    LOVE the last shot with the sheep! Priceless!

  3. ventisqueras says:

    ho molto amato questi luoghi e voi ne avete fatto belle foto e del reportage
    I loved these places you did beautiful photos and reportages
    Thank you

  4. ehkstream says:

    thanks for sharing this!
    There are places on the earth where humans are not meant to inhabit…

  5. Leya says:

    I knew you would choose a castle…and a beauty. That last picture is of dreams – I can hardly stop looking at it…You are lucky enough to live in a country of castles and old relics.

    • Leya I love that view too….along with quite a few others…..the still earth, the sea mist and the sheep grazing indifferent to their historic backdrop…..I stood and soaked it all in for quite a while ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. LB says:

    The photo with the sheep in the foreground somehow emphasizes the abandonment.
    So the King beheaded his cousin? Nice guy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Enchanted by that last photo, Seonaid, where the here and now are united with what once was…

    • The slight mist helped with that lovely feeling of fading…..and the peaceful sheep.
      I stood and looked at this view for quite a while, drinking in the layers ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. craftschen says:

    Beautiful photos, beautiful words, awesome!

  9. ladyfi says:

    What an amazing shot of the castle! I love ancient sites.

  10. LightWriters says:

    Incredible sky and silhouette. Powerful inspiration as always…wow!

    • Thank you, we get some wonderful sky and cloud formations along this eastern coast, these were not as dramatic as the storms which can blow in, but they were dramatic enough for me this day!

  11. Yet another idyllic location steeped in endless beauty and rich in history. You live in a wonderful part of the world. We have discussed this before … after reading these posts I reach the inescapable conclusion that I live in a place which is, in comparison to your home, devoid of the sort of history you stroll past on a daily basis. Thanks for capturing this beautiful site and making it available to those less fortunate. D

  12. Amy says:

    Beautiful captures, Seonaid! That is a great take on for the theme!

  13. restlessjo says:

    I love the walk from there up to Craster. I’ll look out for golf balls next time ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Your photographs are the most beautiful of paintings of nature. I always feel like I am walking with you in each one. well done as always.

  15. My First Thoughts: ๐Ÿ™‚

    King Arthur “Camelot” legend states King Arthur died in the Battle of Camlann.
    where the river Cam flows .
    One question, is there a real river by that name “Cam”
    many say that discovery of Romans artifact claim that a place “Camelot may have existed
    as you mentions. Fill in the blacks Miss Mackenzie.

    Mary, Queen of Scots:
    15th Century ?

    The Best,



    • Anthony this castle was built around 1313, by the Earl of Lancaster also known as Thomas…a little late for Arthur…..but it does have that wonderful classic medieval look….imagine it with pointed roofs on the towers and silk flags flying ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Northumbria is such a quietly beautiful part of England. I know this castle in passing, but I didn’t know its history. So sad (unless he was a right rascal) but at least it is still standing and being appreciated today. Lovely shots, as always.

    • I love Northumberland’s quiet beauty Kellie, and it looks and feels so very like East Lothian. I think the real rascal was the king….King Edward II….he had a nasty habit of stealing other people’s possessions! However the castles builder was probably no saint….he was the kings cousin ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Lucid Gypsy says:

    So very old, in the bottom photo it looks like a broken crown, perhaps it was the kings.

  18. wildsherkin says:

    That first image really does look so sad and forlorn. That poor chap! There is a great sense of history in that last picture with the castle lost in the mist.

  19. cagey says:

    it is a very special place

  20. Rachael Charmley says:

    Beautiful evocative piece of writing. You took me there…

    • Delighted to have your company Rachael, and to receive such a lovely compliment.

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        Might I ask you what camera you use? I’m planning on buying one and it’s a bit of a minefield!

      • Rachael I use a Canon 650d, and I love it so much. So easy to use, and lots of great settings if you’re not 100% confident with manual settings…..have you used a DSLR before?

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        Sounds interesting. I’m a novice with DSLR’s. I need something that’s forgiving at the beginning, and then will allow me to be to more creative as I grow more confident. I’ve been looking at reviews on the Canon and Nikon range…

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        I am attracted to the Nikon D3200. What do you think of this model? It has good reviews. I will use it for close up nature shots and landscapes.

      • Rachael, this looks like a great camera, with lots of flexibility, yet really good fixed settings also. I’m sure you will capture some lovely images with it. I’m so stuck on Canon, but I think that’s what happens, once you buy your first good camera you want something which will fit all your pre-existing accessories….yes you will end up with accessories!! It really doesn’t matter which one you buy, as they are all good, just with slightly different knobs and buttons! The reviews look great, so go for it, and let’s see the results ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        After a great deal of procrastination, and a couple of hours in a huge camera shop with a very helpful and nice geek – my mind exploded, and I bought one! Already I am in love. It seems like a kind beastie. It will let me point and click until I find my way around the knobs and buttons!
        Thank you for your help! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I’m delighted to hear you have bought one….it took me ages to decide too….and in the end it’s not really the camera which matters….it’s the artistic eye of the operator!!

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        Precisely my sentiments. The sun is out and I shall be heading for the river later with my new toy… ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Pete says:

    Lovely image ๐Ÿ™‚ but a castle is never truly abandoned, its full of the spirits of the past, touch the walls and feel the life of the castle flow through you. I love to place two hands on a buildings wall, close my eyes and see what went before ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. amenajariinterioare82 says:

    Congratulations on the beautiful topics in your blog If you like, you can enter our blog and if you like http://amenajarirenovariapartamente.com and give us a like. Thank you and greetings from Romania

  23. Which country is this in? and where is it?. Wonderful images ๐Ÿ™‚

    • This is in Northumberland in Northern England, about 25 miles from the Scottish-English border. The nearest inhabited town is Craster….delighted that you enjoyed the photos….it’s one of my favourite parts of the country ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Oh I hoped you’d say England!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to have to take a trip to this beautiful place!, have you ever been to Ingleborough? it has a beautiful rock formation ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Nicely captured Seonaid. I know that view in the second image very well. It is the short par 3 13th on Dunstanburgh GC. Walkers gather on the adjacent path to admire the view, oblivious to the perils of the hooked tee shot ๐Ÿ™‚

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