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.
Fascinating post Seonaid. Sorry I haven’t been around as much but fulltime hours and all that stuff. I will get back to you! 😀
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?
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 😀
LOVE the last shot with the sheep! Priceless!
Thank you, that shot with the sheep was one of my favourites too!
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
My pleasure, and thank you for letting me know you enjoyed the post. I do love old castles and the stories around them.
thanks for sharing this!
There are places on the earth where humans are not meant to inhabit…
This is so true…and often they have an unnerving feel
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 🙂
I’m sure you did. That magic is everywhere You go, isn’t it…?
The photo with the sheep in the foreground somehow emphasizes the abandonment.
So the King beheaded his cousin? Nice guy! 🙂
Yeah, he wasn’t great….but Medieval politics were a fairly bloody business all round I think!
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 🙂
Beautiful photos, beautiful words, awesome!
Wow, my pleasure, what a great compliment 🙂
What an amazing shot of the castle! I love ancient sites.
Me too Fi, I just can’t resist the echoes of history lingering in the old stones…
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!
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
David, I’m sure that everywhere has its own history, but we are just lucky in Britain that it lies in glorious stone ruins scattered across the land. Northumberland is a very beautiful part of the country, and I’m delighted to share it 🙂
Thought you might like the sheep….that’s not a bad backdrop for a spot of grazing!
Absolutely … AND IT’S GREEN! Yikes! And GROWING! Doubles yikes. And those animals are either well conditioned … or getting ready to lamb. D
Beautiful captures, Seonaid! That is a great take on for the theme!
Thanks Amy….I had a few abandoned sites to choose from, but these images were begging to be shared 🙂
I love the walk from there up to Craster. I’ll look out for golf balls next time 🙂
It’s a stunning walk all the way from Craster to Lower Newton by-the-sea, where there is a fabulous micro brewery at the Ship Inn. The perfect reward for a long walk Jo 🙂
Thanks for the tip 🙂
Their food is delicious too, and all locally sourced, definitely worth a visit 🙂
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.
That’s so lovely to hear, and I’m delighted to have you along on my explorations 🙂
My First Thoughts: 🙂
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 ?
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 🙂
I remember reading Ivenhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Extremely Interesting “Poetic, Gallantry and Romantic 🙂
Sir Anthony ,
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 🙂
So very old, in the bottom photo it looks like a broken crown, perhaps it was the kings.
I love that Gilly, a crumbling crown! Well he certainly had a troubled and unpopular reign….renowned for grabbing other people’s lands and money.
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.
I loved the way the ruined towers faded off into the distance in that last shot…..just as the castles importance faded into the mists of time!
it is a very special place
Isn’t it…such a wild windswept spot 🙂
Beautiful evocative piece of writing. You took me there…
Delighted to have your company Rachael, and to receive such a lovely compliment.
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?
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…
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 🙂
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! 🙂
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!!
Precisely my sentiments. The sun is out and I shall be heading for the river later with my new toy… 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Lovely image 🙂 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 🙂
Indeed Pete, the history and echoes of lives lived and footsteps taken……
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Which country is this in? and where is it?. Wonderful images 🙂
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 🙂
Oh I hoped you’d say England!! 🙂 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 🙂
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 🙂
Spot on….and I was one of those oblivious walkers 🙂
Such a stunning part of the country…