Northumberland NE69 7DF
Admission Adult £10.95 child £5.00
There is archaeological evidence that there have been people living on this spot as early as 10,000 BC , close by are Bronze Age 2,400 -700 BC burials and pottery sherds dating to the Iron Age 700 BC – 43 AD, and possibly Romans sometime between 43 AD and 410 AD.
Entry to the castle is through two gatehouse towers which were altered in the 18th century, but parts of the Norman stone work can still be seen. On the Battery Terrace there is a row of cannons which range in size from 18 pound to 32 pound. Below the terrace is Battery Gate which allowed horse drawn vehicles access to the castle, however the Vale Tipping was far too steep and brought the horses to their knees.
The grounds contain the battery terrace, battery gate, State rooms which include kitchen with 3 huge fireplaces, a small room which was originally two medieval store rooms, this room also contains a 19th century air conditioning. The second small room was a buttery until the 1800s when it became the girls mistresses sitting room then a writing room followed by the second Lord Armstrong’s office. The Kings Hall ceiling is made from over 300 tons of Siamese teak and is held together with over 1300 oak pins the walls are also teak and the floor is sprung pine, it is truly a beautiful room. At the top of the Kings Hall is the Cross Hall, once there were huge folding doors to close it off from the main hall and the hinges can still be seen. The centre piece of the room is a fireplace with an ornately carved mantle. The billiard room again with a huge fireplace to keep the men warm as they played billiards and talked while the woman went into the Faire Chamber with a fireplace decorated with musical instruments. There is what is now an armoury and was once a chapel. There is also a court room keep hall, service areas, scullery and dungeon, although the dungeon never really existed it was a coal cellar. Also in the grounds are the inner wards, west ward, archaeology dig and Armstrong and Aviation museum.
The castle is a really interesting place to visit.