Tag: Northumberland

Dr Joy’s Garden

A poignant return visit to Alnmouth, a beautiful coastal town in Northumberland. A memorial garden dedicated to a very special woman… Read Dr Joy’s garden here…

The Stone and the Pilgrim (5)

We stumbled upon the Preston Pele Tower, fifteen miles south-west of Bamburgh, back in February, 2018. My wife and I had seen a reference to it on a noticeboard in a cafe some distance to the north. It’s quite hard to find; tucked away down a tiny country lane not far from the A1 – the main road through Northumberland to Edinburgh. We’d never … Read More The Stone and the Pilgrim (5)

The Stone and the Pilgrim (4)

“It’s as though… there’s something wrong with the horizon…” Barbara was speaking softly, giving voice to one of the defining thoughts of the day. Something wrong with the horizon, how true. Craster’s harbour was disappearing behind us, but the cut-up horizon was still far away. There is no other way to reach Dunstanburgh Castle than on foot; though, back in history, distinguished visitors could … Read More The Stone and the Pilgrim (4)

The Stone and the Pilgrim (2)

Rested, the group of pilgrims gathers on the Saturday morning beneath the vast presence of Bamburgh Castle. The castle was restored to its present glory by the 19th century munitions entrepreneur and inventor William Armstrong. Lord Armstrong bought it from the Crewe trustees in 1894 for the sum of £60,000 – a fortune then. He went on to spend a further one million pounds … Read More The Stone and the Pilgrim (2)

Castles of the Mind (2)

Continued from Part One As the group walk through the arched entranceway to the interior of the castle, a new feeling emerges: one of ‘being in it, together’. The transition from outer to inner space of the newly considered ‘organism’ of the castle brings with it other changes of perspective. One of these is that a process – that of the weekend, itself, has … Read More Castles of the Mind (2)

Castles of the Mind (1)

Like the best of ideas, it begins with a partly-seen ghost, the glimmer of an edge of something that will work…. Ideas are great, but, unless something is practical and consistent on the day, its value is limited to fuelling a ‘greater’ idea that will be. And then the right idea expands, filling out, not linearly, but with emotions that billow like a spinnaker on … Read More Castles of the Mind (1)

Dwellers in Towers

A recent trip to the beautiful Northumbrian coast threw up a chance visit to Preston Tower, one of a type known as a ‘Pele Tower’ – a fortified place of refuge for well-to-do families, built during the times of the ‘Border Reivers’ – armed family gangs who took the law into their own hands in these often un-policed borderlands between England and Scotland. In … Read More Dwellers in Towers

Broken village

The beautiful Northumberland village of Etal, one of a local twin, has a fine ruined castle; but this blog is not entirely about castles… The picture above is the castle at Etal. It was constructed in the middle of the fourteenth century by Robert Manners, a Norman descendant. It consists of a residential tower in the ‘Pele’ style; a gatehouse and a corner tower … Read More Broken village

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