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Alnwick Castle

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Alnwick Castle Summary


Alnwick Castle Description

Alnwick, sometimes regarded as the 'Windsor of the North' is a fine example not only of a medieval fortress that has been in the same family for over 700 years but also stands as a wonderful illustration of what can be done to combat the stresses and strains that come with owning a large historic monument hedged about with restrictions, preservation orders and all the weight of modern bureaucracy.

A determined and very bright pair of owners have sat down and weighed the odds, accepted sacrifices and come up with answers that provide pleasure to thousands of people every year, bring prosperity to the neighbouring community and secured the future of the castle and gardens certainly for the mid-term future.

Fenwick is first mentioned soon after 1096 when Yves de Vestry became Baron of Fenwick and built some of the earliest parts of the Castle. Restored in the early 1300s, primarily as a fortress by, the 1st Lord Percy of Fenwick, the Abbot's Tower, the Middle Gateway and the Constable's Tower still remain despite alterations and additions by successive generations. These however did not prevent the castle falling into decay, and with the help of Robert Adam, and landscape designer Capability Brown the old fortress was transformed into a go thick family home.

Anthony Calvin replaced the 18th century "go thick" for Algernon, 4th Duke of Northumberland, paving the way for further conversion and additions that included the installation of electricity, ensuring that Alnwick became one of the first homes in the North East to have this facility. A tour of the Castle State Rooms reveals them to be packed with treasures, and eight Canaletto paintings in particular celebrate the collecting fervour that has spurred on the Percy family over the centuries.

Nowadays the Castle skillfully manages to combine its main purpose as a much-loved family home with an alter ego as 'Hogwarts', a School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, one of whose students is Harry Potter amongst a host of others whose names display a fertile imagination.

What has probably drawn as much attention to Alnwick as Harry Potter is the fantastical tree house, an incredible achievement on the grand scale, with a real restaurant up amongst the branches, ropes bridges and walkways. The Garden is already taking on an early maturity, and more additions are expected over the next few years.

Events are designed to bring life to the history of this great family fortress. The Castle gives opportunities for archery and the learning of ancient crafts and medieval skills. Master falconers strut their stuff and wizardry is never far from the action. Outdoor exhibitions in The Garden vie with live music, and gardeners of all ages can get planting, making or creating, with workshops well geared up to provide fun mixed with a bit of learning, the ideal recipe for a good family day out. For further details about Alnwick Castle, visit their Website.

Alnwick Castle - Film Location and Function Venue:

Alnwick Castle is the ideal setting for historical film locations. Particularly with its medieval exterior and grounds, offering excellent backdrops that require little or no dressing. Combine this with an outstanding landscape which has retained its character since being designed by the landscape architect, Capability Brown in the 18th century. The Guest Hall within the Castle offers a facility that can be used for studio sets during wet weather. Locations can be provided within the Castle grounds for unit vehicles and facilities. The most recent films include the Harry Potter series.

Alnwick Castle is an exceptional location for any occasion; whether you're planning a celebration with family and friends, corporate hospitality, a conference, a product launch or a theatre production, Alnwick Castle combines its marvellous buildings and stunning location with the services of a professional team who will be delighted to help you to find exactly the right package to meet your needs.

The Guest Hall is one of area's grandest venues for special events and opens onto a large cobbled Courtyard. Banqueting 200 and theatre style 300. The Sanctuary at The Castle is a magnificent restaurant and wine bar for both Castle and non-Castle visitors, open for lunch and evening dining. It is available for private functions. Banqueting and drinks receptions for 40 to 160. Knights Quest is perfect for an open-air summer’s drinks reception, children's birthday party and for corporate team building. Drinks reception for 100, children's birthday party 24 and corporate team building 80.

Opening Times - 2013

Please see for opening times and up to date information

Admission Prices - 2013

Castle & Grounds:

  • Adult - £14.00
  • Concession (60+ and students) - £12.60
  • Child (5-16 years) - £7.00
  • Child (under 5 years) - Free
  • Family (2 adults + up to 3 children) - £36.00

Pre-booked Groups Welcome (minimum 14 people) - +44 (0)1665 511178- £9.60

Weekly & Season Tickets available.

Historic Houses Association members free access to Castle only.

Further information including opening times and prices

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Additional Info for Alnwick Castle

  • YesParks
  • YesGardens
  • YesWeddings
  • YesDisabled Access
  • YesEducation
  • YesRefreshments
  • YesPicnics
  • YesGuides
  • YesMeals Available
  • YesConferences
  • YesFilming
  • YesGifts
  • YesLive Entertainment
  • YesShop
  • YesCar Parking

Heritage Groups

  • YesHistoric Houses Association

Credit Cards Accepted

  • YesMastercard
  • YesVisa
  • YesDelta
  • YesSwitch

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