Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, and has been home to the Duke of Northumberland's family, the Percys, through 700 years of drama, intrigue, tragedy and romance. Nicknamed 'The Windsor of the North', it has a turbulent past just waiting to be discovered. Alnwick Castle's unique history features kingmakers, rebels, a gunpowder-plotter and passionate collectors, as well as Harry Hotspur, the most famous of all Percys.
A castle has been recorded on this site for an incredible 1000 years. Situated in Northumberland near the volatile border between England and Scotland, Alnwick Castle was built in the classic Norman motte and bailey style, to defend the town against attacks from marauding Scots. When the 1st Lord Percy of Alnwick purchased the castle in the early 1300s, he upgraded all its defensive features, turning it into an impenetrable fortress. You can still see parts of this extensive renovation today, as the Abbot’s Tower, the Middle Gateway and the Constable’s Tower have all survived as reminders of the castle’s gruesome past.