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Craster and Dunstanburgh Castle

Craster and Dunstanburgh Castle

Tue 25th June 2013

When planning this year’s Rothbury Walking Festival I thought let’s do a few ‘different’ walks and this was one – a trip to the coast.

The weather was a little cool as we all met at Craster and after a few minutes we were walking along one of the most famous coastlines in Northumberland between Craster and Dunstanburgh Castle.

Thankfully we had some sheep to look at on our journey with people from all over the country attending a walk there was a great mix that all gelled very quickly.

We soon reached Dunstanburgh Castle.

Recent evidence suggests that the site of the castle was occupied in prehistoric times: however, the principal remains date from the 14th century.3 In 1313, Earl Thomas of Lancaster, cousin of Edward II of England, began construction of a massive fortress. By the time of his execution in 1322, the castle was substantially complete. John of Gaunt improved the castle in the late 14th century as the Duke of Lancaster.

The castle did not play a significant part in the border warfare against Scotland. In the Wars of the Roses the castle was held for the Lancastrians in 1462 and 1464. The damage done was not made good and the castle fell steadily into decay. A report in 1538 mentioned it as being a "very reuynus howsse and of smalle strength" and another source in 1550 described it as in "wonderful great decaye". It continued to deteriorate and was robbed of stone for the building of other places in the area. The last private owner Sir Arthur Sutherland donated the castle to the Ministry of Works in 1929. The castle is now owned by the National Trust and in the care of English Heritage. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building. It lies within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

From Dunstanburgh Castle we headed onto Dunstanburgh Golf Course and then dropped down onto Embleton Bay from where we had some great views looking back at the castle.

We then passed inland and turned south again on our journey to Dunstan Streads. On our way we passed an old Lime Kiln and a Pill box which made for an ideal lunch stop.

After Dunstan steads we headed back towards the coastline and made our way back to Craster.

A truly great 5 mile walk with great company.

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