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Castle Then
Castle Now
Hermitage Then
Hermitage Now

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Road Access:

Warkworth is 7½ miles South of Alnwick on A1068
(OS Map 81; Castle ref NU 247057, Hermitage ref NU 242060)
Train Access
Alnmouth 3½ miles
Bus Access
Arriva Northumbria 518 Newcastle - Alnwick

Cycle Routes
01665 711423

Where can I stay?

Click here to find accommodation

Facilities Available:

Facilities Details
Toilets: Adapted WC
Shop: Ramped access
Refreshments: Picnics welcome in grounds.

Access to Castle:

Step at entrance, ramp available from custodian. Access to bailey mostly on impacted gravel and grass surface. Keep only accessible up wide staircase. One staircase inside with handrail. Good vantage point in bailey.
Hermitage: Via steps and boat.

30m from entrance via gravel, grass, bridge slats and step
(assistance is available for step).
Disabled visitors may be set down on tarmac area beside bridge.

Visually Impaired Visitors
Special audio tour available.

Hearing Impaired Visitors
Audio tour with hearing loop available.

Visitors With Learning Difficulties
Basic language audio tour available.

Further Information:

Dogs must be on leads.

The film Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchet and Joseph Fiennes was filmed here.

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History of Warkworth
The earliest record of Warkworth was in the eighth century but there was no castle until the twelfth century. The first building was probably a wooden construction. It was built by Henry the son of King David I of Scotland who owned the land at that time. Henry had the title "Earl Henry of Northumberland" at a time when the North of England was part of Scotland.

In 1158 Henry II gave the Castle to Roger FitzRichard who most likely began to rebuild it with stone. His son Robert continued to improve and add to the buildings.

King Edward I spent a night in the castle in 1292.

When the Anglo-Scottish wars began in 1296 the castle had to be manned by troops. Records show that in 1319 a garrison of twenty-four soldiers and staff held the castle. Half of the cost was paid by the King who later became owner of the castle.

The Castle was home of Harry Hotspur - click here to read about his life.

Edward III granted Warkworth and its Castle to Henry de Percy II in 1332. The castle passed back and forth between the Percy family and the Royal family for centuries. The cost of maintaining the castle is enormous so the Duke of Northumberland passed it to the nation and it came into the custody of the Office of Works in 1922 who then later passed it to the English Heritage.

Traditionally the first hermit and builder of the Hermitage was Sir Bertram, a knight who mistakenly killed his lover, Lady Isabel Widdrington, and his brother as he tried to rescue her from the Scots.

The hermits were patronised by the Earls of Northumberland until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. They supplied him with pasture for 12 cows, a garden, 20 loads of firewood, fish every Sunday and £20 a year. In return he said prayers for a number of nobles.

To read more about the history of Warkworth, its castle and hermitage click here.