Alnwick Castle

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Alnwick Castle (pronounced /ˈænɪk/ ( listen) 'annick') is a castle and stately home in Alnwick in the English county of Northumberland. It is the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, built following the Norman conquest, and renovated and remodeled a number of times. It is a Grade I listed building.[1]



Yves de Vescy, Baron of Alnwick, erected the first parts of the castle in 1096.[2] It was built to defend England's northern border against the Scottish invasions and border reivers.[citation needed] It was besieged in 1172 and again in 1174 by William the Lion, King of Scotland and William was captured outside the walls during the Battle of Alnwick.[3]

Eustace de Vesci, lord of Alnwick, was accused of plotting with Robert Fitzwalter against King John in 1212.[4] In response, John order the demolition of Alnwick Castle and Baynard's Castle (the latter was Fitzwalter's stronghold),[5] however his instructions were not carried out at Alnwick.[6]

In the early 14th century, Alnwick Castle and the surrounding manor were given to Antony Bek the Bishop of Durham. In 1309 it was bought from Bek by Henry de Percy, 1st Baron Percy and it has been owned by the Percy family, the Earls and later Dukes of Northumberland since. Henry restored and refortified the castle; the Abbot's Tower, the Middle Gateway and the Constable's Tower survive from this period.[7] In 1404–5 the Percys rebelled against Henry IV, who besieged and then took the castle.

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