Bamburgh

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Coordinates: 55°36′14″N 1°43′20″W / 55.604°N 1.7222°W / 55.604; -1.7222

Bamburgh (pronounced /ˈbæmbrə/ BAM-brə) is a large village and civil parish on the coast of Northumberland, England. It has a population of 454.[1]

It is notable for two reasons: the imposing Bamburgh Castle, overlooking the beach, seat of the former Kings of Northumbria, and at present owned by the Armstrong family (see William George Armstrong); and its association with the Victorian heroine, Grace Darling, who is buried there.

Its extensive sandy beach was awarded the Blue Flag rural beach award in 2005. The Bamburgh Dunes, an area of sand dunes which are a Site of Special Scientific Interest, stand behind the award winning beach. Bamburgh is popular with holidaymakers and is within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Bamburgh Castle, then called Din Guardi, may have been the capital of the Brythonic kingdom of Bryneich between about AD 420 and 547. In 547 the castle was taken by the invading Angles led by Ida son of Eoppa[2] and was renamed Bebbanburgh by one of his successors, Æthelfrith, after Æthelfrith's wife Bebba, according to the Historia Brittonum. From then onwards the castle became the capital of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia until it merged with its southern neighbour, Deira, in 634. After the two realms united as Northumbria the capital was moved to York.

Henry VI ruled all England (in name) from Bamburgh in 1464, during the Wars of the Roses. The castle was eventually reduced by artillery.

Thomas Malory considered Bamburgh to be Lancelot's castle Joyous Gard. The Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne agreed and called it "The noblest hold in all the North."

Swinburne swam here, as did the novelist E. M. Forster who adopted the Forsters of Bamburgh as his ancestors.

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