Churches, castles, and monasteries in Beadnell, Northumberland

Warkworth castle

Northumberland, a region steeped in history and natural beauty, is home to a wealth of churches, castles, and monasteries that tell tales of a bygone era. If you’re interested in exploring a bit of history up North, we recommend starting your visit in Beadnell, which is not only home to plenty of historic landmarks, but it’s also the perfect spot to access other sites further afield too.

Warkworth Castle

Warkworth castle

When it was built

Warkworth Castle’s origins can be traced back to the late 11th century.

What it was used for

Initially constructed as a motte-and-bailey fortress, it evolved into a grand mediaeval castle, serving as a residence and defence structure.

Brief history

Over the centuries, Warkworth Castle played a pivotal role in numerous historical events. It was the seat of the powerful Percy family, the Earls of Northumberland, until their conspiracy against the crown when, in 1405, the castle was besieged by King Henry IV.  

For a time during the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487), it was used as the Yorkist headquarters – around the 1460s. It is in Warkworth Castle that the Yorkist plans to siege Alnwick, Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh castles were formed.

Distance from Beadnell

Warkworth Castle is just a short drive away, approximately seven miles from Beadnell.

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle

When it was built

Bamburgh Castle dates back to the 6th century, with its current stone structure erected in the 11th century.

What it was used for

Serving as both a royal residence and a formidable fortress, Bamburgh Castle played a vital role in defending Northumberland against invaders and as the royal seat of the Northumbrian Kingdom.

Brief history

This imposing structure has witnessed centuries of warfare and conquest from Celts, Vikings and Northumbrian enemies. It held captive the wounded Scot King, David Bruce in 1346, and it was the first castle in the world to fall to gunpowder, as it did during the Wars of the Roses.

Not just a stronghold of martial affairs, it was also at the heart of the Northumbrian Christianity – one of the first Christian chapels of Northumberland was built within the walls of Bamburgh Castle.

Learn more about the rich history of Bamburgh Castle on your visit, including tales of ghostly apparitions and legends of Ida the Flamebearer and the hero Bebba, for whom Bamburgh is named.

Distance from Beadnell

Bamburgh Castle is conveniently located just three miles north of Beadnell.

St. Ebba’s Church, Beadnell

When it was built

St. Ebba’s Church in Beadnell is an ancient structure believed to date back to the 12th century.

What it was used for

This beautiful church has been a place of worship for the local community for centuries.

Brief history

St. Ebba’s Church is a quaint and historic place of worship, providing a peaceful retreat for visitors and locals alike. It is named in honour of Ebba, sister of Oswald, the former King of Northumberland from 634 to 642.

Distance from Beadnell

St. Ebba’s Church is located right in the heart of Beadnell, making it easily accessible by foot from our Beadnell apartments.

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick castle

When it was built

Alnwick Castle’s history can be traced back to the 11th century.

What it was used for

Over the centuries, Alnwick Castle has served as a military stronghold, a royal residence, and a stately home.

Brief history

Built to protect Northumbria and England from invading Scots, this Norman castle has since been the seat of the Dukes of Northumberland for over 700 years and seen various architectural transformations.

The castle is famous for its appearance in the Harry Potter films as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Distance from Beadnell

Alnwick Castle is approximately 14 miles south of Beadnell, only a 20-minute drive from Beadnell village and our holiday apartments.

Lindisfarne Priory

Lindisfarne Priory

When it was built

Lindisfarne Priory was founded in the 7th century.

What it was used for

It served as a place of worship, a stronghold for Northumbrian Christianity and a centre of religious learning.

Brief history

The history of Lindisfarne Priory, situated on Holy Island, dates back to the 7th century when the Northumbrian King Oswald invited Aidan, an Irish monk, to be his bishop and build a monastery on Lindisfarne, a remote, North Sea island.

Aidan was joined by a monk named Cuthbert, and the two would posthumously become saints for the work they did converting northerners from paganism to Christianity.

It is here that the miracle of Saint Cuthbert took place too: eleven years following his passing, monks opened his tomb to discover that his body had not decayed. In the years that followed, miraculous healings were reported on the island.

Lindisfarne has since evolved into one of the most significant pilgrimage centres in the United Kingdom.

Distance from Beadnell

Lindisfarne Priory is located on Holy Island, and the journey involves a drive followed by a tidal causeway crossing. The driving distance from Beadnell to the Holy Island Causeway is approximately 15 miles.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course

When it was built

Dunstanburgh Castle was constructed in the 14th century.

What it was used for

This coastal fortress was built as a display of the Earl of Lancaster’s power and as a defence against Scots invaders.

Brief history

Commissioned by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, Dunstanburgh Castle was originally constructed to challenge King Edward II’s authority. However, the challenge didn’t hold up, as Earl Thomas was later executed for his dissidence against the crown.

During the Wars of the Roses in the 15th century, the castle became a Lancastrian stronghold. However, by the late 16th century, it fell into disrepair and abandonment. The castle’s history is marked by its strategic significance during turbulent periods in English history, but it eventually succumbed to neglect and time, becoming the picturesque ruin we see today.

Distance from Beadnell

Dunstanburgh Castle is approximately three miles south of Beadnell, and you can embark on a picturesque coastal walk to reach it.

Take a trip down through history with Beadnell Holiday Apartments

Northumberland is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, and these churches, castles, and monasteries offer a glimpse into its rich and storied past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, a visit to these sites promises a memorable experience in this beautiful part of England.

Discovering these wonderful Northumberland heritage sites in winter has its own advantages, not least the incredible atmosphere these historic places take on in the crisp frost. And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, our cosy Beadnell holiday cottages are the perfect place to rest up after a long day exploring.

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