Bamburgh

A couple of weeks ago we had a nice, sunny Sunday, almost an early spring day, so my friend decided to drive further down the coast with his dog than usual and I went along. We ended up crossing the border into England (nothing like a bit of foreign travel, eh?) and found ourselves at the gorgeous, historic Bamburgh Castle on a lovely stretch of the Northumbrian coast. I’ve known about the castle for many years but this was the first time I got to visit it.

Bamburgh Castle 03

Bamburgh Castle 05

There’s been a fortification of some sort or another since the 400 AD period on this basalt rock rising up next to the sea, the square keep is Norman (with walls from 9 to 11 feet thick), some of the rest of the castle looks almost like a Victorian idea of what a medieval castle should look like and that may be because industrial magnate Lord Armstrong bought it (as many newly rich industrialists did with castles and country houses to fit in with the upper classes in society) and restored it. Beautiful building though, on lovely part of the coast and we were lucky to arrive late afternoon as the sunlight was stretched out to a lovely, warm copper colour and was hitting the landward side of the castle, making the ancient red stonework glow.

Bamburgh Castle 07

Bamburgh Castle 011

and here’s a short video panorama of the Castle:

Cut into a niche lower down the base of the castle rock is the local war memorial, standing on a flat rock a few feet above the parkland in front of the castle; it is a rather lovely spot to have a memorial to the fallen. The Christ on the cross in the memorial seemed to me to have a very old style to it, perhaps so it better suited the looming medieval castle towering protectively above it.

war memorial, Bamburgh Castle 01

war memorial, Bamburgh Castle 03

Fry in America

Seems to be something of an American media theme this last few days, no doubt prompted by the presidential circus, but as it means we get the national treasure that is Stephen Fry with a new show, “Stephen Fry in America“, as he crosses the United States in a London taxi cab (not his own one which he so famously drives around here in Blighty though). I had no idea he was almost born in the US when his father was offered a job at Princeton but he turned it down. Hard to think of Fry as American, he seems to quintessentially British – I mean Twinnings got him to advertise their tea, he cooks on an Aga and gives a wedding present to Prince Charles. All of which might have made him annoying except he seems such a lovely bloke, fiercely intelligent and very funny and self depreacting with it. America’s loss was our gain.