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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019.  Most entries have links for further information.

North East England

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ALNWICK CASTLE

Alnwick Castle dates from the 11th century and has been in the hands of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, since 14th century. The family still lives there.  Their castle is one of the most visited in England, steeped in Percy history with gruesome discoveries to be made as well as magnificent state rooms. Alnwick is often used for filming and has starred in Harry Potter and Downton Abbey (to mention just two). The castle also houses a number of special exhibitions, including the Regimental Museum of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. Adjacent to the castle is the Alnwick Garden, a formal garden built around a huge cascading fountain.

Location/Address: Alnwick
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE66 1NQ
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Alnwick Castle website
Tip/Nearby: Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh
Primary Management: Private - open to the public
ANGEL of the NORTH

Antony Gormley's iconic steel sculpture near the A1 south of Gateshead. It weighs 200 tonnes, is 20 metres high and has a wingspan of 54 metres.

Location/Address: Durham Road
Low Eighton
Gateshead
County: Tyne & Wear
Post Code: NE9 6AA
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: Angel of the North, steel statue and daffodil
Tip/Nearby: Access from the A167.
Primary Management: Local Authority
ARBEIA Roman fort and museum

Arbeia Roman Fort stood guard on the south bank of the Tyne, guarding the sea route to Hadrian's Wall. The fort is situated in what is now a residential area, with a primary school opposite. It was originally built in the 2nd century AD and, with variations and rebuilding (the fort was destroyed in the late 3rd/early 4th century, for example), was occupied until the Anglo-Saxon period. There is a good museum, reconstructed gateway and living quarters (which are a bit tatty) and the excavated outline of the fort.

Location/Address: Baring Street
South Shields
County: Tyne and Wear
Post Code: NE33 2BB
Main Historic Period: Roman
Link to featured article: Arbeia upon Tyne
Useful Website Address: Arbeia's website
Tip/Nearby: Wallsend is just across the river
Primary Management: Local Authority
BAMBURGH CASTLE

Bamburgh Castle is one of the dramatic icons of Northumberland's coast.  There has been a fortress on the rocky crag poking out into the North Sea since before the Anglo-Saxons invaded. The Normans built a new castle, and its bloody history continued.  But the present building owes much to Victorian restoration and idealism. And thanks for that goes to wealthy arms manufacturer and dealer William Armstrong, whose family still live there.  Bamburgh is a popular visitor attraction, is 'bursting with history and has also featured in several film/TV productions.

Location/Address: Bamburgh
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE69 7DF
Main Historic Period: All
Useful Website Address: Bamburgh Castle's website
Tip/Nearby: Holy Island is just to the north
Primary Management: Private - open to the public
BARNARD CASTLE

Barnard Castle was founded by Bernard de Balliol in the 12th century and the ruins of this once mighty fortress dominate both the town named for it and the river Tees. Balliol College, Oxford, was named after Bernard's ancestor, John, and John's son (another John) was briefly King of Scotland. Afterwards, the castle came into the possession of the powerful Earls of Warwick - the Neville family - and subsequently, through marriage to Anne Neville, it then came into the hands of the Duke of Gloucester - Richard III. Later, it fell into disrepair and is now a spectacular ruin in an impressive setting.

Location/Address: Scar Top
Barnard Castle
County: Co Durham
Post Code: DL12 8PR
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: The Bowes Museum, Egglestone Abbey
Primary Management: English Heritage
BROCOLITIA, Temple of Mithras

The remains of a Temple of Mithras, the Persian god of light and truth, stands near what is left of the Roman fort of Brocolitia, or Carrawburgh, on the route of Hadrian's Wall. It was built in the 3rd century and subsequently desecrated, probably by Christians. There was once another temple nearby, dedicated to Coventina, a local water goddess, and a nymphaeum – a monument dedicated to nymphs - but nothing is to be seen of these now.

Location/Address: Humshaugh
Hexham
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE46 4DB
Main Historic Period: Roman
Link to featured article: Brocolitia Mithraeum
Tip/Nearby: Park in the Northumberland National Park car park (fee payable) on the south side of the B6318 about 3.75 miles west of Chollerford.
Primary Management: English Heritage
COLLINGWOOD MONUMENT

Monument celebrating the life of Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, born in Newcastle in 1748. An able officer who served in the American War of Independence and Napoleonic Wars, Collingwood was Nelson's 2IC at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and took command when Nelson was fatally wounded. His statue looks out across the mouth of the Tyne. Four cannon flanking the steps of the monument were taken from his flagship, HMS Royal Sovereign.

Location/Address: Pier Road, Tynemouth
County: Tyne and Wear
Post Code: NE30 4DD
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Tip/Nearby: Tynemouth Priory
Primary Management: Local Authority
CRAGSIDE

Cragside was the home and creation of William George Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong, arms manufacturer and international arms dealer. The house is full of over-the-top Victorian opulence and also illustrates Armstrong's ingenuity and progressive thinking. Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity - and a new Archimedes screw has been installed to demonstrate this. The grounds are extensive - there are several walks of varying length and rigour - and the gardens are a delight.

Location/Address: Rothbury
Morpeth
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE65 7PX
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Link to featured article: Cragside
Tip/Nearby: Wallington.
Primary Management: National Trust
DUNSTANBURGH CASTLE

The dramatic ruined castle of Thomas of Lancaster, executed for treason in 1322, stands on a rocky headland jutting into the North Sea. The castle went on to witness fierce fighting during the Wars of the Roses, but now the predominant sound is the shrieking of seabirds. A short, sometimes bracing, walk from either Craster or Embleton.

Location/Address: Craster
Alnwick
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE66 3TT
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Craster to Dunstanburgh
Tip/Nearby: About 8 miles north east of Alnwick.
Primary Management: English Heritage
DURHAM CATHEDRAL

Durham Cathedral's official name is 'the Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham'.  It is the home of the shrine of St Cuthbert and burial place of the Venerable (aka 'Venomous') Bede.  The cathedral, along with Durham Castle, occupies a rocky promontory high above the river Wear - originally an excellent defensive position, now dramatic and picturesque.  It was founded in 1093 and the outstanding architectural feature (probably) are the massive, soaring, Romanesque/Norman arches in the nave. There's a wonderful simplicity about Durham Cathedral.

The Bishops of Durham - 'the Prince Bishops' used to wield temporal, as well as spiritual, power and effectively ruled the diocese for 850 years.  That did not stop Oliver Cromwell using the Cathedral to hold 3,000 Scots prisoner after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650; many of them died within the Cathedral.

Durham Cathedral, along with the adjacent Castle, is a World Heritage Site.

Location/Address: The Cathedral Office,
The College
Durham
County: Co Durham
Post Code: DH1 3EH
Main Historic Period: Norman
Link to featured article: Durham Cathedral
Useful Website Address: Durham Cathedral's website
Primary Management: Church authorities
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