Alnwick Castle is a castle and country house in Alnwick in the English county of Northumberland. It is the seat of the 12th Duke of Northumberland. The Alnwick Castle has over 950 years of history to discover, and the origins of the Castle date back to the Norman period. The second-largest inhabited castle in the UK, Alnwick has served as a military outpost, a teaching college, a refuge for evacuees, a film set, and not least as a family home. Alnwick Castle is home to Harry Potter-inspired events, dragon quest, and exciting history. Alnwick was one of three castles held by Lancastrian forces in 1461 and 1462.
The castle is open to the public throughout the summer. Some of the important highlights of the places and activities you can enjoy at Alnwick Castle are mentioned below:
1. The State Rooms
There are over 150 rooms in Alnwick Castle, but only six of them are open to the public. Rooms that can be viewed are:
The Lower Guard Chamber: It’s an extraordinary display of Arms & Accoutrement largely dating to the 18th century and the Percy Tenantry Volunteers.
The Upper Guard Chamber: The Grand Staircase leads to the chamber the marble terrazzo floor, plasterwork ceiling, and majestic figures of Justice and Britannia. There are close to 15000 books in the library.
The Drawing Room: It consists of carved, painted, and gilded ceiling, painted frieze, silk wall hangings, carved door, dado and window shutters, marble fireplace, and massive overmantel mirror exhibit.
The Dining Room: It has been the centre of castle life since medieval times. The Percy family continues to use it regularly today. The China Gallery’s important collection of Meissen, Chelsea, and Paris ceramic are displayed.
2. Alnwick Castle Museum
The museum is located within the Abbot's Tower of Alnwick Castle. The Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland’s display gives a contemporary presentation of Fusilier history from its origins in 1674 up to the present day. Arranged thematically and brought to life through individual stories past and present, the museum follows a soldier’s journey from recruit to a veteran.
Castle Museum situated in the Postern Tower, was opened nearly 200 years ago by the 4th Duke of Northumberland, who wanted to promote the study of the archaeology of the North, collected and purchased artifacts for the museum. In the Victorian period, it was known for the Roman and early British antiquities displayed there, especially those found in Northumberland.
The Constable Tower is one of the oldest parts of Alnwick Castle. The tower was created by Henry III between 1234 and 1274. These great works were intended to transform the dungeon, properly protected but simply, into an impregnable fortress. It is an original medieval watchtower standing along the castle’s eastern wall. The exhibitions and displays on all three floors of the Tower are:
Basement Level: It is a space virtually untouched since the 14th century. This floor of the Tower gives a sense of how Alnwick Castle's interiors may have been over six hundred years ago.
Middle Level: It explores a case full of fascinating objects collected by various Dukes of Northumberland, including items from North America and Polynesia, and a nineteenth-century 'velocipede' - a little like a bicycle!
Top Level: It discovers the story of the Percy Tenantry Volunteers, a regiment set up at the end of the eighteenth century during the Napoleonic Wars. Along with a short, animated film, detailing some of the tales from the Alnwick Castle volunteers, many of the weapons and equipment they used over two hundred years ago can be viewed.
3. Replica Napoleonic Cannon
It’s the newest addition as well a blast from the past. The replica Napoleonic cannon has taken its place on the Gun Terrace - the spot where it would have been fired historically. Crafted from bronze, the cannon is a firing replica of the historic British cannon, some of which can be seen on the Gun Terrace today.
4. The Alnwick Garden
The brainchild of The Duchess of Northumberland, The Alnwick Garden is a multi-award-winning visitor attraction based in Alnwick, Northumberland. Created by the Duchess of Northumberland, The Alnwick Garden is a delight; a modern garden combining sculpture, water features, and beautiful plants to create a wonderful family attraction. The Garden features the largest collection of European plants in the UK and the largest Japanese Cherry Orchard in the World. The highlight of the garden is 'The Poison Garden'. The small, but deadly poison garden at Alnwick Garden, is filled with over 100 narcotic and toxic plants! You may not smell, touch or taste any of the plants in the garden. For to do so would be dangerous
5. Broomstick Flying
Here is the chance to take part in one of the famous Broomstick Training sessions, on the very spot where Harry had his first flying lesson in the film production of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Don’t forget to bring your camera and capture evidence of you and your levitating broomstick to amaze your family and friends back home! Discover a lot more at Alnwick Castle and let us know about your experience about the same.https://www.alnwickcastle.com/explore/on-screen/harry-potter