« AnteriorContinuar »
No. 72.] DECEMBER, 1822. [Vol. VI.
AN ACCOUNT OF BAMBOROUGH CASTLE,
IN THE COUNTY OF NORTHUMBERLAND,
(WITH A WOOD-CUT.) This Castle stands on the crown of a high rock, triangular in figure, one of the points projecting into the sea, being nearly 150 feet perpendicular above the level of low water-mark. It is said to have been built by Ida, King of Northumberland, about A.D. 560; but MR. WALLIS is of opinion that the ancient round tower on the land side, which is of the Doric order, is the work of the Romans. The outer walls of the Castle enclose an area of upwards of eight
The gateway is on the south-east, which is the only accessible part of the rock; and this was defended by a deep ditch cut through a narrow neck on the brink of the precipice above the sea, and communicated with the main land by a draw-bridge, which is strengthened by two round towers. In regard to natural strength, there is not a situation in all Nore, thumberland equal to Bamborough Castle. From the great tower the prospect is most extensive, various, VOL. VI.
and picturesque. To the north is seen the bold, commanding castle on Holy Island; and beyond it the town and fortifications of Berwick : to the southeast are seen the whole group of Farn Islands : and to the south, on the nearest cliffs, Dunstanbrough Castle; behind which are seen the winding shore, with its creeks and bays, and multitudes of vessels, lying in their ports, or under sail.
The extreme point of view is Tynemouth, whose ruined monastery gives an obelisk to terminate the landscape. The inland prospect gradually inclines towards the sea, displaying a fine cultivated country, with numerous villages and hamlets.
A strong fortress like Bamborough Castle, on the borders of two hostile kingdoms, has of course been the subject of many severe contentions, and has been owned by many masters. In the tenth year of QUEEN ELIZABETH it was governed by Sir John Foster, when it was escheated to the Crown. His grandson, John Foster, Esq., had a grant of it from King JAMES; but in 1715, it was forfeited, and purchased by Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham. His Lordship, having no family, left the whole of the manor and castle of Bamborough, with other considerable estates, to the amount of several thousand pounds per annum, vested in trustees, to be applied to unconfined charitable uses. His will bears date June 24th, 1720, and he died September 18th of the same year, in the eighty-eighth year of his age. After his death, the Castle underwent considerable repairs, under the judicious direction of the late Dr. SHARP, who fitted up a suite of rooms in the great square tower for him. self and his family, which has since been occupied by the successive Archdeacons; the rest of the apartments are appropriated to other useful purposes. The upper part is a large granary, from whence the poor,
without distinction, even in the dearest times, are supplied with corn at four shillings per bushel : and a windmill is erected for their use. There are a meal-market and a grocer's shop for the use of the labouring poor, which are opened every Tuesday and Friday, to those who are deemed objects of charity, to whom a ticket is given at the beginning of each year, regulated according to the number of the family. The meal is sold at a reduced price, and the groceries at prime cost. As the extension of this charity is not limited by any distance of place, the annual number of persons on the list is about 1300; but in years of particular scarcity the number is much increased. There is also an infirmary here, kept at the expense of the trust, where a surgeon attends every Wednesday and Saturday, and gives advice and medicine gratis. From October 17th, 1809, to Oct. 17th, 1810, 1159 patients shared in the benefits of this institution.* Another part of the Castle is appropriated to a school, in which an unlimited number of scholars, boys and girls, are taught gratis, on DR. BELL's plan of education. Twenty poor girls, called boarders, taken at about nine years of age, are here provided with every requisite till they are sixteen, or fit for service. They are taught whatever is necessary to qualify them for useful life; and when put out to service are furnished with suitable clothing, and a sum of money, till their wages are due. At the end of the first year's service, on producing a good character from their master or mistress, they receive a handsome donation
History of Northumberland,