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It dates from the eleventh century and its construction was begun by a Norman family called the De Vescis, but the castle is much better known as the historic seat of the Percy family.
Alnwick Castle photographed by David Simpson Northumberland's association with the Percy family began on the nineteenth of November 1309 when Henry De Percy bought the castle and barony of Alnwick from Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, who had acquired the land from the De Vescis.
The tower was one of four gateways to Alnwick, the others were the Clayport Gate, Pottergate and Narrowgate.
Alnwick Castle, often referred to as the `Windsor of the North', is undoubtedly the best medieval castle in northern England.
It has been beautifully restored and installed in the inn with all its fittings.
From Alnwick and Hulne Park, a road leads north west, across Eglingham Moor, towards Chillingham and Wooler.
Legend is that the second Duke of Northumberland (a Percy) lowered the rents of his agricultural tenants by twenty-five per cent to help them through the period of agricultural depression which followed the Napoleonic Wars.
He was not the first Scottish king to fall unlucky at Alnwick, for less than a mile to the north of the town near Alnwick's Lion bridge is Malcolm's Cross, marking the place where King Malcolm Canmore, (1057-1093) was killed during an invasion of England.
As an important coaching stop on the Great North Road, between London and Edinburgh, Alnwick had a good share of inns for the traveller.
Chillingham is pronounced in the normal English way.
Chillingham, is the small estate village for Chillingham Castle,which lies to the east of the River Till.
This river is unique to North East England in having two names, for in its upper stretches it is called the River Breamish (not to be confused with Beamish).