Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales

BERWICK CASTLE AND TOWN DEFENCES


BERWICK CASTLE
Photo Andrew Tivenan

The first fortification here was probably built by the Scots in the 11th century. The existing building dates from the middle of the 12th century and it was almost continuously beseiged and captured during the wars between England and Scotland in the 13th and 14th centuries. The outer curtain wall was protected by 7 towers and a large keep gatehouse and a spur on the south west side led steeply down to a further tower by the river. It was kept in repair until the 16th century but then was neglected as new defences to protect the town were built (below). In the 17th century much of the stone was removed and later the whole eastern side was demolished to make way for the railway line. Now only the western wall remains together with the adjoining wall down to the river.

English Heritage, open all year.


Berwick Castle photo Andrew Tivenan Berwick Castle photo Andrew Tivenan Berwick Castle photo Andrew Tivenan Berwick Castle photo Andrew Tivenan Berwick Castle photo Andrew Tivenan Berwick Castle photo Andrew Tivenan

Berwick is probably the most heavily fortified town in the country as it lies on the border between Scotland and England. The defences are marked on the map below.


Photo © Google Maps

In addition to the castle [8], the town was protected by earthworks which were rebuilt in stone at the end of the 13th century with 19 towers. Only the rebuilt Bell Tower [2] on the north west side remains. In the first half of the 16th century the defences were completely rebuilt and the castle became redundant. A new town wall with earth ramparts and 5 bastions were built, each sited so that it could protect the neighbouring bastion. These are Meg's Mount [9], Cumberland Bastion [4], Brass Bastion [5], Windmill Bastion [6] and King's Mount [7]. On the north west side a gun battery was added in 1539, Lord's Mount [1], which was of similar design to the castles built by Henry VIII on the south coast of England although the upper storey is now demolished. Fisher's Fort [11] overlooked the river at the southern edge of the town.

Scroll down for photos of the five bastions.


Brass Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan Brass Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan Brass Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan Cumberland Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan
Cumberland Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan King's Mount Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan King's Mount Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan Windmill Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan
Windmill Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan Meg's Mount Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan Meg's Mount Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan Meg's Mount Bastion photo Andrew Tivenan

Many of the town gates still remain including Scotsgate [3], Cowport Gate [10], Ness Gate [12] and Sandgate [13]. Scroll down for photos of the town gates and the remains of the old town wall.

Ness Gate photo Andrew Tivenan Sandgate photo Andrew Tivenan Scotsgate photo Andrew Tivenan Cowport Gate photo Andrew Tivenan
Sally Port photo Andrew Tivenan Lord's Mount photo Andrew Tivenan Lord's Mount photo Andrew Tivenan Lord's Mount photo Andrew Tivenan
Lord's Mount photo Andrew Tivenan Lord's Mount photo Andrew Tivenan Fisher's Fort photo Andrew Tivenan Fisher's Fort photo Andrew Tivenan
Fisher's Fort photo Andrew Tivenan The Bell Tower and old defences The Bell Tower photo Andrew Tivenan

 

Directions
The castle is sited to the west of the town by the river
TD15 1DF

 



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