Colin Crosby Heritage Tours


Alnwick is a historic market town in Northumberland, beside the River Aln and 17 miles from Morpeth.

It is pronounced "Annick".

The town grew up around Alnwick Castle, an 11th century stronghold in the Scottish borderland. The castle came into the possession of the Percys, Earls of Northumberland, in 1306 and was the birthplace of Harry Hotspur.

After the rebellion against Henry IV, during which Hotspur was killed, the estates were confiscated, but were later restored.

The town`s gatehouses were built in the 15th century, and Alnwick became county town and an important staging post on the Great North Road. Pottergate and Hotspur Gate survive.

The castle was renovated in the 18th and 19th centuries, and landscaped by Lancelot "Capability" Brown, who was born not far away at Kirkharle.

The Percy lion surmounts the Tenantry Column of 1816, which was erected by tenants grateful for a reduction of rents.

The Alnwick Garden is a tourist attraction in its own right, created by well known gardeners.

St. Michael`s Church dates from the 15th century.

Much of the town today, with its cobbled streets, and 800 year old Market Place, is a Conservation Area.

The former railway station is now a famous book shop.

Alnwick Mediaeval Fair is held each year in the Summer, and based on the 13th century fair. There is also a wild Shrove Tuesday football match in the town.

Malcolm Canmore , King of Scotland, was killed at the Battle of Alnwick just outside the town in 1093.

Another English victory over the Scots was in 1174. William the Lion was captured, and made to swear allegiance to Henry II.

In 2002, Alnwick was voted the town with the best quality of life in England.