Northumberland is full of fine castles; Harbottle Castle, however isnʼt one of them. A Classic Norman Motte & Bailey Castle little remains bar the earthworks and a few walls.
The castle had an eventful life, detailed on the plaque in the car park, eventually becoming the home of a notorious "robber baron" Thomas Dacre.
Nicknamed "The Sad Castle" in a poem by Harbottle First School student Felicity Lance, the gaunt remains remind me somehow of Weathertop in JRR Tolkienʼs Fellowship of the Rings.
Felicityʼs poem, by the way, won a National Young Writers Competition judged by the former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, and was carved on a stone that now stands in the car park.