Postcard from Bamburgh

AC, Going Postal

AC, Going Postal
TO THE GLORIOUS MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF BAMBURGH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR/ THEIR COUNTRY IN THE WARS/ 1914 – 1919 AND 1939 – 1945/ MAY THEY REST IN PEACE

Bamburgh Castle, then called Din Guardi, may have been the capital of the Brythonic kingdom of Bryneich between about AD 420 and 547. In 547 the castle was taken by the invading Angles led by Ida son of Eoppa and was renamed Bebbanburgh by one of his successors, Æthelfrith, after his wife Bebba, according to the Historia Brittonum. From then onwards the castle became the capital of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia until it merged with its southern neighbour, Deira, in 634. After the two realms united as Northumbria the capital was moved to York.

Bamburgh was again the capital of local Bernician rulers after the Viking destruction of the old Northumbrian kingdom in 867. Initially puppets of the Vikings, they later had more autonomy under either the Vikings or Kings of united England. The rulers of Bernicia held the title of High Reeve of Bamburgh from at least 913 until 1041, when the last was killed by Harthacnut; sometimes – 954–963 and 975–1016 – they also served as Earls of York. The castle was destroyed in a renewed Viking attack in 993 and in 1018 the Lothian part of Bernicia was ceded to Scotland, significantly reducing the area controlled from Bamburgh.

Edward IV ruled all England in 1464, during the Wars of the Roses, in which time the Percy family, Earls of Northumberland, were based at Bamburgh Castle.

Sir Thomas Malory considered Bamburgh to be Lancelot’s castle Joyous Gard. The Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne agreed and called it “The noblest hold in all the North.”

“They saw the help and strength of Joyous Gard,
The full deep glorious tower that stands over
Between the wild sea and the broad wild lands…”

The Bamburgh war memorial is located within a rocky hollow at the foot of Bamburgh Castle (you can make it out on the pic of the castle).

The memorial is in the form of a Portland stone cross with Christ figure mounted on a square plinth. Within the niche there are also a number of bronze plaques which record the names of the fallen.

“Lest we forget……”

© AC