This evening, I am focusing on Barnard Castle in Teesdale, N.E. England. The town grew up around a 12th century Norman castle and assumed the name, hence Barnard Castle can apply to either the ruined castle or the adjacent town (or both).

The Castle

This massive edifice sits on a natural defensive position, high on a rock above the River Tees. As a power base, the castle reached its zenith in the 12th century under Bernard de Bailliol after whose first name the castle is named. The castle subsequently passed to the Beauchamp family and then to King Richard III via his wife. After Richard’s death at Bosworth in 1485 the castle fell into disuse and ultimate ruin.

At the castle can be found a sensory garden and Richard III’s boar emblem carved into the inner ward.

The Town

Pleasant and prosperous with a population of about 5200. A market town with usual complement of shops, tea rooms, restaurants and pubs.The architecture is predominantly 16th and 17th century. Barnard Castle is considered by some to one of the 50 most historically and architecturally important towns in Britain.

Nearby is the Bowes Museum which contains a fine collection of European fine and decorative art works.

Famous authors Walter Scott and Charles Dickens both visited the town and used experiences in their respective literature. 

I usually try and include a stop at Barnard Castle during my travels and tours in England.

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