|Alnwick Castle||North East England|
|Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1NQ||
Alnwick Castle is home to the Duke of Northumberland, and has magnificent State Rooms befitting a castle with such a rich history of illustrious owners. Despite its proximity to the town centre, the castle is hidden from view, only seen clearly when approached from the north where it overlooks the River Aln.
The castle was started by the Norman baron, Yvo de Vescy, in 1096, but it gained most of its current design under the direction of the Percy family who acquired the castle in 1309. The Percy's were one of the most powerful families in England and have been closely linked with the castle ever since.
In 1750, Sir Hugh Smithson, later to become the first Duke of Northumberland, succeeded to the Alnwick estates. By this time the castle was largely derelict, so an extensive program of restoration was undertaken to convert the castle into a luxurious stately home. In the mid 19th century, the fourth Duke, Algernon, carried out a new restoration, and it is the result of this work that is now visible at the castle.