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Very large 12th century royal castle atop a volcanic outcrop, overlying prehistoric and Roman occupation. Limited excavation in 1960 and the late 1960s/early 1970s revealed that the naturally defensive site, well placed for coastal control, was continuously occupied from the first century BC until the end of the Middle Ages. Use of the site began in the pre Roman Iron Age, and Roman activity, included a possible beacon site on the seaward terminal of the rock. By 547 AD the site was a royal centre, Din Guyardi, the capital of the royal dynasty of Northumbria, where remains of St Oswald were preserved in the Basilica of St Peter. A castle was built in the 12th century. Ruinous by 1704 it was extensively restored between 1894 and 1904 and divided into apartments. Original 12th century remains include the keep, the main entrance and inner gateway with a vault, and a chapel. In 1464, Bamburgh became the first English castle to succumb to artillery assault.Despite its history there has been little investigation of the site. The Bamburgh Project, under the aegis of The Archaeological Practice, began in 1997 to investigate the site and its environs. Resistivity and magnetometry survey revealed possible Anglo Saxon features underlying the Inner and West Wards and the Chapel of St Peter.

The monument is also visible as extant buildings, upstanding structures and earthworks on air photographs mapped as part of the North East Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey.
It is still extant and in very good conditions on the latest 2005 NMRC oblique photography.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.