Alnwick Castle has stood in its current location for nearly 1,000 years. It cannot be said for certain when the first castle was constructed, but the popular story is that a Norman man named Gilbert Tyson ruled it in the late 11th century, before its ownership passed to the de Vescys, another Norman family. There was almost certainly a castle on the spot where it now stands by the year 1093, as King Malcolm III of Scotland attempted to take it in that year.

The Percy family purchased Alnwick Castle from the Bishop of Durham in 1309, but they were already a long-standing family in England by that date, and can trace their roots back to before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Richard de Percy, the 5th Baron, was one of the lords who opposed the actions of King John prior to the signing of Magna Carta, and so became one of the 25 barons appointed to enforce the observance of the document.

The Northumberland Collection and Archive at Alnwick Castle is privately owned and fully funded by the Percy family. The Northumberland Collection includes paintings by Canaletto, Turner, Titian and Van Dyck, and the library contains approximately 14,000 volumes. The archive houses the family and estate papers of the earls and dukes of Northumberland.

To learn more about Alnwick Castle and the Northumberland Collection and Archive, please visit their wesbite.

Terms of use

The Trustees of the 10th Duke of Northumberland’s Will Trust have graciously contributed images from their collections to Shakespeare Documented, and retains sole ownership of said images. Visitors may link to and cite the images within Shakespeare Documented in personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the representatives of the Trustees of the 10th Duke of Northumberland’s Will Trust to request additional use, at: Collections and Archives Department, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1NQ, United Kingdom



Documents contributed by The Northumberland Collection and Archive, Alnwick Castle

ca. 1598
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