Desolate Dunstanburgh #atozchallenge

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dunstanburgh2There is something special about Dunstanburgh Castle. I’ve visited it a couple of times and it always has the same effect on me.  Unlike many castles, which are built near a settlement that subsequently thrives and becomes a town, Dunstanburgh Castle stands alone. The village is nearly a mile away and even today, visitors are required to walk along the coastal path to reach it – while dodging golf balls due to the location of a nearby golf course.

Ruined to the point it seems like it isn’t worth the effort visiting, the rugged outline captures the imagination. The great gatehouse remains superficially intact, at least it gives an indication of the scale of the immense fortifications. During my first visit, there were racing pigeons resting on the cliffs, battling the wind. It gets very windy at Dunstanburgh. While the waves crash below, the sense of desolation, the remoteness, hits you. Used mainly to house a garrison, I doubt it made a good home for those who commanded its walls. Rapidly ruined and never rebuilt, it remains a legacy of Scottish incursions and the War of the Roses (the battle between Yorkist and Lancastrian rivals), during which it changed hands several times.

Built by Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster (Dunstanburgh happens to be in Northumbria). Thomas was executed by Edward the Second (son of the king featured in my letter C) and it took a grisly eleven blows to decapitated him (sadly there was no training for executioners.)  His ghost supposedly staggers around and his face masked with horror, not surprisingly. He isn’t the only ghost associated with Dunstanburgh, there is also Sir Guy the Seeker and his “bright beauty”.  You can read about him here.

I’m not surprised there are ghosts reported at Dunstanburgh.

dunstanburgh-castle-research

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15 comments

  1. Wow, looks like my kinda place! I’d love to take a walk through there!

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    1. It’s very open and exposed, best pick a sunny day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That does look remote and desolate. Not a place I’d like to live, even if it was in one piece. Ooh ghosts – dashes off to read.
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Hope you enjoyed the ghost story. Not all castles were for living in, unless you were a soldier, hence they rapidly turned into ruins once they ceased serving a purpose.

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  3. Eleven blows! How awful…The facade looks impressive and the view even more so – thanks for broadening my world view 🙂

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    1. Sad to say, it wasn’t uncommon for executioners to get it wrong, although 11 seems a little excessive.
      The view is spectacular.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a neat place. I would love to go here, hopefully without the ghosts.

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    1. No ghosts when I visited thankfully.

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  5. But it looks like an inspiring place… I mean… for a writer. Sound slike very unconfortable to live in. No wonder only ghosts do 😉

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – Jazz Age Jazz

    Like

    1. It is inspiring. I’m hoping to include it in my book.

      Like

  6. Oh I got so excited that I clicked the wrong button. Amazing place! I’d love to go there for a sleepover!

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  7. Ooh, I love haunted places and I really love beaches, so this looks like my kind of place!

    Stephanie
    http://stephie5741.blogspot.com

    Like

  8. Castles have always been one of my favorite writing themes and prompts. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  9. Love it, hope to visit some day. So atmospheric! 🙂 Sati

    http://atozwriting.blogspot.com/

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