The final bastion in the north

522bBerwick-upon-Tweed, the most northerly town in England, and what a beautiful historic town it is.

On our recent visit to Northumberland Man and I decided we would start at the top, so we drove from Nottingham straight to Berwick.

501bThis is a town on the mouth of the river Tweed and among the first things we noticed were the bridges.

This viaduct takes the railway from England to Scotland. This is the Royal Border Bridge, built by Robert Stevenson and Berwick’s most famous landmark.

514bYou can see it in the background here. In the middle of the photo is the modern road bridge over the river and in the foreground, the older bridge.

It was at the foot of the old bridge that Man and I came across a fellow photographer who told us you could walk all the way around the walls of this border town. Nice guy, very enthusiastic about the delights the town had to offer.

Walls have been important to the people of Berwick. It has been in the firing line on more occasions than most towns.

Captured or sacked 13 times before it finally fell to the English, the Elizabethans built walls around the town to keep the marauding Scots out.

523b

They built them well and they have stood the test of time for the most part, giving Berwick one of the most complete bastioned town defences in northern Europe. And from these walls you get some great views across the estuary.

519b

And below the walls is a great place to sit and gaze out to sea.

524b

This is also the home of England’s first purpose-built barracks, now owned by English Heritage.

530bBuilt in the eighteenth century, it houses museums, buttresses, batteries and a Russian canon.

525bThe surroundings of other fortifications in the centre of town have been turned into a car park – park at your own risk, the seagulls have a habit of ‘decorating’ the vehicles :)

516bEverywhere there is evidence of old architecture.

543bThis looked to me like an old church wall. Interesting how just one single wall of whatever this was was allowed to remain when all other traces of the building have disappeared.

529bAnd this has to be the most picturesque setting for allotments that I’ve ever seen … and they were all so beautifully kept.

545bBut although the town walls are incredibly preserved, the same cannot be said of the castle. Just ruins remain, but I have seen those ruins, so that is another castle knocked off the list for my Fifty before Fifty challenge.

542bThis sign was everywhere and it made me smile. In one image it looks as though the dog is weeing up the tree and in the other, well you can see. Struck me as quite appropriate for the Urban Sanitary Authority.

We found a highly unusual church, but that merits a post all of it’s own. And we checked off a pub from Man’s Good Pub Guide.

503bThis was the old schoolhouse. Now it is The Leaping Salmon where you can (and we did) purchase a large black coffee and a pint of the finest Hobgoblin for the bargainous price of just £2.75. Now that is worth driving to Berwick for.

544b

There aren’t so many battles in Berwick-upon-Tweed any more. Now it is just a bustling, friendly market town with a lot of history.

But, if and when the Scots gain independence from the union, well who knows. Berwick will once again take its place in history as a border town.

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3 comments
  1. Went through Berwick on the way to St Andrews and thought how nice it looked. Next time we will stop and have a look after you lovely photos :)

  2. Anny said:

    We went to Berwick when the girls were small and I loved it – I’ve never been terribly keen on the idea of living in the centre of a town, but I’d make an exception for Berwick, it had the most lovely atmosphere and so much history oozing out of every pore, I think I could be happy there. Thank you for the lovely reminder.

    • It is lovely isn’t it. I’m glad you enjoyed it :)

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