The castle was built in
the early part of the 12th century as a defence against the Scots who's
favourite pastime during this period, was invading Northumberland.
The site it occupies, a steep sided spur high above the Tyne, is
well suited to this purpose,
as the Scots found out in 1173 and 1174 when they had to abort their
attempts to take the stronghold.
Although the castle is owned by the Duke of Northumberland, it is managed