Parts of the building were first erected in 1096 and the purpose of the building was to defend the northern border of England from Scotland and Border Reivers. The castle was besieged twice both near the end of the 12th century by William the Lion who was King of Scotland at the time. But he was captured outside of the castle walls in the Battle of Alnwick. It was the first Percy lord of Alnwick who got the castle restored.
The Alnwick Gardens lies just adjacent from the Alnwick Castle, it is the third most visited paid entry garden in the UK and gets over half million visitors a year. Before October 2001 it was seen as a derelict and forgotten site. But the Duchess of Northumberland had imagined creating a formal garden that would be beautiful and open to the public so that everyone can enjoy it. This is what initiated the Alnwick Garden project, the first part of development involved the fountain which is the centre piece of the garden and the planting of the gardens. In 2004 one of the largest tree houses in the world was added measuring at 6,000 square feet, it also has a café inside of it. The development of the Garden without the tree house cost £42 million the figure isn't resolved yet as the final parts of developments are still on going. The garden is owned by a charitable trust, which is separate from Northumberland Estates. The Duke of Northumberland donated the 42 acre site and help contribute £9 million towards its development cost.
You have seen Alnwick Castle recently as the castle has been used for the first two Harry Potter films. It was used for the exterior and interior of Hogwarts, some of the scenes filmed here the flying lessons on the broomsticks in the first film The Philosopher stone and the crash landing of the flying car in the second film The Chamber of Secrets. But Harry Potter isn't the only thing you have seen this in, as it has been in quite a few films and television shows with Becket, Blackadder; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves being the most recognisable.
In the castle there are a few exhibitions that show various things about the history of the castle. Most recently they have held a special exhibition to celebrate the castle's 700 anniversary of the purchase of the castle by lord Henry Percy from Anthony Bek, the Bishop of Durham. The castle has a lot going for it and is recommended to every especially families.
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