Berwick-upon-Tweed is a town on the outer reaches of the English border, in the North East of the country. The Borderlands to north and south of the River Tweed have long been a fortified frontier district between England and Scotland. Its once-rich farmlands have been devastated and its landscape dotted with castles, towers and battlefields. Between 1296 and 1482, Berwick -upon-Tweed was besieged and assaulted on more occasions than any other town in the world other than Jerusalem, changing hands no less than 13 times!
However the towns history goes back further, and it was once part of the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, whose capital Bamburgh, was some 30kms south of the town. The fortifications of Bamburgh, and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne can both be seen from the ramparts of Berwick..
In the Middle Ages the towns defences were no longer able to defend against the mosrt modern artilery, so Queen Elizabeth I engaged an Italian engineer to design and supervise the construction of an ambitious system of fortifications, employing the most up-to-date technology of the time.
This circuit of ramparts and bastions is unique in the United Kingdom and still stands virtually intact t othis day. It is a magnificent walk around the old town ramparts, and there is no better way to enjoy your first taste of this surprising town.
The town remained a garrison town, and in 1882 Berwick Barracks became the depot of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, who still have their Headquarters there. they are no longer billeted here however, and the barracks are now an excellent museum.