From the earliest days of war between the English and Scottish. Berwick was an important military town. Soldiers of the garrison were for many years billited in local taverns and private houses, which placed a heavy financial burden on the people of the town. Complaints to the Government led eventually, in 1717, to the building of the first purpose built infantry barracks in England. Designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, Berwick Barracks were completed in 1721.
Today the Barracks hosts a number of attractions, including 'By Beat of Drum' - an exhibition on the life of the British infantryman. While there, visit the King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum, the Contemporary Art Gallery and the Berwick Borough Museum.
This one is ideal for anyone into military history. Allow yourself several hours as there is a lot to see here. Perfect for that rainy day.
In the care of English Heritage.
The Gunpowder Magazine was built in 1749, to store the powder for the nearby Barrracks. it was specially designed with safety features to prevent explosions, and blasts were directed upwards through the roof should the worst have happened, instead of destroying the town. Forunately it survives to this day.
Lord's Mount is a 16th century stone two storey artillery tower, founded by King Henry VIII. This enormous circular fortification, which probably supported an embrasured parapet, flanks the north-east angle of the medieval town wall. The surviving lower floor, has casemates for six long swivel guns and an accommodation range which includes, a garderobe, a kitchen and a well. The upper floor, with its platform for six more large guns and the captain's apartments, were dismantled in 1558 when the Elizabethan Ramparts were begun.
The Bell Tower is an Elizabethan stone octagonal four storey tower, founded in 1577. It flanks the line of the medieval town wall and is built on a circular base, of 1392. Over the centuries, it has been considerably repaired and altered, with the doors that gave access to the parapet walk, showing the original height of the wall. As the name suggests, it was used to warn the defenders of the Elizabethan Ramparts of a raid.
The Cumberland Bastion is one of five bastions, or fortifications, along the ramparts that surround the town. It is named after the Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Scottish Jacobite army of Bonny Prince Charlie in 1846.
Responding to fears over the 1715 Jacobite Rising, along with complaints from the Berwick citizenry over quatering soldiers led to the construction of the Barracks between 1717-25. The were first of their kind in England, providing a permanant home for over 600 men. The last remaining residents, the King's Own Scottish Borderers, vacated in 1964.
Inside is a fascinating look at British army life, chronicling the various wars as well as delving into the ordinary and everyday activities of a solider.
First mentioned in 1160, Berwick Castle today is a mere shadow of its former self. Once containing nine towers, much of the original stone was used in the construction of Berwick's buildings and bridges.
Most of the castle is inaccesable. The parts that are (The White Wall and the appropriately named Breakneck Stairs) require much caution.
Lots of interesting architecture.
Lots of narrow alleyways.
Cobbles, and grey-red sandstone.
Some good charity (thrift) shops too. :-)
Marygate is Berwick-upon-Tweed's main shopping street.
Here you can find branches of national chains, as well as independant retailers.
The Town Hall is a fine building in the centre of Berwick-upon-Tweed, built in 1761 - and no expense spared either.
Sally Port, is one of a series of ports, or gates, cut into the defensive walls to give access to the town.
Houses have some of their rooms set onto the alleyways behind.
Brass Bastion is another of the fortifications along the Elizebethan ramparts. best seen by a walk along the top. Watch out for the steep drops of the grass bank if you have children or animals.