Though many of English Heritage’s Free to Enter sites remain open to visitors, unfortunately it has been necessary – as a result of advice relating to coronavirus - to close Norham Castle for operational reasons, in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.
Norham ranks among the finest sights in the border country. Set high on a grassy mound, commanding a vital ford over the River Tweed, it was one of the most important strongholds in this once turbulent region. It was also the one most frequently attacked by the Scots - it was besieged at least 13 times, once for nearly a year by Robert Bruce. But even its powerful 12th century keep and massive towered bailey walls could not resist James IV's heavy cannon, and it fell to him in 1513, shortly before his defeat at Flodden Field.
The extensive 16th century rebuilding that followed, adapting the fortress for artillery, is still clearly traceable.
Read more about Norham Castle's history.
Before You Go
Access: Parts of the site are uneven and can become muddy. Not suitable for wheel chairs.
Opening Times: Norham Castle is open daily from April until the end of October.
Parking: There is a car park onsite.
Guide books: There are guidebooks available at Berwick Barracks, Etal Castle and in Norham Village at the Mason's Arms.
Plan a Great Day Out
Find out more about the history of Norham by visiting St Cuthbert's Church (free admission, open daily). St Cuthbert's is an impressive 12th-century Norman church with original Romanesque windows and a superbly carved 17th-century pulpit. The church played a prominent part in the history of English-Scottish conflict, and was fortified by Robert the Bruce during his siege of the castle.
Norham Castle is just five miles from Etal Castle, where there is an award winning exhibition on the Battle of Flodden, of which Norham is closely connected to. Light snacks and refreshments are available in the shop and the picturesque village of Etal is nearby.
Also, don't miss Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island. The priory was built by ancient monks nearly 1,400 years ago and is surrounded by a wildly beautiful coastline. Please note, Holy Island can only be reached at low tide so check the tide tables before you visit.