Three Queens linked to Bamburgh Castle
The earliest Queen was perhaps the most important because her name lives on through the centuries and gives the village its name. Legend has it that King Æthelfrith (died c. 616) was King of Bernicia from c. 593 until his death. Around 604 he became the first Bernician king to also rule the neighbouring land of Deira, giving him an important place in the development of the later kingdom of Northumbria. Legend has it that he named his fortress after his second Queen. Bebba, as detailed in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History.
Then there was Queen Phillipa wife of Edward 111, the “Hammer of the Scots”. Whilst Edward was fighting the Scots at Berwick, the Queen was safely ensconced at Bamburgh. However, the scots decided to raid the Castle during Edward’s absence; the raiders were fought off-
Finally, the most dramatic and desperate of all, Queen Margaret of Anjou. Wife of the hapless King Henry VI. Henry, son of the revered HenryV, had inherited a strain of insanity from his maternal grandfather, the French king. During the Wars of the Roses, Edward of York fought him for his crown, and besieged the Castles of Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and Alnwick, under the forces of the Earl of Warwick-Warwick “the Kingmaker”. But for brief months, Henry resided at Bamburgh with his queen, as the Lords loyal to him shrank to the very northern lands only. Fortunately, before the infamous siege of the Castle, Henry had fled to Scotland. But although Margaret battled valiantly to save him and their son, the Prince of Wales, she was to lose both and forced to retire to France to live out her remaining lonely bitter years…
There is one other Queen (Queen Mary) who visited the Castle-but for that account you must fast forward to the 20th century ( see the story of the 2nd Lord Armstrong…)