A-Z Challenge 2012 - B
Bamburgh’s Pink Lady
Bamburgh Castle stands on a massive rock on Northumberland’s North Sea coast.
|Bamburgh Castle (Nesfield)|
The castle site may have been a prehistoric settlement but the first reference to a castle was in AD 547. Built by the Normans, besieged unsuccessfully by William II in 1095, targeted by the Scots, Bamburgh Castle was the first English castle to be defeated by artillery during the Wars of the Roses in 1464.
The Forster family had been governors of the castle for 400 years before the Crown granted them ownership. In 1700 Sir William Forster died bankrupt and the castle was sold to the Bishop of Durham. During the 18 and 19th centuries various owners undertook restoration of the castle. It was the wealthy Victorian industrialist, William Armstrong, who is credited with bringing the castle to how we see it today.
|Bamburgh Castle (Bowman)|
But what of Bamburgh’s Pink Lady?
We are told that the father of a Northumbrian princess not approving of the boy she loved banished him overseas for seven years. Forbidden to exchange messages with her love the girl became more and more depressed. Finally the king told his daughter that the boy had married someone else. To cheer his daughter up after this news the king ordered the castle seamstress to make the princess a fine dress in her favourite colour – pink.
Still distraught, the girl climbed to the highest battlements and flung herself to her death on the rocks below – wearing that pink dress.
Her lover returned from exile, unmarried and was heartbroken by the lost of his love. What happened to him no one knows.
Another legend linked to Bamburgh Castle is that of the toad-queen said to live in a cave beneath the castle. Supposedly the doors to the cave open very seventh Christmas Eve. The toad-queen will not return to her normal shape until some hero arrives…..
The queen was changed into that toad-queen, waiting for some hero to unsheathe the Childe of Wynde’s sword three times, to blow Childe’s horn three times and finally to kiss the toad.
- Bamburgh Castle; Oil on canvas date unknown; William Andrews Nesfield; public domain.
- Bamburgh Castle; author Glen Bowman; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
- The Spindlestone (2007) at Spindlestone Heughs as included in the legend of the Laidley Worm; author Wayne Phillips; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License