It had passed me by that the American painter Winslow Homer spent two years living in the fishing village of Cullercoats in Northumberland so having discovered the information this week in celebration I'm posting a map of the county. I love a map card. It has many points of interest, Hadrian's Wall, Cheviot hills, and the beautiful coastline. My Father must have visited the area in the 1970s because some of the cards I inherited seem to feature it a lot. Such as
Embleton Bay and Dunstanburgh. A popular place for watersports or just laying about on the beach, weather permitting, a nice windbreak or tent like the yellow one in the middle is always an advantage. This view is looking southwards to the ruins of the castle built in 1313 by Thomas, the earl of Lancaster. It was an important defensive structure until Tudor times when it fell into disrepair.
The whole coastline is littered with castles
such as Bamburgh (at the top of the map near Holy Island). There has been a fort here since the 5th century when it was the capital of the region's kingdom. The Norman core, besieged unsuccessfully in 1095 was added to over the years and it was the first ever castle to be defeated by artillery after a nine month siege in later years. Now you might be thinking it looks remarkably well preserved for a building of that age, and you would be right, because the Victorian industrialist William Armstrong built additional parts and preserved others in the 19th century. He is quite an interested character, far ahead of his time, for he advocated renewable energy and his house Cragside near Rothbury (centre of the map) was the first in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. In 1863 he said coal "was used wastefully and extravagantly" and that England would cease to produce coal within two centuries. He overestimated the time, but nobody could imagine that a person like Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would destroy an industry in a decade.
For a 1793 view of Bamburgh here is the publisher Noel Tatt's 'Sketchcard', no other information on the back.