Northumberland's Warkworth Castle and English Heritage explore medieval past with interactive trail

22.03.23 Warkworth Art Installation Credit: English Heritage
English Heritage unveil new sculptures at Warkworth Castle as new interactive trail opens to the public this weekend. Credit: English Heritage

There are many reasons why Northumberland is so popular with visitors including beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes and friendly folk.

Now, English Heritage have added another reason for exploring England's northern-most county as old meets new in a series of interactive trails revealing the lives of people who lived in or near the medieval castle in the early 15th century.

The charity has commissioned new contemporary art installations at Warkworth Castle.

Joe Savage, Senior Interpretation Manager at English Heritage said: “We love this castle and know that visitors do too so we have put all our energy into creating something playful, yet beautiful; installations which absolutely speak to the fabric of the castle and its history."

"While Warkworth Castle was home to some larger-than-life characters, such as Shakespeare’s famous Harry Hotspur, it has been tremendous fun finding evidence of the lesser known people who also lived here - the ones that really made this place tick.”

Warkworth Castle is said to be one of Europe's finest examples of medieval fortified castles. Credit: English Heritage

Warkworth Castle is said to be home to one of the finest medieval buildings in Europe and the new sculptures have been created using cutting-edge technology.

However, artists James Wignall and Bradley Moore insisted that each sculpting process needed to be recognisable to the castle’s original medieval craftspeople - should they manage to time-travel to the present day.

Cast iron was poured into 3D printing sand moulds and artisans have added finishing touches to an incredibly intricate stone carving of the castle using a simple chisel and mallet.

The medieval monument is full of nooks and crannies for travellers to explore so English Heritage decided to introduce more comprehensive and livelier exhibits with the help of 3D modelling and computer-aided machining.

Other sculptures are cast in beautifully patinaed bronze - a corrosive green layer that forms on copper and its alloys.

Warkworth Castle dates as far back to the 13th Century but although now ruined, its commanding position high above the River Coquet still dominates the landscape.

The fortified residence housed the Percy family, with Earls of Northumberland preferring the rustic residency from the 14th to 17th centuries.

English Heritage have also introduced a revised and updated audio-guide; new seating, and new education resources for schools.

The exhibition will open to the public this weekend (25 - 26 March) when visitors will encounter various castle characters including a 15th century former Countess of Northumberland; a loyal servant and a cook.

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