An interesting castle with a troubled past as all the Border fortresses had on both sides. An excellent Flodden exhibition at the castle that's worth paying to see just to get a feel for the era of Anglo-Scottish conflict. It's easy to forget in now peaceful rural Northumbria what a fiercely contested part of the world this was in the past and the scorching on Etal Castle's remains serve as vivid reminder of this. The Sunday Times recently described Northumbria as a medieval Afghanistan and it was Etal and others like it (et al....so to speak) that were the Forward Operating Bases of their day. Shifting regional alliances and loyalties in the Border areas often unrelated to national causes but more localised banditry, see the Heron clan of this patch for example, made this an interesting and multi-layered theatre of operations.
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