Rothbury and Coquetdale History Society concluded its season, which has included exciting lectures by leading historians in the North East, with a visit to Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Travelling by coach from Rothbury on the scenic route alongside the Cheviot hills, we arrived at Berwick Railway station, where we were met by our ‘tour guide’, local historian Jim Herbert.
Jim is the focal point of Berwick Time Lines, which aims to bring to the forefront the history of Berwick.
Using the theme of his recent lecture, From Ditch to Bastion, which reviews the medieval defences of Berwick, Jim led the group through the walled park to the River Tweed, alongside Robert Stephenson’s iconic stone viaduct bridge.
We proceeded uphill along the massive walls of the castle. Jim related the history of the Scottish/English treaties and conflicts that were decided by ownership of Berwick from before the Norman Conquest to the Georgian period.
The tour moved on to the Tudors and the efforts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I with visits inside the fortified walls, where we had to use torches to light our path in the dark tunnels.
Then it was back to see Russian cannons captured at the Crimean war along the ramparts.