Alnwick Castle is a castle and stately home in Alnwick in the English county ofNorthumberland. It is the seat of the Duke of Northumberland, built following the Norman conquest, and renovated and remodelled a number of times. Alnwick Castle guards a road crossing the River Aln. Yves de Vescy, Baron of Alnwick, erected the first parts of the castle in about 1096. The castle was first mentioned in 1136 when it was captured by King David I of Scotland. At this point it was described as "very strong". It was besieged in 1172 and again in 1174 by William the Lion, King of Scotland and William was captured outside the walls during the Battle of Alnwick.
The current duke and his family live in the castle, but occupy only a part of it. The castle is open to the public throughout the summer. After Windsor Castle, it is the second largest inhabited castle in England. Alnwick was the tenth most-visited stately home in England according to the Historic Houses Association, with 195,504 visitors in 2006. Since World War II, parts of the castle have been used by various educational establishments: firstly, by the Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School; then, from 1945 to 1977, as Alnwick College of Education, a teacher training college; and, since 1981, by St. Cloud State University of Minnesota as a branch campus forming part of their International Study Programme. Special exhibitions are housed in three of the castle's perimeter towers. The Postern Tower, as well as featuring an exhibition on the Dukes of Northumberland and their interest in archaeology, includes frescoes from Pompeii, relics from Ancient Egypt and Romano-Britishobjects. Constable's Tower houses military displays like the Percy Tenantry Volunteers exhibition, local volunteer soldiers raised to repel Napoleon's planned invasion in the period 1798–1814. The Abbot's Tower houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. An increase in public interest in the castle was generated by its use as a stand-in for the exterior and interior of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. #AlnwickCastle #Alnwick #England #UK #Europe