Bamburgh Castle is one of the largest privately-owned, inhabited castles in the UK. Its present day state is thanks to the Victorian industrialist, William Armstrong who rescued it from deterioration, and whose decedents still own it. The high rocky plateau on which it is built has been the site of a fortress for thousands of years. Celtic Britons, Anglo Saxons and the Normans have all built fortifications there.
The castle can claim of number of firsts. It was the first castle in England to fall to gunpowder artillery during the Wars of Roses. It was also one of the world's first coastguard stations and the site for the development and testing of the earliest lifeboat.