The beautiful Northumberland village of Etal, one of a local twin, has a fine ruined castle; but this blog is not entirely about castles…
The picture above is the castle at Etal. It was constructed in the middle of the fourteenth century by Robert Manners, a Norman descendant. It consists of a residential tower in the ‘Pele’ style; a gatehouse and a corner tower of small proportions. The whole is protected by a curtain wall. The castle has a ‘bloody’ past, being close to Branxton, the nearest settlement to the site of the Battle of Flodden (September 1513), at which the English King Henry VIII’s forces under the Earl of Surrey prevailed, after a long and bloody battle, over those of James IV of Scotland.
A few days prior to the battle of Flodden, King James had stormed Etal castle and added it to the many others captured in the most audacious invasion of England ever undertaken by a Scottish army.
History judges the English King to be the primary aggressor, since the whole war was prompted by Henry tearing up the Treaty of Perpetual Peace which had previously been in place between the two countries, and with which the Scots were perfectly happy, since it recognised them as a nation.
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