Pictures of Berwick-upon-Tweed
Standing on an entirely Scottish river, it is no wonder that the most frequently asked question concerning Berwick-upon-Tweed remains, is it Scottish or is it English?
During the harsh border struggles, this town was alternatively held by the Scottish and English. The struggles first began in Roman times and continued until the 15th-century. The town changed hands 13 times before being declared English territory in 1482.
The stirring history of Berwick-upon-Tweed and its effect upon its citizens, has contributed greatly to the strength and character of the town. The strong fortifications of this walled town date from the 14th-century when the wall stood at a height of over 20ft high and had 19 towers. To ensure complete safety for the town, Queen Elizabeth I ordered a new wall to be built on the north and east sides of the town. Elizabeth, engaged Italian experts to build the new wall, they were said to be experts in building defences that would make full use of Artillery and fire protection was assured for all parts of the wall by the building of 5 large bastions. This wall was rebuilt in 1760 and has survived as a complete circuit round Old Berwick. It remains today in excellent condition and a walk along the top gives great views of both the town and the harbour.
Interestingly, the Parish church, which is of great architectual value, is one of the few churches built during Cromwell's period. It is well preserved and in the latter part of the 19th-century, it was extended.
Berwick Castle was built in the year 1150 but owing to the introduction of the railways the castle was almost completely demolished by the Victorians who needed the site for the building of a railway station. The Royal Border Bridge built by Robert Stephenson in 1850 is connected to Berwick station. Stephenson's superb structure has 28 arches and stands 130ft above water. Berwick has two other bridges, one dates 1624 and the other is of more recent times and was built in 1928.
In 1717, Vanbrugh built Ravensdowne Barracks, known to be Britians eariest barracks in the area and built due to the protests of the townspeople who objected to billeting soldiers in their homes.
The Berwick of today is a charming and interesting town. Within the walls, old grey-stone buildings hidden under pinky-red roofs huddle together in ancient cobbled streets. The town hall is of classical design, it has four Tuscan columns a bell tower and its steeple soars 150ft skywards. This building was built in 1750 and its top floor was once the town goal!
Berwick's position on the Northumberland Heritage Coast assures the visitor that this is not just an ancient place but a lively bustling town set on the shores of a vast ocean. The shopping is excellent and with the towns strong scottish influence you can buy anything from a Tartan Handkerchief to full Highland Dress. Oh yes, the Whisky is superb and if you are not careful you can get quite tipsy sampling the different blends on offer.
This historic town is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Travel a short distance inland and you will come to the Southern Upland Way, which runs through some of the most majestic scenery in the Border country. Attractions close-by include; Manderson at Edrom, Crumstane Park Farm and a short distance from Berwick is a battle site of 1333. You will find some very hospitable inns and public houses, all serving tasty food, good wines and a wide selection of fine whisky. Go on, take a bottle home!