Alnwick - Historic Market Town
This medieval market town originally prospered as an ideal staging post, being only a day's ride from Berwick-upon-Tweed in the north and Newcastle upon Tyne in the south. It still retains many of its cobbled streets, narrow alleys and fine stone buildings which now house a range of specialist shops and family businesses as well as some of what once totalled over 50 inns. In October 2002, Country Life Magazine described Alnwick as "the most picturesque market town in Northumberland, and the best place to live in Britain".
This cache takes you around some of Alnwicks more unusual and grandeur points of interest. The whole route can easily be completed by foot within an hour. The final cache location can also be walked to but as there is a steep hill on the return leg I've upped the terrain difficulty slightly. It is also possible to drive and park close to the final cache location (once all the co-ords are obtained) but be warned the short walk to the final location can be very muddy in the winter months.
Stage 1 - War Memorial N55 24.674 W001 42.044 - The memorial stands in Denwick Lane and takes the form of a stone column surmounted by lamp. The column stands on a large stone pedestal which in turn bears the bronze plaques with names and inscription. There are G bronze figures, in mourning pose, one in each corner, which surmount the pedestal. There are 189 names for World War 1 and 76 for World War 2, one for Korea and one for Northern Ireland. The memorial was unveiled on 11th November 1922 by the Duke of Northumberland. The designers were Messrs. Hicks and Charleswood and the sculptors Ralph Hedley and Sons.
One of the plaques is in dedication of Corporal Terence Gavin O'NEILL, Royal Regiment Fusiliers. Killed in Belfast Northern Ireland on 25th May 1991. Aged 44. Killed when a homemade IRA grenade was tossed over the wall at North Howard Street Army base in West Belfast. He was serving as dog handler and had just fed his labrador. Make a note of his Service number C413953A
Stage 2 - Bondgate Tower N55 24.755 W001 42.224 - The tower is a 15th century stone three storey gatehouse, founded by Earl of Northumberland. In 1434, King Henry IV granted a licence to crenellate a wall around Alnwick, which took over fifty years to complete. To the fore and flanked by two polygonal towers, is a central vehicular archway, with the eroded outlines of the Percy Lion above. Also known as Hotspur Gate, it was originally one of four gates, in the medieval town wall, the tower was completed in 148I
Stage 3 - The Pinfold N55 24.694 W001 42.301 - The Pinfold is owned by the Freemen of the borough of Alnwick and is mentioned in records dating back to N= sum of the years. It was originally a place where stray livestock where kept until their owners reclaimed them - for a fee of course! These days you're more likely to see a car in the Pinfold.
Stage 4 - St. Michael's Pant N55 24.773 W001 42.450 - St. Michael is the patron saint of the town, normally a pant is a source of drinking water (personally I wouldn't try it here!) This pant dates from 176B. It is topped with a figure of Archangel Michael defeating a Dragon, a direct reference to the book of Revelations.
Stage 5 - Town Hall N55 24.805 W001 42.448 - The Town Hall is owned by the Freemen of Alnwick which may explain why the local Beer Festival is held there each year ;-) it was originally a toll booth but in 17F1 it was rebuilt as the Town Hall.
Stage 6 - Market Cross N55 24.804 W001 42.414 - The Market Cross is medieval and therefore believed to have been erected in the period 1066-1540. The cross-head was replaced in the 19th Century. The top of the shaft holds a number of carved plaques, add 1 to this and you get D, Half the number of 'faces' of the shaft gives you K.
Stage 7 - Roberstons Pant N55 24.788 W001 42.341 - Erected 189H. The Pant has a large square base with octagonal domed tempiett and pointed ribbed dome with circular panels between ribs, Half the number of arches to give you M. A lamp is supported above the dome, East and West faces of base have fanned panels, to the North a semi-circular porphyry tablet is inscribed "Presented by Adam Robertson to his native town" and smaller plaques below inscribed "opened by Earl Percy" and "June 8th 18O1".
Stage 8 - Harry Hotspur N55 24.881 W001 42.530 - In August 2010 The Duke of Northumberland unveiled a statue to one of his ancestors, the 14-foot bronze statue of Sir Henry Percy, also known as Harry Hotspur, was unveiled by the Duke at a memorial garden at Pottergate, The statue is one and a half times lifesize and was produced by well-known Northumberland sculptor Keith Maddison. Two pieces of information you will need is: the total amount of 'points' on Harrys spurs = 1E, and the amount of 'hilts' visable = L
Stage 9 - Alnwick Castle N55 24.942 W001 42.474 - Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, and has been the home of the Percys, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. The earliest mention of Alnwick Castle in the history books appears soon after 1096 when Yves de Vescy became baron of Alnwick and erected the earliest parts of the Castle. The Castle was first restored, primarily as a fortress, by the 1st Lord Percy of Alnwick in the early 1300's and portions of this restoration remain today, including the Abbot's Tower, the Middle Gateway and the Constable's Tower.
Alnwick Castle and the surrounding parkland of Hulne Park offer a dramatic and unspoilt setting for filmmakers. Most famously in recent years, the Castle has featured as 'Hogwarts' in the first two Harry Potter movies. Scenes filmed at Alnwick include the flying lesson on broomsticks in The Philosopher's Stone and the crash landing of the flying car in The Chamber of Secrets. The Castle and surrounding pastures were also famous for the opening & closing sequence to Blackadder. Other movies filmed at the Castle include: 2002 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2001 - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1998 - Elizabeth, 1991 - Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, 1982 - Ivanhoe, 1979 - The Spaceman and King Arthur, 1971 - Mary Queen of Scots, 1964 - Becket.
The Castle Barbican/Gatehouse displays a large plaque but how many Lions are on it = J
Congratulations! you now have everything you need to find the final location, The final co-ords are North ab cd.efg West hij kl.mno
PLEASE put everything back as you found it as a courtesy to the next cacher :) Beware of muggles with dogs and muddy kids - the path is used as part of the High Schools Cross Country course during the winter.
- A= Last number of Corporal O'Neills serial number
- B= St. Michaels Pant was erected in 176?
- C= First number of Corporal O'Neills serial number
- D= Amount of carved plaques on the Market Cross shaft + 1
- E= Total points on Harry Hotspurs 'spurs' = 1?
- F= Town Hall rebuilt in 17?1
- G= Servicemen standing guard at the War Memorial
- H= Robertsons Pant erected in 189?
- I= Bondgate Tower completed in 148?
- J= Number of Lions on the Castle Barbican/Gatehouse
- K= Half the amount of 'faces' on the Market Cross Shaft
- L= Amount of hilts on the Harry Hotspur statue
- M= Half the arches on robertsons Pant
- N= Sum of the year displayed on the Pinfold plaque
- O= Robertsons Pant was opened in 18?1
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