Barnard Castle, Egglestone Abbey, Bowes Castle by Katy Kenyon
Barnard Castle is one of the great fortresses of northern England, sited on a cliff above the River Tees. Originally built after the Norman Conquest by the Baliol family, its defences were successively developed during the Middle Ages to create the castle we can see today. After the death of its most famous owner, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III, the castle was gradually neglected in the hands of the Crown, even though it managed to hold out for eleven days against rebels during the Rising of the North 1569. Egglestone Abbey, two miles down river, was a small monastery belonging to the Premonstratensian, or 'white', canons. Never wealthy, part of it was converted into a private house after the monastery's dissolution in 1540. Today its ruins form a picturesque scene above the river bank. Nearby Bowes Castle is the shattered ruin of a keep built by Henry II in the corner of a Roman fort to repel the Scots.