Concept

Tynemouth Castle and Priory

Résumé
Tynemouth Castle is located on a rocky headland (known as Pen Bal Crag), overlooking Tynemouth Pier. The moated castle-towers, gatehouse and keep are combined with the ruins of the Benedictine priory where early kings of Northumbria were buried. The coat of arms of the town of Tynemouth still includes three crowns commemorating the tradition that the Priory had been the burial place for three kings. Little is known of the early history of the site, although archaeologists have discovered traces of 2 circular wooden houses, one dating from before AD 43 and the other from around the 2nd century AD. Some Roman stones have been found there, but there is no definite evidence that it was occupied by the Romans. The Priory was founded early in the 7th century, perhaps by Edwin of Northumbria. In 651 Oswin, king of Deira was murdered by the soldiers of King Oswiu of Bernicia, and subsequently his body was brought to Tynemouth for burial. He became St Oswin and his burial place became a shrine visited by pilgrims. He was the first of the three kings buried at Tynemouth. In 792 Osred II, who had been king of Northumbria from 789 to 790 and then deposed, was murdered. He also was buried at Tynemouth Priory. Osred was the second of the three kings buried at Tynemouth. The third king to be buried at Tynemouth was Malcolm III, king of Scotland, who was killed at the Battle of Alnwick in 1093. (This is the same Malcolm who appears in Shakespeare's Macbeth.) The king's body was sent north for reburial, in the reign of his son Alexander I, at Dunfermline Abbey, or possibly Iona. In 800 the Danes plundered Tynemouth Priory, and afterwards the monks strengthened the fortifications sufficiently to prevent the Danes from succeeding when they attacked again in 832. However, in 865 the church and monastery were destroyed by the Danes. At the same time, the nuns of St Hilda, who had come there for safety, were massacred. The priory was again plundered by the Danes in 870. The priory was destroyed by the Danes in 875.
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