Important English Northumbrian castle located in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Its position on the border with Scotland meant it was a key fortress for the English to keep hold of and one that the Scots were always eager to capture. In 1292 Edward I chose Baliol as king of Scotland in the Great Hall of the castle. This hall and much of the castle was destroyed when a railway station was built on the site. What can be seen at Berwick are the extensive remains of the town walls. Two sets of wall remain, one from the time of King Edward II and one from the time of Elizabeth I.

Berwick Castle Key Facts
CountyNorthumberland (15 castles)
CategoriesStone
OwnershipRoyal castle
RemainsSmall amount survives
Access to siteAt any reasonable time


YearMonthEvent
1216 Jan  King John attacks Berwick
 King John attacked Berwick and forced the Scots to leave. He also raided the lowlands.

Episode: The First Barons' War  
1292 Nov 17  John Balliol chosen by Edward I as Scottish King
 At Berwick Edward I declared John Balliol to be the new Scottish King.[1]

Episode: Edward I and Scotland  
1296 Apr  Balliol: Renounces homage to England
 In March of 1296 Edward I had attacked and sacked Berwick. Balliol renounced homage to England.[1]

Episode: Edward I and Scotland  
1310 Sep  Edward campaigns in Scotland
 Supported by Earls of Gloucester, Warwick and Cornwall, Edward took an army into Scotland. Edward directed the assaults from Berwick. The campaign was fruitless even though Gaveston managed to reach as far north as Perth.[2]

Episode: Edward II and Piers Gaveston  
1313 Dec 23  Edward prepares for invasion
 The king call upon the earls to provide men and arms and to meet at Berwick on the 10th of June 1314 to attack the Scots.[2]

Episode: Robert the Bruce  
1314 Jun 17  Edward leaves Berwick
 Edward II and his army left Berwick to march to Stirling Castle which they had to reach before midsummer's day if the castle were to be saved from falling back into the hands of the Scots.[2]

Episode: Robert the Bruce  
1319 Jun  Edward marches to free Berwick
 The last Scottish town to be held in English hands had been captured by Robert the Bruce. The loss of Berwick brought Edward and Lancaster together. Their common goal was to recapture the town and together with the Earl of Pembroke and Surrey they marched north.[2]

Episode: Robert the Bruce  
1322 Jul  The Scots invade
 The two year truce that had been agreed after the failed siege by the English at Berwick expired and Robert the Bruce invaded the north of England.[2]

Episode: Robert the Bruce  
1333 Jul 19  Battle of Halidon Hill
 Edward had positioned his army on Halidon Hill overlooking Berwick which he had under siege. He choose the location because it allowed him to look out for the Scots who may try and relieve the Scottish who were besieged with the town. A Scottish force tried to get to Berwick put were defeated by Edward's army. Edward III's attacks on Scotland and victory at Halidon Hill put Edward Balliol back on the Scottish throne for four more years. Robert (II), the future King of the Scots, was one of the Scottish commanders at the battle of Halidon Hill.[3] 
 Jul 20  Berwick surrenders to the English
 After the defeat of their relief force at Haildon Hill the day before the Scots holding out in Berwick had no option but surrender to the English and Edward III. 
1357 Oct 3  Treaty of Berwick
 This treaty, signed between Edward III and David II of Scotland, allowed David to go free from prison where he had been kept for the previous 11 years. A ransom of 100,000 marks was the price of his freedom. 
1378   A small Scottish army captures Berwick Castle
 With just forty men, Alexander Ramsay approached Berwick Castle and finding no guards on the walls raised ladders and gained entry to the keep. There they killed the castle's commander and took control, The residents of Berwick reacted by destoying the drawbridge to the castle to prevent the Scots leaving. A larger Scottish army was north of Berwick and Ramsay decided to wait for their arrival, but the Earl of Northumberland with 10,000 men arrived first. They laid seige to the castle but quickly recaptured it, killing all the Scots apart from Ramsay who surrendered. 
Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1639 Jun 18  Treaty of Berwick
 The army Charles had put together was no match for the Scottish army under the command of Leslie and so the King signed the Treaty of Berwick. While the Scots returned home happy that they could deal with their own church affairs, Charles had no intensions of abiding by the terms of the treaty and used the treaty as a means of gaining time to plan his next move. [4] 
1645 Aug 18  Montrose enters Glasgow
 Montrose entered Glasgow and a new Parliament was convened in the name of King Charles I. The Convenanting leaders escaped to Berwick.[4] 

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