he construction of Dunstanburgh Castle was started in around 1313 by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. The castle is situated on rocky outcrops near the sea on the Northumbrian coast. The curtain wall of the castle still exist on the east and south sides of the castle. The north side is on the cliffs. The main gate-house is situated in the south-west corner of the enclosure. The gate-house consisted of two half-round towers and was converted into a keep. On the southern curtain wall, to the east of the gate-house are several towers. On the western curtain wall is the remains of a tall tower known as the Lilburn Tower.
The castle was held for the Lancastrians during the Wars of the Roses but in 1463/4 was captured by the Yorkists. The castle fell into disrepair and the stones were taken away to be used in local buildings.
The Earl of Warwick was put in charge of capturing the castles from the Lancastrian garrisons. Edward had to stay at Durham to recover from a bout of the measles. The castles were not attacked but cut off from supplies to starve the soldiers out. Just before the new year the Lancastrian soldiers surrendered and the Yorkists took control of Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh Castles. Warwick used the castle at Warkworth as his base while he monitored the sieges at the other castles. The seige of Alnwick Castle continued into January. ¹
After the Lancastrians were defeated at the Battle of Hexham their power in Northumberland was at an end. The Earl of Warwick accepted the surrender of Alnwick Castle on June the 23rd. Dunstanburgh Castle surrendered shortly afterwards. The siege at Bamburgh Castle was brought to an end with the use of cannons, the first castle to fall in such a way. ¹
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Selection of references used:
1. Peter Potter, Data Donation
2. Anthony Goodman, The Wars of the Roses, ISBN:0-88029-484-1