Visiting Alnwick Castle had special meaning to me. My 20th Great Grandfather, Thomas de Grey was born in the castle on 30 November 1384. Thomas was the son of Thomas de Grey and Joan de Mowbray. Joan was the daughter of John de Mowbray, 4th Baron Mowbray and Elizabeth de Segrave, daughter of John de Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave, and his wife Margaret. Margaret was the daughter of Thomas of Brotherton, son of King Edward I.
During our tour of the castle, we learned that several episodes of Downton Abbey were filmed in the castle. The castle exterior also appeared in Harry Potter movies and, most recently, in a Transformer movie. The castle, the largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle, is currently the home of the Percy family, which includes 4 teenagers. It is part of a charitable trust, and the revenue from tours and shops is used to maintain the large estate. The peaceful, pastoral setting of the castle and its pristine landscaping are awe inspiring.
The correct pronunciation of Alnwick is Ann-ick. Unfortunately, photographs weren’t permitted inside the living quarters of the castle. The intricate ceilings and beautifully carved doors were so impressive, photos might not have done them justice.