Eustace Families Association
Alnwick Castle, built by Eustace FitzJohn in1140, is said to have been one of the finest examples of itskind. It is one of those castles that boast an open or shell keepand a complete enceinte. For two Centuries it remainedtenantless until the present family succeeded. Fortunately, partsof the building have been restored. In the second half of the18th Century more than half the Castle was renovated, and anItalian style of decoration was applied to the interior. Therestoration was instituted between 1750 and 1786. The walls havebeen integrated into the residence of the Dukes ofNorthumberland. The property consists of five acres. The oldestof these is the Norman gateway, dating from the 12th Century,also the well in the keep.
In the park there is a monument commemorating the capture ofWilliam the Lion, when he besieged the town in 1174.
According to the chronicler of Alnwick Abbey, the Barony ofAlnwick belonged to Gilbert Tyson prior to the Conquest. His sonand heir, William, was killed at Hastings, leaving no issue. Hisdaughter and estates were granted to lvo de Vesci. In 1297William, first Baron Vesci, died without surviving issue, andleft the Barony to the Bishop of Durham, who sold it to Sir HenryPercy. The Castle slowly became the center of the town, whichsupposedly received its borough charter from King John.
Near Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, the mansion of the HarrisonEstate, now Beaver College, Glenside, Pennsylvania, is a replicaof the Castle of Alnwick in Northumberland. It is considered avery creditable facsimile.