Bamburgh may only be a small village in Northumberland and home to barely 400 people, but it has a proud and significant past. Between the beach and the village rises an impressive castle, which quickly caught the eyes of filmmakers.
While it has more recently hosted film crews for Macbeth, Transformers and Indiana Jones movies, a century ago the cameras wanted to capture the beauty of the castle for its own sake.
Bamburgh Castle in 1928
Three carriages and one locomotive worked the four mile stretch of the North Sunderland railway. The railway stations included Seahouses, Bamburgh and North Sunderland.
48 seconds in we see a nice view of the castle from the village, where just two cars can be seen.
The Four Mile Railway (1928): British Pathé on YouTube
Grace Darling Centenary (1938)
1838: The SS Forfarshire foundered on the rocks near Longstone Islands on the Farne Islands. Despite the terrible sea conditions, young Grace Darling accompanied her father on a rescue mission, saving 13 men. Grace died 4 years later.
In 1938 the local village turned out to mark the centenary of Grace Darling’s famous rescue.
The camera slowly records the faces of many participants and spectators, with a few buildings in the background.
Grace Darling Boat Lner (1938): British Pathé on YouTube
And then there are more scenes of the day’s events in a second film.
Centenary of Grace Darling’s rescue of shipwreck survivors in 1838 (1938): British Pathé on YouTube
Castle Repairs Underway in 1953
In this film about Northumberland’s beautiful towns and villages in 1953, Bambugh appears about 4 minutes in.
Bygone Northumberland – Any Man’s Kingdom 1953: Northernheritage (YouTube)
Wish You Were Here? (1983)
There’s only a brief stop at Bamburgh Castle on an overcast day in 1983, but this trip around Northumberland was introduced with some really cringe worthy lines. “For years the canny Geodies have been keeping it quiet” is hot on the heels of references to coal mining and pit ponies.
1980s Newcastle | Northumberland | Bamburgh Castle | Wish you were here? | 1983: ThamesTv on YouTube