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Hidden Histories

Every person who lives in a building leaves a mark; a trace of who they were and how they once lived. Hundreds of people have lived and died in the Castle over the centuries.

Beacon Hill Arts were invited to research these historical Castle dwellers and made three short films about three very distinct and different characters. A unique interpretation of what happened throughout history, each film is a thrilling opportunity to explore real-life stories that were once hidden until now within the castle walls…

Beacon Hill Arts are filmmakers with learning difficulties, autism and additional needs, who are engaged in all aspects of the film making process from scriptwriting, camera work, directing, acting and editing.

Sir William Heron

Between 1246 and 1256 Sir William Heron was one of the most feared men in the north of England. As High Sheriff of Northumberland, he was responsible for collecting the King’s taxes and enforcing the law of the land. Greedy, corrupt and ruthless, he used every opportunity to enrich himself. He died in 1258, and medieval chroniclers record that his soul was dragged to Hell…

Mary Bruce

The younger sister of Robert the Bruce, the famous Scottish King and warrior, Mary spent a decade of her life in prison. While her brother waged a guerrilla war against the English, she was locked in a cage at Roxburgh Castle, before being moved to a more comfortable prison in Newcastle Castle, where she remained until the climactic Battle of Bannockburn.

Humphrey Lisle

Humphrey Lisle, the young son of Sir William Lisle of Felton, went on the run with his father when they both broke out of the Castle’s gaol. For the next two years the Lisles and their gang were the terror of the borderland – kidnapping, sword fighting, horse stealing and cattle rustling. But as the forces of law and order closed in, the Lisle’s luck ran out and they faced a terrible fate…

The Hidden Histories project was a partnership between Beacon Hill Arts and Newcastle Castle. It was supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund with further kind support from the Joyce Trust and Hadrian Trust.