In 1313, Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster and cousin of Edward II of England, began construction on the massive fortress of Dunstanburgh. From his own father, Thomas inherited the Earldoms of Lancaster, Leicester, and a Ferrers earldom of Derby. By his marriage to Alice de Lacy, Countess of Lincoln, he became Earl of Lincoln and Salisbury, Baron of Halton and Lord of Bowland upon the death of his father-in-law in 1311. Master of five earldoms, he was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in England.
Thomas was one of the leaders of the baronial opposition to his cousin, Edward II of England and was executed as such in 1322. By this time the castle was substantially complete.
Dunstanburgh Castle is on the coast of Northumberland in northern England, between the villages of Craster and Embleton. The castle is the largest in Northumberland and the site shows traces of much earlier occupation before the erection of the castle was started in the 14th century.