This attractive little plant growing on the walls of Stanhope Castle in Weardale is fairy foxglove Erinus alpinus, a native of Central and Southern Europe that was first recorded on this spot in 1934.
How and when it reached our shores is uncertain. Gordon Graham, in his Flora and Vegetation of County Durham (1988) quotes the following theory from W.J.Weston's The County of Durham, published in 1914;
"Round Edmondbyers the rare little pink flowers, a curious survival from the Roman occupation, may reward diligent search.It is supposed that the plant, which is found nowhere but in the neighbourhood of the camps was brought into the country by the Spanish legionaries"
For more wildlife on walls, click here.