A Tweet, from a picture of a page inside the 2005 book ‘Brewer’s Britain and Ireland’, drew attention to the meaning behind the town’s name and it will astonish many.
It comes as Dominic Cummings said he drove to the historic town to test his eye sight.
The book claims Barnard Castle is a slang term, coined when Sir George Bowes refused to leave his fortified position inside the castle to engage in battle during the Northern Rebellion in the 16th century.
“Hence the expression ‘come, come, that’s Barney Castle’, meaning “that’s a pathetic excuse’ states the book.
Clear breach of the rules
Wales’s health minister has said he would resign if he drove to the other side of the UK during lockdown like the Prime Minister’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings.
Vaughan Gething said he would not add to the voices calling for Mr Cummings to be sacked, but described his actions during England’s stay-at-home phase as a “clear breach of the rules”.
His comments on Tuesday came as new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there has now been more than 2,000 deaths in Wales involving coronavirus.
Mr Gething told the Welsh Government’s daily press briefing: “If I had driven to the other end of the country to see a family member when I thought my wife could be potentially symptomatic with Covid-19, that would have been a clear breach of the rules in place at the time and my position as a minister would have been untenable.
“It isn’t for me to make choices about the Prime Minister’s senior special adviser.
“What does matter to me is not so much the fate of Dominic Cummings and his job, it’s actually whether people across all four nations, including here in Wales, are going to continue to follow the rules to keep us all safe.
“My real concern is the loss of public trust that comes from the ever-changing circus of the last few days. Some clarity in the rules and expectation and a clear understanding that the rules are there for all of us.”
Mr Gething added: “It’s for the Prime Minister to resolve issues for him and his staff and to understand the message that sends to people here in Wales and to the rest of the UK about whether we really are all in this together and to understand that we all need to be in this together to get through to the other side in this post-coronavirus world.”