Wallington – HODs

Delve into the history of Wallington and the people that called it home. Visit the house, gardens and take a woodland or riverside walk. Support our conservation work with lunch in the cafe and a visit to the shops.

Sitting in a rural corner of Northumberland yet only 20 miles north west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Wallington is a large estate where a historical house meets rolling hills, extensive woodland and a walled garden. Take time to explore and discover the variety of spaces, both indoors and out and keep your eyes peeled for the native wildlife – from red squirrels and nuthatches to white-clawed crayfish and otters. For an active adventure, take to the Dragon cycle trail and be inspired by far-reaching views across the Northumbrian countryside. Once home to the unconventional Trevelyan family, the informal house displays beautiful collections, whilst the four outdoor playparks capture the spirit of the adventurous Trevelyan children. Refuel at the Clocktower café with hot and cold refreshments daily. Discover the seasonal kiosks in the walled garden, courtyard and west woods. Treat yourself to gifts and souvenirs from the shops and plant centre.

Wallington’s welcoming house team are eager to share their knowledge of the fine collection of paintings, ceramics, books and the rich history of the donor family and as part of the Heritage Open Days at Wallington this year.

Open 10am-5pm both Sunday & Monday

No booking required

Additional Information
Contact for the day:

Sunday 10 Sept – Sarah Wilkinson 01670 773604

Monday 11 Sept – Liz Hallissey 01670 773602

Get inspired by the past – HODs at Cresswell

Get inspired by Cresswell Pele Tower and Garden then produce and share your own bit of creativity with others.

Join our Artists in Residence at our inspirational 14th-century building. Immerse yourself in the history, stories, and artifacts in the pele tower or the associated walled garden, both of which have been rescued from dereliction and neglect.

See what is awoken within you and explore ways to capture and share that in a creative fashion, using whatever medium seems most appropriate.

It may be a poem, photographs, drawings, spoken word, video, or even a folk tale. Perhaps the White Lady may guide your hand? Or the stories of Crusader Knights? The colourful flowers in our Secret Garden or its contemplative seclusion.

There will be re-enactors on hand in period costumes, and stories of the border raiders known as REIVERS, whose clan names remain in celebrities such as Bobby Charlton, Neil Armstrong and Bobby Robson.

Above all else, come and enjoy this unique part of local cultural history.

No booking required

Please use public car parking along the seafront (north and south) and enjoy the short walk to the Pele Tower. We regret dogs are allowed on the upper floors for H&S reasons

Contact for the day: Steve Lowe 07941734736

Next to Cresswell Towers holiday park. If you’re in the sea you’ve gone too far

Collingwood House – HODs

Georgian house of historical importance as the home of Admiral Lord Collingwood and now the Presbystery of St. Robert of Newminster’s church which is nearby and is also open.

Admiral Lord Collingwood was Nelson’s second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Lord Collingwood spent long periods of time away at sea but this Georgian house in Morpeth was where his family lived. Although his visits home were rare, he wrote fondly of his time spent here in Morpeth.

This house is now the Presbytery of St Robert’s R.C. Church which will be open at the same time.

Open both Friday & Saturday 12noon – 4pm

No booking required

Some steps, primarily at the entrance to Collingwood House. Free parking nearby although some car parks are time restricted.

As this house is a working Presbytery, access is limited to the dining room, hall and beautiful staircase. Contact for the day: Father Stott 01670 513410

Town Centre Buildings of the 18th Century

A comprehensive Appraisal of the Morpeth Town Centre Conservation Area was produced at the behest of the Town Council in January 2020. Here is an extract from the Appraisal discussing buildings of the early-to-mid 18th century:

“The 18th century is a particularly well-documented period of Morpeth’s history. Following the fire in 1689, there was substantial rebuilding of the town and an opportunity to introduce the latest styles and fashions in both construction and architectural detailing. Numerous buildings survive from this period and they make a considerable contribution to the character and appearance of the town. There is commonality to buildings from this century, but there is also a subtle progression in character, an increasing sophistication and refinement, that means the contribution they make to the overall character and appearance of the conservation area is distinct and warrants independent discussion.

“The most apparent feature of buildings of the first half of this century is the almost ubiquitous use of brick. At this time bricks were still handmade, usually on site in temporary kilns and using local clay. The clays around Morpeth have resulted in bricks of soft oranges with highlights of red, and a deep almost plum coloured undertone. They give a beautifully warm and rich appearance to the buildings and are quite distinct from the mass-produced and imported bricks used from the mid-19th century onwards.

“Whilst they are made from the same clay, the process of hand-making bricks means that there is subtle variation in size and finish depending on the skill of the craftsman in charge of firing, where the brick was placed in the kiln and the builder’s personal preference. There was no standardised sizing and so this can alter from building to building, but they tend to be thinner and longer than they are today. The surface is more textured than later bricks, partly because of the wear and tear of intervening centuries, but also because the firing temperatures that could be achieved at this time were comparatively low, and so the fireskin of the brick – the surface of the brick that protects the softer inner – did not vitrify to the same extent, resulting in a rougher finish.
Once the bricks were made, further variation and character was achieved through how they were laid. A variety of bonds could be used, although buildings of this period in Morpeth favoured English garden wall bond. Equally though, examples of stretcher bond and Flemish bond can be found, as well as some interesting examples that appear to be a randomly applied mixture of all. Lintels, stringcourses and eaves detailing – such as sawtooth or cogged cornices – are all in brick and animate an otherwise flat façade.

“There is less variety to be found with roof materials, which on the whole would have been a regional slate – such as Cumbrian or Westmorland – although most have been replaced over the years with Welsh slate. Another tell-tale feature of this period of building is the window. By this date the use of sash windows is absolute, but advancing technologies, changing fashions and legislative directions on design mean that an early 18th century sash is quite distinct from an early 19th century one. A healthy proportion of buildings from this period in Morpeth retain their original windows, or replacements that accurately replicate them, and they do much to reinforce the character of the building. Those from the early 18th century are rectangular but modest in size. The frame is visible – giving the windows a thick border – and they are placed flush with the façade of the building. The lights are small and numerous – 8 over 8 or 6 over 6 – and the glazing bars that hold them in place are moulded but thickset. There is appreciation that the arrangement of windows should be more regular, but the symmetry that underpins classical design is not always successfully applied: the internal layout of these buildings dictates the need for four bays, which necessarily pushes the door off-centre.

“These buildings often display a slightly naïve application of classical detailing; that is, they apply classical elements but not always in the established proportions or arrangements. This results in some quirky effects, most notable in Morpeth in door surrounds, where you can find any combination of ogee arches, triangular pediments and engaged columns that sometimes, most curiously, have pilasters sat atop them.”

Key words for the character of 18th century buildings in Morpeth: charming, spirited, aspirational

The full Conservation Area Appraisal can be found on this Morpeth Heritage website or downloaded from the Town Council website. Also available is a Gazetteer listing all the buildings in the Conservation Area and highlighting their significant heritage traits individually.

The Town Council has now commissioned a formal review of the Conservation Area boundaries which is due to start later this year.