Crook House & Gardens~ November 2019

On a rather miserable showery day, Sophie and I went off to Framwellgate in County Durham, to visit Crook Hall. As always, I will edumacate you firstly with…. The History Bit ☕️ 🍪 Crook Hall was built around 1217 and is one of the oldest inhabited houses in Durham City. The oldest part is an open hall, built in sandstone and with a Welsh slate roof. In the 17th Century the hall was extended forming a Jacobean manor house, and in the 18th Century a large brick Georgian house was appended to the Jacobean part. A fair hotchpotch that. Originally…

Tynemouth Castle & Priory ~ November 2019

A cold but sunny day had Sophie and I opt for a short outing nearby to Tynemouth Priory. Get your cuppa ready, here comes The History Bit. *Long post alert* skimmers and those of you with short attention spans should move right along to the pictures 🙂 Firstly, as fabulous as I am, condensing 2000 years of convoluted Northumbrian history in one blog post is not an easy task, so bear with me and a potted version will have to suffice. The Priory stands on a headland known by ancient Britains as Pen Bal Crag, the literal translation of that…

Wynyard Gardens – October 2019 – part 2

Part 1 HERE On the way back through the woods, we came across a few interesting bits and bobs. lots of mushrooms everywhere We got back to the formal gardens, no roses as it was late in the year, but a few bits of autumn colour. For more pictures there’s a full album HERE Sophie and I hoped to return here in spring and see the rose garden, but as the corona virus is taking hold in the country now as I write, I’m not sure if that will happen. Stay tooned though, still some more adventures to do!

Wynyard Gardens ~ October 2019

Sophie and I decided to visit Wynyard Gardens even though the flower season was over, we thought we’d do a recce and return in spring if we thought it worthwhile. The gardens are part of the Wynyard Hall estate, currently owned by Sir John Hall, a North East property developer ( and life president of Newcastle United Football Club). We only saw the hall from a distance as it is a very nice hotel now, but the gardens are open to the public all year round. The history bit . ( Cup of tea time 🙂 ) We’ll begin by…

Preston Tower ~ Part 2 ~ Oct 2019

Part 1 HERE As well as the tower, there is a house and some other buildings we had a look at. The first house on the site was unfortunately burned down in 1781. The estate was then bought by Edmund Craster, who built the house you can see above, in 1802. In 1861 AJ Baker Creswell bought the house for his son Henry, who added an east wing and moved the front door to the north side in 1830, and when GG Baker Cresswell inherited the house he added an entrance hall in 1915. The Baker Cresswells have a long…

Preston Tower ~ October 2019

The history bit. Built in 1392, Preston Tower was built in a time of warfare between England and Scotland. By the time of Agincourt in 1415, it was one of 78 Pele Towers and Tower Houses in the county. One of its owners, Sir Guiscard Harbottle was killed in hand to hand combat with King James IV at the battle of Flodden in 1513. The Battle of Flodden, Flodden Field, or occasionally Branxton (Brainston Moor) was a battle fought on 9 September 1513 during the War of the League of Cambrai between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of…

Washington Wetland Center – October 2019

After we’d visited NELSAM we still had a couple of hours of daylight so decided to visit WWT Washington Wetland Centre as it was only up the road from the museum and is always good for birds and otters. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust started out in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, and was set up by Sir Peter Scott, (son of Scott of the Antarctic).  Peter became an Olympic sailing medallist and a well-known painter and broadcaster. He created the IUCN red list which measures whether species are threatened or endangered. He was the founding chair of WWF – and even drew…

NELSAM ~ October 2019

The North East Land Sea & Air Museum – NELSAM – sits on the former RAF Usworth and Sunderland airport site, next to the Sunderland Nissan factory, and comprises of the former Aircraft museum (NEAM), military vehicles collection, and the North East Electric Traction Trust (NEETT) is also based on the site. The museum houses over 30 aircraft and a wide collection of aero engines, as well as weaponry, vehicles and other historical exhibits, and is run by volunteers. Amongst the varied and unique exhibits is a cold war Avro Vulcan B2 Bomber, which flew into the former airport to…