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…

Newcastle Upon Tyne ~ September 2019 ~ 2

Part 1 HERE After our somewhat disappointing ‘tour’ around All Saints, Sophie and I went off to find an interesting building Sophie had spotted from a train. According to Sophie it wasn’t too far away, so we left All Saints and headed down to the quayside. We walked down the quayside and I was amused to see that a temporary beach had been set up for summer. You may notice an elephant in the middle of the picture, this is something that happens every year in the North East, and will have a post of it’s own next time.  In…

Newcastle Upon Tyne ~ September 2019 ~ 1

We actually had a sunny day back in September last year, and Sophie wanted to go to an open day at All Saints Church in Newcastle. So off we went on the metro, but before we get to the pictures, we must do The History Bit. The current All Saints Church stands on the site of a previous medieval church called All Hallows, founded between 1150 and 1190. It is the only elliptical church building in England, a Grade 1 listed building, and the third tallest religious building in Newcastle.  The original church was pulled down at the end of…

Bamburgh Castle Revisted ~ August 2019 ~ 2

Part 1 HERE After a good wander around the grounds we went to visit the museums. The first museum we got to was the Armstrong & Aviation museum, which houses some of the stuff that Armstrong produced for WW2, and some stuff from WW1. I’m sorry to say I didn’t take notes or many photo’s in this museum, I’m not sure why it didn’t float my boat,  however there was a really nice vintage car that I liked. We also visited the Archaeology Museum and saw some nice bling that they had dug up. The pieces were incredibly small, but…

Bamburgh Castle Revisted ~ August 2019 2019 ~1

Sophie and I last visited Bamburgh on a rainy day in June 2016, when our planned boat trip to the Farne Islands got called off due to the rotten weather, and it was the nearest place to hand. In summer this year Sophie’s chap came over from Spain and he got to choose our destination, so back we went to Bamburgh and spent a sunny day there. For readers who were not followers back then, here is the history of the castle, the rest of you can scroll down 🙂 THE HISTORY BIT, mostly from wiki with added extras There…

Staindrop and St.Mary’s Church – August 2019

After Sophie and I had finished photographing the butterflies at Raby Castle, we decided to go and have lunch in the nearby village of Staindrop, and visit the church there. Staindrops earliest history begins in Neolithic times, though there is little left to see of that as the current village is built on top of it. Nearby roads and settlements bear evidence of it’s expansion in Roman times. The History Bit It is known that the first church in Staindrop was a saxon building made around 771 when Alhred was the King of Northumberland, but not much else is known…

A Geordie – China connection.

After our washed out morning at Dunston Staiths,we crossed the River and went to visit St.Johns Cemetary. We came across some Chinese tombstones, not a usual find when we’re traipsing through graveyards. So I did a little research….. Back we go to the late 1800’s and to the later part of the Qing dynasty, which, as I’m sure you all know, was presided over by the Empress Dowager Cixi, a formidable and capable lady who had a fascinating life, having started out as a lowly concubine, but ending up as head Missis to the Emperor.  The Chinese had four modernized…