Introduction Wallington Hall and Gardens: the Fenwicks & the Blacketts, who owned it; ‘England’s Greatest Gardener – Capability Brown’. What You’ll Hear 1:23: The Fenwick family 1:44: The Blackett family 2:18: Walter Calverley Blackett 2:31: Capability Brown 4:06: Coming next on the podcast Prefer to read instead? Click here for a transcript – no email…

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Introduction The Bronze Age beginnings of the Summerhill in Blaydon; the Stella Hall Estate; the Cowen family – progressive business owners and politicians, and the restored water mill at Path Head. What You’ll Hear 1:15: The history of the Summerhill 2:00: The Stella Hall Estate 3:10: Joseph Cowen Sr 4:08: Joseph Cowen Jr 5:01:The Path…

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Introduction In this episode, we look at Penshaw Monument in Washington, Tyne and Wear. We learn about its construction and Radical Jack, the man it commemorates. We explore the legend of the Lambton Worm, a beast which terrorised the area, and we look at follies – beautiful structures that don’t serve any purpose. What You’ll…

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  Introduction In this episode, we look at the mining heritage of north east England, the Felling Colliery and pit disaster; the four-poster bed tomb of three small children, and the mystery of the other couple commemorated on the memorial. What You’ll Hear 0:58: The mining industry in the north of England 1:49: The Felling…

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Introduction Barnard Castle, a market town in County Durham, has suddenly found itself in the limelight, thanks to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s special adviser, Dominic Cummings, driving there from his parents’ home, in breach of his own COVID19 lockdown rules. I thought I’d record a bonus episode to tell those who may not be familiar…

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Introduction In this episode, we look at St Cuthbert and the legends of the founding of the Cathedral. The Norman architecture and why it’s impressive; the stained glass windows, what happened to Cuthbert’s remains, and the Land of the Prince Bishops. What You’ll Hear 0:58: St Cuthbert 1:45: The legends of the Cathedral’s founding 2:47:…

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*DISCLAIMER: I intended to visit the Stephenson Railway Museum to take my own photographs & learn more. I will be updating this post after the Covid19 lockdown has ended* The Killingworth Colliery George Stephenson went to work for Killingworth Colliery, owned by Lord Ravensworth, in 1812. The area had several pits, with Ravensworth’s the best…

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*DISCLAIMER: I intended to visit the South Shields Museum to take my own photographs & learn more. I will be updating this post after the Covid19 lockdown has ended* The South Shields Museum has a piece of the gibbet used to execute murderer William Jobling in its collection, and a grisly recreation of what that…

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*DISCLAIMER: I intended to visit the South Shields Museum to take my own photographs & learn more. I will be updating this post after the Covid19 lockdown has ended* Introduction The South Shields Museum is a huge, beautiful, stone-fronted building with white plaster features on the windows. It sits right in the centre of the…

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Dominicus van Tol The painting ‘A Dutch Fruit Seller’, showing a bonneted old lady handing out fruit to a golden-haired little boy, was painted by Dominicus van Tol sometime in the 17th century, although there is no exact date given. Van Tol was born in around 1635 in Bodegraven, a town (formerly a municipality) in…

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