The House

The House




This was the first donation to the National Trust of it's kind (in 1942). The estate was owned by the Fenwick family from 1475 until their financial problems caused them to sell their properties to the Blacketts. The hall house was rebuilt in 1688 around the ancient pele tower house for Sir William Blackett and was later substantially rebuilt again, in Palladian style, for Sir Walter Blackett by architect Daniel Garret, before passing to the Trevelyan family in 1777. Charles Philips Trevelyan inherited the property from his father George Otto Trevelyan in 1928. After Pauline Jermyn married the naturalist Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan, they began hosting literary and scientific figures at the Hall. As a cultural centre, Wallington visitors included the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Alongside the beautifully furnished interior, attractions inside the house include the desk where Thomas Babington Macaulay, brother-in-law of the notorious Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, wrote his History of England, a large collection of antique dollshouses and eight murals in the central hall depicting the history of Northumberland, painted by William Bell Scott.

The Blacketts were a wealthy Newcastle family of mine owners and shipping magnates. They shared the Fenwick’s love of parties and Jacobite sympathies, but the Blacketts managed to avoid both financial ruin and treasonable activities.

Sir William Blackett (1657-1705) bought Wallington in 1688 as a country retreat from the family's main home at Anderson place in Newcastle. He knocked down the unfashionable pele tower on the site, originally built by the Fenwick family - only the ground floor of the medieval building, which he converted into the cellars of the current house, still survives. The new house was a very basic building designed for occasional shooting parties rather than as a permanent home. It would have looked very different to the house we see today. It consisted of four ranges built around an open central courtyard. The upper floor was reached by ladders and had no internal dividing walls.

Although the Blacketts knocked down the Fenwick house they continued the Fenwick tradition of hospitality. Sir William's son took this tradition to excess and employed six men simply to carry him and his drunken guests to bed after their grand parties. Upon his death he left debts of £77,000 and an illegitimate daughter, Elizabeth Ord. Wallington passed to his nephew Walter Calverley on condition that Walter married Elizabeth and adopted the family name. Walter agreed to this and in 1728 Wallington passed to the 21-year-old Sir Walter Calverley Blackett (1707-77). Fortunately Sir Walter proved a better household manager than his uncle had.

It is to Sir Walter Calverley Blackett that we owe much of Wallington as we know it today. He had the house completely remodelled, adding staircases and partitioning the upper floor into rooms. The gardens and grounds were extensively redesigned with the introduction of pleasure grounds, the planting of many trees, and the digging of water courses and ponds. Much of this work is still visible in the East and West Woods, and the National Trust are working on uncovering more of it.

Sir Walter also built the clock tower which dominates Wallington's courtyard. Amongst the many figures involved in the recreation of Wallington was Capability Brown who may have contributed to the work in the East and West Woods and was certainly responsible for designing the pleasure grounds at Rothley Lake. Sir Walter’s children died before him, so Wallington passed to his sister’s son: Sir John Trevelyan.


Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was a local boy who made good – born at Kirkharle, just two miles away from Wallington, Brown went to school in the estate village of Cambo and his daily walk to school took him through the rolling farmland of the Wallington estate. Despite his relatively humble beginnings, Brown left Northumberland in 1739 and went on to become England’s most sought-after landscape gardener, designing gardens for the wealthiest and most influential patrons in the country, including the King and six Prime Ministers. However, the landscape around Wallington, Brown’s home for over twenty years and one he would have been intimately familiar with, would surely have influenced him – perhaps the naturalistic designs he became so famous for were inspired by the natural beauty of his home county? Brown maintained a close connection with Northumberland throughout his life and is thought to have regularly visited his family, who remained in this area. His association with the Wallington estate seems to have continued too as his older brother George Brown worked as a stone mason for Wallington’s then owner, Sir Walter Calverley Blackett, all his life. Brown also worked in the county, producing designs for the 1st Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle in the late 1760s.

Wallington River Walk

Wallington River Walk


** – Wallington River Walk – **

Take a tranquil walk along the banks of the River Wansbeck, crossing over bridges and stepping stones - perfect for a stroll whatever the season. Explore the woods and see what wildlife you can spot on this riverside walk. Classified as Easy, the walk is 2 miles long and should take between one and two hours. It is described as dog friendly.

Start: Wallington Courtyard.

  • 1. Start in the Courtyard by the Clocktower and head to the gate in the right-hand corner of the courtyard.
  • 2. Follow the path round and turn right at the junction towards the urn and west wood.
  • 3. Once at the urn take the path on your left past the adventure playground and down a steep hill.
  • West Wood. The area now occupied by the West Wood was known as the West Park Pasture when Sir Walter Calverley Blackett inherited the estate in 1728. The wood was planted in two stages. The North Plantings were complete by 1742 and those to the south were planted a little later but complete in 1748. In 1746 an Ice House was built into the slope above the eastern side of the Boathouse Pond (that is the pond nearest the Hall).
  • 4. At the bottom of the hill bear left towards the play train and follow the path.
  • 5. Go straight on down the hill towards the River Wansbeck.
  • 6. Cross over the river at Trout Bridge and carry on along the path.
  • 7. Take in the view where the wood clears on your left and catch a glimpse of the house.
  • 8. Go underneath Paine’s bridge and over the stile following the grassy path alongside the river. Caution: if the river is too high you will not be able to cross over the stepping stones, so you will need to use the alternative route crossing over Paine’s bridge on the road and taking the first right in order to enter the walled garden.
  • Paine's Bridge. The bridge was built over the Wansbeck by James Paine in the Palladian style with a cascade below in the 18th century.
  • 9. Cross over the stepping stones, and walk up the field towards the road and go through the kissing gate. Once on the road cross over to the left-hand side and go through the gate signposted for the walled garden.
  • 10. Follow the path up into the orchard and go through the gate at the top into the walled garden.
  • Walled Garden. It is to Sir George Otto Trevelyan, who inherited Wallington in 1886, that we owe the main development of the Walled Garden. He imported terracotta urns and wrought-iron gates from Florence and Menaggio. The 18th-century lead figures were placed along the terrace, and neptune was set above the entrance to this garden; hence the 'Neptune Gate'. Opulent herbaceous borders, keeping to the original shape of the dell, replaced greenhouses and vegetable beds. A rock garden and paths were made, and new greenhouses built.
  • 11. Take a look around the beautiful walled garden then make your way out past the conservatory and out of the Neptune gate.
  • The conservatory. The conservatory or winter garden, completed in 1908, was Sir George's supreme contribution. The scent of heliotrope almost overwhelms as you enter. Here still the descendants of his giant 'Rose of Castile' fuchsias mingle with wall-trained geraniums, bougainvillea, abutilon, verbena, plumbago and senna corymbosa.
  • 12. Once out of the walled garden walk around the right-hand side of the garden pond.
  • 13. Follow the path straight over heading back to the house and courtyard.
  • 14. Take care when crossing over the road and continue to follow the path where you will see the house in front of you and the courtyard on your right.
  • End: Wallington Courtyard. You made it!


    ** – Broomhouse Farm Walk – **

    The Wallington estate comprising the house and gardens and 15 working farms was gifted to the nation by Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan (1870 – 1958) in 1942 and it remains one of the largest gifts ever given freely to the National Trust. Broomhouse Farm is one of the 15 farms, but is particularly important as it sits directly next to Wallington and is part of the designed landscape created by Sir Walter Calverley Blackett in the 1740s. The route takes you on a relatively flat circular walk around the Broomhouse Farm fields. Classified as Easy, the walk is 3 miles long and should take up to one and a half hours. It is described as dog friendly.

    Start: Wallington Courtyard.

  • 1. Start in the Courtyard by the Clocktower and head to the gate in the right-hand corner of the courtyard. Follow the path round and turn right at the junction towards the urn and west wood.
  • 2. Once at the urn, with the adventure playground on your left, take the right-hand path signposted wildlife hide. Continue following the path straight ahead until you reach the top pond.
  • 3. After passing the top pond, look out for the path on your right leading up into the Fountains plantation. Follow the path and waymarkers through the plantation.
  • 4. Here you have a choice to either continue straight on up to Broomhouse Farm or to take the shorter circuit over the boardwalk on the right back to Wallington.
  • Beech trees. Look out for the ancient Beech trees in the Fountains plantation which are more than 275 years old.
  • 5. Leave the wood through a gate and follow the field edge. Across the field in front of you are the newly planted trees making up the 'Huntly plantation', which was re-established in 2011. This restoration project was made possible by public donations and the 3,600 trees were planted by volunteer groups, community groups, visitors and staff.
  • 6. Cross over the road and bridge into the field. On your left you can now see Broomhouse Farm.
  • 7. From the farm cross the field to the top-right-hand corner. At the top, turn right through a gate and along a field edge before entering the 'Black Belt' via a stone stile.
  • Broomhouse Farm. New tenants took over the farm at the beginning of 2014. Look out for new exciting developments and events taking place including lambing events.
  • 8. Exit the other side, over another stone stile.
  • 9. When you reach a tree at the corner of the field turn right and go downhill with a hedgerow on your left. Go through a kissing gate and turn right, this time with the hedge on your right.
  • View over Broomhouse Farm. Take in the views over Broomhouse Farm, and look out for buzzards and skylarks circling above.
  • 10. Eventually, you arrive at a kissing gate and a bridge beside the road. Cross over the road and through another gate. Walk the field edge with the hedge to your left until you reach a field gate, go through the gate into a newly planted plantation. Carry on down the path until you come to another field gate.
  • 11. After passing through the gate, bear to the left and head down to the bridge and kissing gate. Climb up the field in front of you to arrive back at the car park.
  • 12. Once in the overflow car park, make your way down to the bottom and turn left bringing you back to the Wallington entrance.
  • You made it


    ** – Wannie Line walk – **

    This circular walk will take you onto both the Wannie and Rothbury railway lines, where trains once steamed carrying Wallington's stone, lime, coal and livestock, as well as passengers. Sir Walter Trevelyan, owner of Wallington (1846-1879) was the driving force behind the building of the railway. He saw that new revenue would come to the estate by supplying the ever increasing demands of Tyneside; revenue that could be spent on his house and staff and on making improvements to the estate. Classified as Easy, the walk is 6.3 miles long and should take up to three hours. It is described as dog friendly.

    Start: The car park behind the former National Trust Regional Office at Scot's Gap, 1½ miles due north and east of Wallington on the B6343.

  • 1. The walk begins at the back of the former National Trust Regional Offices. Walk along the path around the field and turn right down the steps onto the wannie line. Walk along the line until it splits, here you need to take the right hand fork onto the Rothbury line.
  • The Railway Lines. Two railways crossed the Wallington Estate. From Scot's Gap Station one headed North towards Rothbury, the other heading East to Reedsmouth. Both lines were rural in nature and services were sparse. Sir Walter Trevelyan, owner of Wallington (1846 - 1879) was the driving force behind the building of the railway. He saw that new revenue would come to the estate by supplying the ever increasing demands of Tyneside, revenue that could be spent on his house and staff and on making improvements to the estate.
  • 2. Once on the Rothbury Line carry on walking passing over two bridges.
  • The Rothbury Line. The line between Scots Gap and Rothbury opened on Tuesday 1st November 1870. It took seven years to build the 13-mile (21km) line. Passenger traffic was never heavy with only three daily trains between Morpeth and Rothbury. Freight traffic was mainly agricultural with one daily freight working in each direction, with additional traffic to collieries and quarries. The outbreak of WW2 brought a reduced service with only two trains per day. The passenger service was finally withdrawn from 15th September 1952.
  • 3. Once you reach the Delf Burn look out for a waymarker on your left which takes you down off the line and along the burn.
  • Train crash. In 1875, a tragic accident occurred here. A train which included six passenger wagons and eight empty limestone trucks was derailed and crashed down the embankment. Four people were killed including the guard, and a mason from Shafto, one of a team which had just finished rebuilding Rothley Lake House. Several of his workmates were injured including three members of the Robinson family of Scot's Gap, one of whom, Robert, was never able to work again.
  • 4. Follow the path and waymarkers through the Delf Burn plantation. Exit the plantation on the west side through a gate into a field. Cross the field walking uphill and parallel with the old beech field edge away to your right and through another gate. Cross over the next field with the fence line still on your right.
  • 5. Cross over the stile and down steps to enter the old quarry, you will see the old lime kilns on your left. Cross the quarry to the lime kilns and from here walk up to the wall, turn right and make your way to a gate at the top of the quarry where the old beech field edge ends. Turn left once through the gate and make your way down the hill and cross over the road. Enter the field and walk straight ahead with the fence on your right.
  • Lime kilns. Beneath Wallington's estate are are strata of a high quality limestone which is ideal for burning into lime for use in farming and other industries. The quarry through which you can walk today, was the source of the estate's limestone. The miners and workmen lived in the cottages down the track at High Hartington. Some lime was probably exported on the railway. If the kiln's furnace was kept topped up with coal and limestone and the lime was drawn out when ready, the kiln could be kept going for a year, called 'burning' or 'draw sene' kilns.
  • 6. Once the fence runs out carry on walking straight ahead following the line of trees. At the far end of the field turn left down the field edge until you reach the farm track. Turn right onto track and follow it across the stream and past the cottage.
  • 7. Directly after the cottage turn left off the track onto another field, cross over the bridge and look out for the stile at the top of the hill. Walk along the field edge and go over the ladder stile and small bridge.
  • 8. Continue along the field edges. Go through a kissing gate into a block of woodland and exit through another gate at the far side. You will see Chesters farm on your right. Carry on down another field crossing over the bridge in the bottom and through a kissing gate. Follow the field edge before entering another woodland block. Once through this block you can see the wannie line ahead. Cross the field and go over a bridge towards the kissing gate up onto the line.
  • 9. Once on the line turn left through the belt of trees. Continue to follow the railway line until you reach the road. Cross straight over the road and back up onto the line at the another side.
  • The Wannie Line. The Wannie Line runs East from Scot's Gap to Reedsmouth. In 1859 the Wansbeck Railway obtained powers to build a line between Morpeth and Reedsmouth and the east section of this line between Morpeth and Scot's Gap opened on 23rd July 1862. The western end of the Wansbeck Railway had opened between Scot's Gap and Knowesgate on 7th July 1864, finally reaching Reedsmouth on 1st May 1865.
  • 10. Continue along the line, you will cross another road at Rugley Walls before descending back down onto the line.
  • 11. Keep following the wannie line, and you will end up back where the two railway lines join at Scot's Gap.
  • End: The car park behind the former National Trust Regional Office at Scot's Gap, 1 ½ miles due north and east of Wallington on the B6343. You made it!


    ** – Facilities – **


  • • Free parking, 200 yards.
  • • Dogs welcome but please keep them on a lead in the garden and grounds.
  • • Cycle trails and cycle hire available.
  • • Tuck into drinks, snack or meals in the Clocktower Café.
  • • Browse for gifts and treats in the shop.
  • • Pop into the plant centre stocked with locally grown plants and herbs.
  • • Toilets in the courtyard and café. Composting toilets available in the walled garden and adventure playground.
  • • Groups welcome - please contact us before you visit.
  • • Please bear in mind that mobile coverage is poor across the property.
  • Family:-

  • • Baby-changing facilities.
  • • Small front-carrying baby slings and hip-carrying infant seats for loan around house.
  • • Children's adventure playground, play train and fort.
  • • Children's menu and pick-and-mix lunch plates.
  • • Microwave and bottle warmer available for use in café.
  • • Pocket money toys, books, games, sweets and chocolate treats for sale in the shop.
  • • Enjoy fantastic themed events for all the family throughout the year.
  • Access:-

  • • Designated mobility parking in main car park.
  • • Adapted toilet in courtyard, cafe and house.
  • • 1 single-seater PMV and 1 electric buggy available, booking essential.
  • • Wheelchairs available to borrow in the house and grounds, booking recommended.
  • • Mobility parking available at the walled garden - please ask at visitor reception.
  • • Ramped entrance to house.
  • • Level access around ground floor with lift to first floor. Additional flight of stairs up to Cabinet of Curiosities.
  • • Partly accessible grounds as there are some steep slopes, loose gravel or uneven woodland paths and steps. Access map is available.
  • • Level access to shop and café.
  • • Please Click here for the full National Trust Access Statement.


    Location : B6342, Cambo, near Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 4AR

    Transport: Morpeth (National Rail) then bus. Bus route 419 stops close nearby

    Opening Times: Click here for House opening times; Estate 10:00 till dusk.

    Tickets: Adults £10.00  Children £5.00

    Tel: 01670 773600