We visited a property called Wallington in Northumberland which was donated to the national trust in the late 1960s along with thousands of acres of farmland and gardens. I especially enjoyed the walled garden which was perhaps five acres, but the other acres of woodlands and ponds and wildlife parks made for some great walking.
What made this property a little different was the guy who donated it had a socialist bent and he did things a bit differently. Like paying his tenants child support payments, making his library open and encouraging further education. He opened his home to around 110 child evacuees during wartime and some stayed there for up to three years. The gardens were filled today with the sound of children which was lovely as many picnicked and played among the trees.
We also picnicked at the birthplace of Capability Brown who was a landscape designer from the late 1800s. Everything is so old and amazing.
Talking about how many beautiful old homes there are everywhere here, we had an interesting chat to the host at our BnB about the Christchurch earthquake. She visited NZ recently and on the bus tour they talked about the controversy of the cathedral -to repair or not. She said she thought to herself old buildings should all be saved and hoped it would be repaired. After a bit more of the talk she asked the tour guide how old the building was. After being told it was built between 1860 and 1900. She said she was amazed. Is that all she thought, may as well pull it down and build something else. It’s not THAT old!