The Society for Landscape Studies


11-21 MAY 2019

Northumberland: Holy Island, Lindisfarne and Wallington Hall

Following on from the Society’s Annual Conference at Newcastle University on 22 September 2018, the study weekend will explore two sites that were the subject of papers at the conference: Holy Island, Lindisfarne, and Wallington Hall.

Registration costs £10 per day (£8 for members of the Society for Landscape Studies, the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries or full-time students). To register please email Brian Rich: .



Saturday 11th May: Holy Island

The visit will begin on the island at 11am, with everyone gathering at the main car park. Safe crossing times over the causeway begins at 10.40, and we will have until 6.30 pm before the tide comes in and we have to leave. The island has several shops, cafés and pubs where you can buy lunch. The Priory is owned by English Heritage, the Castle is National Trust owned and there is a charge for entry to both.

The international significance of the early history and archaeology of the priory of Lindisfarne is beyond dispute. It can truly lay claim to the title of the ‘Cradle of Northern Christianity’ but visitors to the island often only ever view the iconic monuments: the Priory, St Mary's Church and the Castle. The history and archaeology of Lindisfarne goes deeper than this, though, and in the course of our exploration of the island we will have a chance to discuss the detailed development of the landscape and explore a range of sites that go beyond the iconic standing structures. We will see, for example, a range of sites that contributed to the former industrial wealth of Lindisfarne, based as it was in quarrying and lime production. The island is criss-crossed by a little known complex of industrial trackways linking quarries and lime kilns. We can see standing evidence of a ninth century settlement on the north side of the island at Greenshiel and we can walk over the site of the earliest settlement at Nessend, there is even the remains of a golf course! In addition to the Castle we can also explore the remains of the seventeenth century Osborne’s Fort on the Heugh near the village. The latter is also the site of Richard Carlton’s amazing excavation of what might prove to be the earliest church on the island.

Hopefully there will be something for everyone on this walking tour of one of the country’s most idyllic and historically important locations. If you have never visited Lindisfarne before we can guarantee that you'll be back!

Sunday 12th May: Wallington Hall

Delegates will meet in the National Trust car park at Wallington at 10am. We will then make the short drive, of about four miles, to Rothley Lakes. Depending on the number of cars, we may try to car share, leaving some vehicles at Wallington, as there is limited parking at Rothley. We will walk around the northern side of the High Lake, looking at the remains of the designed landscape features and its views across to the follies of Codger Crag and Rothley Castle. The trip will then return to Wallington, where there will be a tour of the parks and gardens, including the West Woods, the site of the water mill and the walled garden. Delegates will be free to enjoy lunch in the grounds, or to buy it from the café, as well as visit the house in their own time.

Wallington Hall and its estate reflects the extensive redesign and remodelling carried out by its owner, Sir Walter Calverley Blackett, in the late 18th century. The house, listed grade I, was built on the site of the home of the previous owners, the Fenwicks, in 1688, and was extensively remodelled for Blackett between 1735 and 1745. The grounds are listed II* on the register of parks and gardens, and the landscaping and buildings are associated with several designers, including Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Although Brown designed the Low Lake at Rothley, and probably the Owl House within the walled garden, there is no evidence for his involvement with the design of Rothley High Lake, even though he is credited with it in the register of parks and gardens. The designer of the High Lake remains unknown, though it fits in with the English landscape tradition of Brown.

The house, park and gardens of Wallington are delightful to visit. Its importance lies not only in its architecture and landscape, but in its association with the history of socialism and the Labour party. The last private owner was Sir Charles Trevelyan, 3rd baronet, a labour MP, and cabinet member of Ramsey McDonald’s government. His brother was the noted historian GM Trevelyan. Sir Charles left the Wallington Estate to the National Trust in 1941, opening to visitors in 1968.