This time I have been literal, these photos are home – all of these were taken a few days ago. Turn left out of our drive, walk a few hundred yards downhill and this is the view east along the back of the Beaufront Castle estate. The sides of the road are permanently damp, even in the height of summer. The lane is in deep shade when the leaves return to the trees in Spring such that it is like walking through a dappled green tunnel; the rains run off the hill to the left and the waters remain trapped in the gullies. This explains the bright green of the moss which covers the drystone walls for their entire length – I have not adjusted the saturation (an intended pun).
(click on the images to enlarge)
In researching this post I thought I would Google Beaufront Castle and to my amazement came upon an article from the Hexham Courant published in March 2007. This piece of history had completely passed me by; in short, “in the Second World War, if the Nazis had chosen to strike into England from the North, Beaufront Castle would have been the headquarters of the Battle of the Tyne”.
Further along the lane, this gate is a signature for the Castle, a private place we have never visited close up in all the eighteen years we have lived here.
As you approach the centre of the small settlement of Sandhoe from the west, there is a sharp uphill turn left which climbs some 220 feet in less than half a mile. At the top is Beaufront Hill Head where the views to Corbridge and beyond open out to the south; from here you can see forever.
I have found peace under these vast Northumbrian skies and this fitting music is playing as I write this post from home; it is Peter Broderick’s Human Eyeballs on Toast – an unpleasant title/lyric for such a gentle melody played on a wonderful sounding upright Ernst Gabler piano.
The land does hold history along its paths and there are still memories of the Civil War when Sherman burned Atlanta with few homes saved. One in particular near the railroad tracks where I live still stands because it was turned into a hospital for their troops and provided shelter. The road outside my door does not have the Northumbrian skies like yours, but it’s a place I’ve called home for a long time and one where I feel comfortable.
Local history is more ‘alive’ and amost more personal than any other. I would be interested to see a picture of the home that was saved some time.
This part of the Courant article fascinates me – “Every one of the 100-plus bridges from the Rede Valley to Scotswood would be sacrificed, though the main Newcastle bridges would be defended to the last. Holes for dynamite were drilled in every span, large and small, and some of those drill-holes are still visible in Tynedale bridges today”.
I have a mission to go and find some drill holes 🙂
I will research and write something about the house I mentioned in a future posting along with some photographs. I think it will be a good read and provide a glimpse into the southern history around where I live. Have a great week and go find those drill-holes you mentioned.
Thanks Mary, I look forward to seeing the post