Travel theme: Ancient.  We live at the top of a hill.  The road climbs out of Hexham from the west and flattens as it reaches the summit at the school and farm buildings – an earlier post shows the open views looking west.  Carry on further east and the road narrows between farm cottages and then descends beneath overhanging trees to the back of Beaufront Castle.  In the twilight this can be a sinister place – the first image shows the stone walls lining the lane towards the hamlet of Sandhoe.

Ancient roads

The present-day castle dates from 1841 but the earliest records of a tower on this site date from 1451.  When the original castle was demolished to make way for the John Dobson designed building, some architectural elements of this ancient monument were reclaimed by the locals.  Walk round Sandhoe today and you can still find them.  Here are just three: two surprisingly ornate entrances attached to once humble cottages and an elaborate horse trough:

Ancient doorway Ancient doorway Horse trough

(click on the images to enlarge)


  1. meticulousmick · March 6, 2014

    You do live in a beautiful area Robin. MM 🍀

    • northumbrianlight · March 6, 2014

      Thanks John – we are very lucky, all the advantages of living in the country but only a couple of miles from civilization for the Lady P (i.e. M&S and Waitrose 🙂 )

  2. Craig Strachan · March 6, 2014

    Very beautiful, I love forested roads/paths.

    • northumbrianlight · March 6, 2014

      Thanks Craig, me too. This is a wonderful stretch of road which carries on for about a mile in exactly the same way. The castle is down the hill on the right.

  3. Cate Franklyn · March 6, 2014

    You live wrapped in the pages of history.

  4. LaVagabonde · March 6, 2014

    Ah, the spooky beauty of northern England. Love it.

    • northumbrianlight · March 6, 2014

      Thanks Julie – ‘spooky beauty’ – very alliterative – I like that 🙂

  5. easyweimaraner · March 6, 2014

    I’ve read the castle is privately owned, so I think it’s not possible to visit it :o( But I would like to visit this place :o)

    • northumbrianlight · March 6, 2014

      Yes, very private….we have lived very nearby for nearly 20 years and never got close.

  6. mark · March 6, 2014

    Hi Robin, beautiful photos. My Granda used to live in Hexham, so I always have had a soft spot for it’s beauty. Also thank you for mentioning John Dobson and the link to wikipedia, when I lived in Newcastle I used to tell people about how amazing John Dobson was and that he was from North Shields which is where I lived for years, (there is one of those blue plaques on the house where he was born). This was in the time before I discovered the internet so I never had the chance to look him up and since forgot about him somewhat, so thank you for the link (at first I was hoping it was a link to some photos of John Dobson buildings on your blog, do you have any?) I will read his wikipedia page later with much enthusiasm.

  7. restlessjo · March 6, 2014

    One of these days I’m going to have to come for a poke about your back streets, Robin. This looks intriguing! We’ll have to do an exchange visit 🙂 Off to read the link to the castle.

    • northumbrianlight · March 6, 2014

      You should but unfortunately you cannot get close to the Castle – see above 😦 . The Wiki link doesn’t say much but this one has some nice photos:

      • restlessjo · March 6, 2014

        That’s an interesting website, Robin 🙂 I’ve bookmarked it so I can have a look at some of the other castles/walks. Many thanks!

  8. suej · March 6, 2014

    Fascinating…and what a lovely area you live in

  9. Malin H · March 6, 2014

    [LOVE BUTTON] <———– I hit this one for this post.
    Gorgeous, wonderful and outstanding!

    • northumbrianlight · March 6, 2014

      Thanks so much Malin, that’s very kind. Thought of you – there is a nice old beech tree along this road with the face of a friendly bee – I will publish some time. All the best, R.

      • Malin H · March 7, 2014

        I look forward to see it… (the beech tree).

  10. Sreejith Nair · March 6, 2014

    Beautiful work…

  11. We really do live in a fascinating country! I like the faded photo look to the images. Old stone walling really is quite beautiful 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · March 7, 2014

      Many thanks Sarah – the high contrast and fading helps to disguise the dustpan and brush outside the 2nd door. I was going to move them but thought better of it 🙂

  12. Graham Stephen · March 6, 2014

    The shot of the gates is my favourite 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · March 7, 2014

      Thanks Graham, I was pleased that the porticoed entrance was still visible through the railings – more to do with the camera than the photographer 🙂

  13. Wendy Taylor · March 7, 2014

    Reblogged this on Northumberland Luxury Log Cabins and commented:
    I’m loving the black and white pictures in this post – they capture the essence of the area and the historic ambiance of the county.

    • northumbrianlight · March 7, 2014

      Thanks Wendy and many thanks for the reblog, much appreciated. Always nice to get feedback from locals.

  14. Pingback: Ancient | Northumberland Luxury Log Cabins

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