10th Jul 2014
Mitford Hall 90th Anniversary Garden Party
Mitford Hall Garden Party 90th Anniversary celebrations
On Saturday 28th June nearly 100 members of the Society visited Mitford Hall, the privately owned home of Mr Bruce Shepherd, in order to celebrate the Society’s 90th Anniversary.
Members were greeted by the Society Chairman Dr Geoffrey Purves and then taken on guided tours of the Hall led by Mr Cyril Winskell. This building is usually not open to the public and members were able to hear about the restoration work that is ongoing since the Shepherd family purchased the Estate from the Mitford family in 1993, and to discover some of its treasures and architectural features.
Members were encouraged to wander the gardens near the Hall which is set in a 3,500 acre estate and visit the orangery to marvel at a magnificent 170 year old giant camellia tree believed to have been supplied by Charles Darwin. Like the Hall which is a Grade 2 listed building, the tree is also 'listed' by English Heritage.
An enjoyable afternoon was enhanced by the playing of the Northumbrian pipes whilst enjoying a delicious buffet sitting beside the former ballroom of the Hall.
Our thanks to Mr Bruce Shepherd who was kind enough to allow the Society to visit his home.
The Mitford family held the Manor from Norman times. The ruins of their Manor House stand on the eastern side of the River Wansbeck. In about 1823 they abandoned the old Manor House for a new mansion house, Mitford Hall, which was designed by the famous Northern architect, John Dobson, and which was built on the opposite bank of the river and surrounded by woodland and a small deer park.