Northumberland Tales header 800 px


Wallington Hall, Northumberland

Extracted from an old National Trust leaflet as follows:

Wallington is very largely the creation of 2 remarkable families, the Blacketts and the Trevelyans. In 1688 Sir William Blackett, a wealthy Newcastle merchant, bought the estate from the Jacobite Sir John Fenwick, whose wild extravagance had forced him to sell up. As soon as he took it over, Blackett set about rebuilding Sir John's house, of which only the the ground floor now survives as cellars. He adopted the by then rather old - fashioned device of laying out the 4 ranges around an open quaqdrangle and placed the main rooms along the south front looking down to the river Wansbeck.

Sir William's grandson, Sir Charles Calverley Blackett, was one  of the most dynamic figures in the history of the house. When he inherited in 1728, the house must have seemed quite old fashioned and around 10 years later he called in Daniel Garrett, a leading architect to fashion the house in the Palladian tyle.

Garrett moved the entrance to the east side of the house and gave the exterior the more classicaly correct form which we see today. He also designed a grand new sequence of rooms along the south front with plaster work in a contrastingly playful rococo style. It was Sir Walter who acquired the griffins heads that once stood on Bishops Gate in London ( a volunteer who works at the Hall tells us the Griffins came as ballast in the hold of a ship from London).

Sir Walter Blackett transformed both the house & the estate, but left no direct heir, so Wallington passed in 1777 to his nephew, Sir John Trevelyan, 4th Baronet. However , as Sir John preferred to live at the family's Somerset home at Nettlecombe, he gave the house to his son,another John and later the 5th Baronet.

Little more was done to Wallington until 1849, when the second Sir John's son, Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan,decided to settle permanantley at Wallington.Sir Walter and his wife, Pauline were an unlikely but devoted couple: he a rather earnest scientist, whose concernto serve the public goodwas typical of the Trevelyan family;she was tiny, artistic and a tease.

Pauline welcomed artists and writers to Wallington and was largely responsible for commissioning the famous murals of Northumbrian history in the central hall. 

Sir Walter and Pauline had no children, so once again Wallington passed sideways, to their cousin Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan ( picture below) in 1879, who was the epitome of the upright Victorian civil servant.His son,Sie George Otto Trevelyan, who succeeded in 1886, was an even more distinguished politician and historian, much influenced by the writings of his uncle, Thomas Babington Macauley,( picture below) many of relics of whose life can be still be seen in the house.

George Otto Trevelyan had 3 very different sons,each of whom embody aspects of the family character:

Robert Calverley, the poet. More academic reference material here.

George Macauley, the greatest historian of his day

and Sir Charles Philips, a liberal and socialist politician.

It was Charles Philips who left Wallington to the National Trust so that it could be entailed to the family who continued to live there.

wallington hall

image from wiki commons


wallington hall

courtesy wikicommons

wallington 2

courtesy wikicommons

You can see visitor information on the National Trust website

The Griffin heads


Some of the people mentioned

Charles Edward Trevelyan

cet 2


and here from the page on the BBC website


and Thomas Babbington Macauley

 George Macauley Trevelyan, the historian


Other links

Trevelyan college at Durham university

A little about the gardens at Wallington.