Gibside Estate
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Gibside Estate


Gibside, only 3 miles from Gateshead's MetroCentre, offers the visitor forests and parkland with over 15 miles of woodland and walks alongside the River Derwent with views of dramatically staged romantic ruins.

A fortune built on coal enabled George Bowes to create this great 'forest garden' over 200 years ago. It is now being restored by the National Trust. You can explore this Eighteenth Century landscape and enjoy the beautiful settings of the Jacobean Hall, the Column of Liberty and the Banqueting House (a Landmark Trust property).

At the same time experience the tranquillity of the Octagonal Pond, the Lily Pond and the Great Avenue of Turkey Oaks. Or you can view the Orangery, learn the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes, the 'Unhappy Countess' and pause for reflection within the peace of the Palladian Chapel.

One of the country's greatest 18th century landscapes, the Gibside estate was created by the industrialist George Bowes (A coal baron and land owner who was a member of the queen mother's family, the Bowes-Lyon) from 1730. Now in the hands of the national trust and currently in the midst of an extensive renovation programme, which will eventually see the impressive Orangery, built by the countess of Strathmore between 1772 and 1774, restored to its former glory. The Orangery was  a production centre for flowers and exotic fruits.

In addition there is also refurbishment of the stables and the construction of accommodation for school groups.

Gibside is situated a mere 6km south west of Gateshead and possesses some of the finest views of the incredibly scenic Derwent Valley area.

See more pictures Here

In addition to the numerous fine walks around the estate grounds, Gibside is perhaps most notable for the Palladian chapel, which features an ornate portico and parapet
. George Bowes had a Crypt built within and thereby rests his soul. If you are fortunate you may visit on one of the rare openings of the crypt, where you will notice a sudden drop in temperature and the sickly sweet smell of death.  The chapel used to be notorious locally for the satanic rituals which took place there.

See the statue to British liberty (which is higher than nelson's column) by walking the half mile or so through the wonderful avenue of Turkey Oaks. There are several routes to and from the column, some much longer walks than others, but all have something of wonder and beauty to admire.

The best time to visit Gibside is probably late-spring or summer when the rhododendrons are in full bloom. However, the grounds are open all year round, and with the Bowes railway, Beamish museum and the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne all a short drive away there are plenty other of attractions in the vicinity.

Admission costs a more than reasonable three pounds for adults with family tickets (two adults plus four children) available for a bargain eight pounds. From the end of March until the end of October the grounds are open from 10am until 6pm (last admission ninety minutes before closing time) daily except Mondays (Bank Holidays excepted). From November until the 30th of March the closing time moves forward to 4pm. The Chapel is open from 11am until 4.30pm from the last day of March until the last day of October (visits by appointment only in the Winter).

To get to Gibside by car follow the A694 to Rowlands Gill then take the B6314. Alternatively, from the A1, take the exit north of the Metro Centre and follow the brown signs. Public transport links are not exactly great, but you can catch the Go-Northern bus number 745 from Newcastle city centre. If you get lost, you can contact Gibside Visitor Services on 01207 542255 for more information.

Liberty Column

At the North end of the walk stands the Column of British Liberty. Begun in 1750 it was completed in 1759 by James Paine, who took over from Daniel Garrett in 1753. The statue, 12ft high and originally gilt, was carved by Christopher Richardson in situ 1756-7, the figure holds the staff of maintenance and cap of liberty.

The column is Roman Doric and is so tall that it might well stand in the most ambitious of London squares. In fact its 140ft makes it a little taller than Nelson's Column which stands in London's Trafalgar Square.




February 10, 2016

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