Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Historic buildings at risk

English Heritage recently published their updated register of historic buildings at risk. There are a number from my patch in Gateshead included on the register, including Ravensworth Castle.

There is a strong family connection to Ravensworth (as well as simply representing much of this country estate on Gateshead Council). My great grandfather Henry Wallace was agent to Lord Ravensworth in the later Victoria period. My grandfather John was born and raised on the estate. In the 1920s the castle was used as a boarding school for girls and my Dad's sister Margaret was a day pupil there, walking to the school each day from the family farm in Sunniside.

In the 1930s and again in the 1950s, much of the stately home was demolished but the old medieval towers and the courtyard remain. 2 years ago, we took Margaret, at the age of 92, to Ravensworth to see what she could remember of the old school. And this is the video I made of the visit.
I did an interview with Century Radio yesterday about historic buildings at risk. Naturally, Ravensworth got a number of mentions!

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