Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

History Brings Pride of Place

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

History Brings Pride of Place

Article excerpt

Part of his family's heritage for more than 200 years, Dr Anthony James is reluctantly selling the magnificent Evistones Estate in Rochester, Northumberland.

In the heart of Redesdale within the Northumberland National Park, the estate ( with the main property primarily built as a hunting lodge ( has been in the James family for six generations.

Dr James now lives in Guildford, Surrey, and finds it increasingly difficult to visit the estate, so he has finally decided to sell this fascinating slice of history.

The estate has a chequered past. It lies on a main route into Scotland, features the remains of an iron-age settlement and was near the site of the Anglo-Scottish Battle of Otterburn. It came into the ownership of the County Durham Ellison family around 1800. Cuthbert Ellison, "one of the richest commoners in England", had five daughters but no sons. One daughter, Sarah, married Sir Walter James in 1842 and the Evistones Estate was part of her inheritance.

Extending to 990.27 hectares (2,446.96 acres), the estate includes a hill farm with two farmsteads, a farmhouse, hill and upland grazing, grassland, woodland, 1.75 miles of fishing on the River Rede, a seven-bedroomed Victorian Lodge-style house and a Victorian cottage.

The lodge, Evistones House, forms a stunning centrepiece and was recently refurbished with care. Built by Sir Walter James in 1860 it has steep symmetric gable ends and high, narrow windows.

The house is accessed via a large porch bearing records of fishing triumphs. There is a spacious drawing room with large open fire, reading room and games room which features a frieze depicting the ancient Border ballad of Chevy Chase. This was painted around 1900 by Dr James's great grandfather, the third Lord Northbourne.

"The games room is definitely my favourite area of the house," said Dr James. "The property was built in 1860, extended in 1878, and basically remains untouched. I think it has to be one of the finest examples of completely untouched Victorian architecture. …

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