Ford & Etal - Northumberland - United Kingdom

The estate

This is a large (5500ha) rural Northumberland estate comprising farmland and woodland and is centred on the two villages of Ford and Etal, very close the Scottish Border, the Cheviot Hills and the historic Northumbrian coast.  It also has a significant tourism sector and welcomes visitors to explore its water-driven corn mill, the Flodden battlefield, the unique water-colour mural paintings in Ford, the miniature steam railway, its tearooms, its wildlife and all its other hidden corners.  Approx 30 micro-businesses now operate across the estate.

 

History

Formerly two separate estates (Ford and Etal) until 1908.  Ford was purchased from the Marquis of Waterford (Ireland) who had acquired it from the Delaval family in the early 19th century.  Etal was formerly owned by the Carr family and subsequently through marriage by the Earls of Errol and then the Earls of Glasgow.

 

Looking further back in history, the presence of ‘cup and ring’ marks carved in rock near Ford suggest that there was a Bronze Age community here.  In Anglo-Saxon (medieval) times, Ford was a crossing place for monks and nuns travelling between the important Celtic monasteries of Iona and Lindisfarne.

 

Ford & Etal includes the site of the Battle of Flodden, fought between the English and Scottish armies in 1513. This was the last decisive battle between the two nations; King James IV of Scotland was killed, together with 10,000 of his noblemen and soldiers.

 

Soon after Flodden came the union of the two monarchies (hence the name: ‘United Kingdom’). In 1707 the single parliament of Westminster was created.  It meant political union, and peace. By the 19th century Ford and Etal were healthy and prosperous agricultural communities. Under Louisa Marchioness of Waterford, Ford estate in particular was improved. In her new village school she painted extraordinary Biblical murals.

 

James Joicey (5th Baron Joicey) is the fourth generation of the family to be responsible for Ford & Etal Estates.  In 1907, the 1st Baron Joicey, a successful owner of coalmines in Durham, purchased Ford Estate and a year later (1908) purchased Etal, uniting the two estates under one ownership.