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Lumbylaw Holiday Cottages


From your base at Lumbylaw you are quite literally surrounded by history! First of all from your cottage a short walk will take you back in time 750 years as you approach Edlingham Castle. Originally built in the 12th Century as a Hall House, it was fortified as a reaction to the unsettled period of Edward I and the Scottish Wars of Succession. The castle, set in the valley of Edlingham Burn, was eventually abandoned during the English Civil War. Two of the last inhabitants were witnesses at the then famous witch trial of Margaret Stothard. Part of the solar tower probably spanned the original moat, resulting in the leaning section seen today, this along with the castle's fine fireplace are two of its most striking features. Much of the castle's history was discovered during extensive archaeological investigations between 1978 and 1982. The castle is now under the stewardship of English Heritage. A detailed history of the castle is contained in both cottages, or is available in advance of your visit.

Close by the castle is the dismantled railway line and 5-arch Victorian viaduct. The line formed part of the Alnwick-Cornhill branch line, which was opened by the North Eastern Railway Company after the completion of the viaduct in 1885.

Further on you can spend a little time at The Church of Saint John the Baptist, some of which pre-dates the Norman Conquest. Standing on the reputed site of a wooden Anglo-Saxon church of the 8th Century, remnants of a sculptured cross of this period can be seen in the church. The church features a Norman doorway of a style rare in Northumberland and a strongly fortified tower featuring arrow-slit windows, suggesting it was built with both defence and detention in mind.

If still feeling energetic, then walk on to Lemmington Branch, a late 18th Century hilltop farm with a spectacular battlemented frontage in the Gothic style, built to characterise a Crusader Castle, created as part of the 'romantic' landscaping of Lemmington Estate.

Just below Lemmington Branch there are extensive views towards the Cheviot Hills, which were formed by ancient volcanoes, long since extinct (you'll no doubt be pleased to know!) and much eroded by the elements over millions of years, to form the rounded, green hills seen today.

The village of Edlingham (or Eadwulfingham as it was originally known) also has some interesting history. It was given to Saint Cuthbert in 737 by King Coelwolf, on his resignation of the throne of Northumbria to become a monk at Lindisfarne. The rig and furrowed fields, attest to the feudal origins of the village, which was notorious as the home in the 17th century of the supposed witch, Margaret Stothard.

When back in your cottage, relaxing with a nice cup of tea, you might like to contemplate this little bit of history of our farm! Lumbylaw was originally called Castle Farm until after the railway was built in 1885. Maps created after 1900 refer to it as Lumbylaw. We think that the railway connection is the likely reason for the name change. Northumbrian and Scottish slang for chimney is a "lumb" and you may recall the poem by Robbie Burns with the words, "Lang may your lumbs reek" ('long may your chimneys smoke', i.e. long may you have wealth enough to afford fuel). Due North of Lumbylaw the railway line goes underground for half a mile through the hill. There are some air-vents, which look like the chimneys standing in the fields (quite visible when you pass the farm due North of us). These may be the chimneys, or lumbs, hence chimney on the hill (law means hill).

Edlingham photo gallery:

“Of 3 UK visits so far, the best cottage in terms of quality, service, friendliness & location.”

Family Evers, Holland, July 2012

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