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The Bishop of Dudley's Cross and Ring are made at Kirkharle March 2014

Capability Play - October 2013






9th December 2011 - The Guardian Country Diary

Kirkharle, Northumberland

Wild watercress grows so thickly in the wide drainage ditch that I can barely glimpse water. Its lush foliage, too green and spring-like for December, creeps up the banks of the ditch to mingle with seared grasses and dry nettle stems. To my right is a narrow lake where the easterly wind buffets irregular patterns across its grey surface. It lies in a trough of the land, bordered by newly planted trees in copses of black, protective tubes.

The fact that this lake is here at all, close by the hamlet of Kirkharle, relies on the chance finding of an old map in a chest of drawers. Kirkharle is where landscape architect Capability Brown was born and where he began work as a gardener's boy. His dormant design for a serpentine lake, possibly his first plan, was found by local landowner John Anderson among his grandfather's papers. Forgotten since the 18th century, this newly dug lake curves among the trees and shrubs that Brown visualised: oak, Scots pine, beech and willow. The burgundy stems of dogwood have broken free of their tree guards and fat haws sparkle on rugosa roses. Rhythmic lines of willowherb turn russet in the afternoon sun. A flock of goldfinches nip seeds from the heads of docks. As I reach the end of the lake I see where the water exits under stonework topped by a little pyramid.

Grass-heads judder in the wind as I take the return path. There is just a single dandelion flower. I hear the thwack of a mell on wood and meet two men fencing off a grassy area. Sheep will shortly be grazing on this nascent wildflower meadow. Young plants of ox-eye daisy and red campion are growing on the edge of the new lake and the sheep will tread their seed into the soil.

By Susie White

February 2011



Autumn 2010

There is always something happening . . .

Countryfile video

Why not drop in and see the exciting new developments we have here at Kirkharle.

The new Lake is now open giving a fascinating insight in to the work of 'Capability' Brown, who's original plans were the inspiration for this project.

There is an inspirational choice of shops and artists work to interest everyone, and some exciting new things going on throughout the summer.

The coffee house, and restaurant - open for Sunday lunch, serve the best home made meals and snacks.