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Crook Gardens opens today - 13th July 2022

The award winning Crook Gardens and medieval house have been taken over by the National Trust and last night we had a marvellous preview, courtesy of the Durham Business Club. On a prime site in the centre of Durham, the hall was initiated in the 14th century and was given to John de Copeland as a reward for kidnapping King David II at the Battle of Nevilles Cross in 1346. Various families have lived there including antiquarian James Raine who, in 1827, opened the coffin of St.Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral and discovered the golden Anglo-Saxon pectorial cross, now the 'brand' of Durham

Previous owners, Keith and Maggie Bell had done an amazing job of bringing the hall back to life and turning numerous fields into wonderful gardens full of colour, inspiring infrastructure and intrigue. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit them hard and were unable to survive with the National Trust stepping in to save the day.

Now it has reopened and the hall and gardens are a wonderful place to amble with a medieval hall full of surprises, staircases and viewpoints.

Down, alongside the road to Frankland Farm and Newton Hall, a wonderful cafe awaits and we were treated to a sumptuous afternoon tea complete wit clotted cream. Nicola and her team had done a fantastic job of providing for us and it is a superb place to catch your breath and refill without having to go into the hall and gardens.

Check out the magnificence of the Medieval Hall which is the only part of the hall which will be open to the public and has been interpreted

Cuthbert's pectoral cross, found by Dr. James Raine and now in the Durham Cathedral museum

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