History Articles - A Well Kept Secret

For six years I wrote a short history article in the monthly parish magazine, The Pelican.  One of the articles is shown in the column opposite.

Articles can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate title from the index below.

If anyone has any old photographs or parish information which they would like recorded (for present and future generations to share) then please get in touch with me.

    John Davison (Website Co-ordinator)
           Telephone: 01670 760609
      Email: jdavison26@btinternet.com

63   Dec 2011 We'll Weather the Weather
62   Nov 2011 Alan's Ackl'n Appearances
61   Oct 2011 Ackl'n Marriages 1913-14
60   Sep 2011 Old Photographs Required
59   Jul 2011 A Tower With A Tale To Tell
58   Jun 2011 A Well Kept Secret
57   May 2011 Fishy Business
56   Apr 2011 Acklington Warrior Stone
55   Mar 2011 The Church of St John
54   Feb 2011 Deep and Chrisp
53   Dec 2010 For Whom The Bell Tolls
52   Nov 2010 Which Village?
51   Oct 2010 A Pilot's Memories
50   Sep 2010 Acklington Black Poplar
49   Jul 2010 Street Names
48   Jun 2010 RAF Memorial
47   May 2010 Crowning Glory
46   Apr 2010 Badminton Club
45   Mar 2010 Murder On The Train
44   Feb 2010 Guyzance Tragedy
43   Dec 2009 Acklington Park
42   Nov 2009 Dye House (Part 2)
41   Sep 2009 Dye House (Part 1)
40   Jul 2009 History Making Heads
39   Jun 2009 Acklington Main Street
38   May 2009 James Raymond Smith
37   Apr 2009 The Age of Steam Trains
36   Mar 2009 Fred Wilson
35   Feb 2009 Guyzance School
34   Dec 2008 Acklington W.I.
33   Nov 2008 Lych Gate
32   Oct 2008 Village Hall Disaster
31   Sep 2008 Summer Crowds
30   Jul 2008 Spot The Differences
29   Jun 2008 Sunday School
28   May 2008 National Finalist
27   Apr 2008 What's in A Name
26   Mar 2008 Railway Inn
25   Feb 2008 Osprey
24   Dec 2007 The Guyzance 10
23   Nov 2007 Bowls Club
22   Oct 2007 Village Harvest
21   Sep 2007 Wedding Bliss
20   Jun 2007 The Other Acklington Artist
19   May 2007 The La'Well Tree
18   Apr 2007 The German Spy
17   Mar 2007 The Winter of 47
16   Feb 2007 Les Birkett's Memories
15   Jan 2007 Railway Station
14   Dec 2006 Jane Chapman
13   Nov 2006 Witches
12   Oct 2006 Jack Taylor
11   Sep 2006 Black Ralph
10   Aug 2006 School Photographs
09   Jul 2006 Pig Killings
08   Jun 2006 Village Hall Disaster
07   May 2006 Cricketers
06   Apr 2006 On Yer Bike
05   Apr 2006 Cricket
04   Mar 2006 Mailbag Robbery
03   Feb 2006 Storm of 1886
02   Jan 2006 Football
01   Dec 2005 Help Required

Tucked away in Acklington behind high walls, gates and trees is one of the best kept secrets in the parish. If you are passing through the village in a vehicle you may just get a glimpse of a very grand house which is listed amongst Northumberland’s finest architectural gems.

This former residence for the clergy of Acklington Parish (now known as The Old Vicarage) caught the eye of Sir Nikolaus B. L. Pevsner the famous German-born British scholar of the history of architecture.  Sir Nikolaus is best known for his 46-volume series of county-by-county guides entitled “The Buildings of England”, often simply referred to as "Pevsner". His fundamental aim was to provide up-to-date guides to the most significant buildings in every part of the country, suitable for both general reader and specialist alike. The very fact, then, that Acklington Vicarage got a mention in one of Pevsner’s volumes is praise indeed.

There is no doubt it is an impressive sight, as this picturesque winter scene below confirms, but many locals are quite unaware of just how fine this Grade 2 Listed Building actually is. 

Here are some other little known facts about this stunning abode.

• Acklington Vicarage was designed by London architect James Deason (at the instruction of the 4th Duke of Northumberland) and built in 1861 by the same elite craftsmen that carried out renovations to Alnwick Castle.

• During the Second World War, 47 children from Wallsend (plus three teachers) were evacuated to Acklington. This initially caused organisational problems for the village school and for a while Acklington Vicarage and village hall were used for teaching purposes.

  • There is a military link with the Old Vicarage. During the Second World War the army took over Acklington Vicarage and Acklington Village Hall. Both buildings were used as living quarters (billets) for the soldiers.


  • The Acklington Warrior Stone, which is believed to be linked to the famous medieval Lindisfarne Warrior Stone (and which was featured in April’s Pelican), was discovered in the Acklington Vicarage garden. What a find!


• The present owners of Acklington Vicarage, Chris and Tessa Sayers, have kindly offered to host a summer fundraising event in their garden on 12th June. It is being advertised as a “Poppy Party” to help celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion and everyone is welcome.

Thank you Chris and Tessa, your generosity is much appreciated.  I would encourage everyone to mark the date on your calendar and attend if you possibly can.  What is more....
...... if you do come along you will get views for yourself of a stylish and most prestigious, yet surprisingly secret, period property.
         John Davison
         Tel: 01670 760609