Building In Stocksfield, Northumberland
The birthplace of Thomas Bewick, the famous wood engraver and ornithologist.
Cherryburn is a peaceful spot in the heart of Northumberland, another small and perfectly formed site full of history. The site is currently closed due to it's remote location and will reopen again in early 2022. When it does reopen it is likely there will still be covid restrictions in place. Please check with National Trust - Cherryburn if you are planning a visit.
If you're interested in the life and works of Thomas Bewick (and who isn't!), this is the perfect place to learn all about him.
Cherryburn is made up of the cottage where Thomas Bewick was born in 1753 and the family's farmhouse. The farmhouse now contains a small museum dedicated to Thomas Bewick's beautiful work and a Press Room which is still in working order today. The cottage is furnished with items which would have been common at the time of Thomas's birth. It is hard to believe that Thomas, his seven siblings and their parents all lived in this tiny space.
Thomas lived in the cottage until the age of 14 in 1768, when he became an apprentice to engraver Ralph Beilby. Under Beilby he learned how to engrave on wood and metal and in 1776, he became a partner in Beilby's workshop, where the business prospered.
Thomas developed a way of engraving wood using blocks of wood which had been cut across. This wood was able to withstand close cutting which was required for fine details. He obviously had a huge talent for drawing detailed images, and this was showcased in his 1781 book 'A General History of Quadrapeds', where he illustrated around 200 animals.
He built on his success by creating a two volume book, the 'History of British Birds'. 'Land Birds' was published in 1797 and 'Water Birds' in 1804. The books became famous for their 'tail-pieces' or 'tale-pieces', which were engravings of life in Northern England, filled with humour, affection and demonstrated Bewick's love of nature.
Pre - Covid, Cherryburn held regular printing demonstrations in the Press Room. You could see prints created using his original wood block engravings of wildlife - fascinating stuff!
As well as a tiny little café, there is a small paddock with friendly alpacas, donkeys and chickens and a garden to wander round.
Thanks to The Bewick Society for permission to use the pictures of Thomas Bewick's engravings.
Place contributed by Sandra Clemens
I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.
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