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Blagraves House where Cromwell visited

Teesdale has long associated ties with the monarchy.  In the 15th Century Cicely Neville the daughter of Earl of Westmoreland, whom resided at Raby Castle, was married to Richard Plantaganet, The Duke of York.  Their marriage produced two future kings of England, Edward IV and the Richard III, whose remains where recently discovered in Leicester.  Cicely was known as 'The Rose of Raby' as a result of her great beauty.

In 1648, during the English Civil War, Teesdale was visited by The Kings Party in August and later in the year Oliver Cromwell, who reportedly stayed in Blagraves house in Barnard Castle.  This visit was recorded by a local diarist of the time, Christopher Sanderson.  He said that twelve local men met and rode with Oliver Cromwell and escorted him to his lodgings at Blagraves House on The Bank in the town, there he is said to have enjoyed a supper of burnt wine and shortcake.

Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, the poet Robert Southey and the critic John Ruskin all stayed in Teesdale at the invitation of the Morritt family staying at the Estate property Rokeby Hall, which lies just outside Barnard Castle.  Charles Dickens also stayed at The Kings Head Hotel in Barnard Castle, whilst here he researched the cheap boarding schools of the day and Dotheboy's Hall in Bowes Village was used in his book Nicholas Nickleby.  In 1809 and 1812 Sir Walter Scott's visits to Teesdale were the inspiration for an epic poem of over 30,000 words called 'Rokeby'. 

Joseph Millord William Turner visited Teesdale in his journey's through the North Pennines in 1797 and again in 1816.  He stayed in Middleton-in-Teesdale and visited the waterfalls of High Force, Low Force and Cauldron Snout.  He captured many local views on canvas and is said to have found the sense of light, beauty and atmosphere of Teesdale inspiring.

Take the Blue Plaque Trail to find out more about Historical figures and connections in Barnard Castle or see our selection of Teesdale Tours.