DILSTON HALL, William Sidney Gibson

William Sidney Gibson, published London, 1850

Written in the first half of the nineteenth century, Gibson's flowery and romantic style perfectly encapsulates the sentiment of the age, when the folklore associated with the tragic Earl of Derwentwater was still very much alive in Northumberland.

The saga of the popular young Earl and the ill-fated Jacobite Rising of 1715 is interspersed with poetic verses that enhance the sorrowful tale. Graphic descriptions are given of the remaining features of Dilston Hall, the grand and stately Radcliffe mansion that overlooked the beautiful Devil's Water in Hexhamshire, which was demolished by the Hanoverian Government in 1768.

The genealogy of the family is fully explained, from their origins in Lancashire to their fatal alliance in 1688 with the Royal House of Stuart and subsequent downfall and ruin. Traditional and factual details are woven into place concerning the family, their heirlooms and relics. Particularly interesting features of this book are the copious footnotes and curious reminiscences which add to the wealth of information in the main narrative and provide further intriguing glimpses of days gone by.

A short section at the end of the book entitled 'A Visit to Bamburgh Castle' outlines the history of Bamburgh, and includes a synopsis of the life of Lord Nathaniel Crewe, Bishop of Durham, who was instrumental in the restoration of Charles ll.