20 - Wickham
Description‘The Road to Albalanda’ By Samuel Tuke Richardson of Darlington c.1896 ‘The time was somewhat limited & they started once more for their Whickham stage passing through Burnopfield & Tanfield they took a wrong turn & so missed the woods of Gibside. Coming into Whickham at the back of the old house of which they obtained a very good view & though somewhat more bare of trees than in old days it was very much the same as when they had left it 40 years before, driving through the village Mrs De La Reynardez descried an ancient & time worn dame who she remembered to have seen when they lived there & strangely enough they found out afterward that she recollected them quite well. Pulling up at an uninviting hostelry they left the team & wended their way to Whickham House, & on applying for permission to visit the grounds they were courteously permitted to ramble where so ever they please. The Terrace Walk was visited & they might have only left it the day before so unchanged & well kept was it. The Kitchen garden & stables were somewhat altered but the Vine which in their day had been one of the most productive in the country was still growing & yielding abundance of fruit. The park was in exactly the same state as when it was laid out by their father, & at one corner of it the coachman went to visit an old man who had a brother in Darlington; being unable to gain admittance to the house at the door he looked in at the window & saw the old gentleman sitting up in bed touching his hat profusely whilst both of his legs were paralysed. Returning to the INN a repulsive lunch was partaken of after which a visit was paid to their old friends the Carrs, Mr C. having been the clergyman there in their time. Unfortunately however the Rev’ gentleman had just fallen into a rain water tank & so much damaged his leg that they did not see him but they received the warmest Welcome from Mr & Mrs Carr & spent a very happy half hour in their genial society’.
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