The stone heads on the lawn in front of Wallington capture ones eye as you drive past.  Depending on which source you read they are either Dragons of Gryphens.  With only the heads on display the jury is out…

But where did they come from?

Four griffins’ heads with protruding eyes, large ears, snarling mouths and hair sprouting from under their jowls.
The heads originally belonged to griffins on the medieval gate at Bishopsgate, London, which was demolished in 1761.(1) An engraving at Wallington Hall shows how they looked in the early eighteenth century.(2) The story goes that they arrived in Northumberland as ballast in one of the coal boats belonging to the Blacketts, the great coaland lead-mining family that owned Wallington Hall.(3) It is not known when exactly this was but certainly by 1789 the heads were part of the motley array of objects decorating Rothley Castle, the eighteenth-century Gothic eyecatcher and viewing-point which David Garrett designed for Sir Walter Calverley c.1755 to stand in his newly laid-out deerpark at Rothley Park, five miles to the north of Wallington.

In 1928 the heads were moved from Rothley Castle to Wallington.

Heads and Hall

14 Comments CherryPie on Mar 5th 2014

14 Responses to “Wallington”

  1. james higham says:

    Is it just me or is there something a bit creepy about those?

  2. Look like pals of my friend Aileen to me.

    I expect they paid a visit.

  3. JD says:

    Gardens are splendid in July with all the Rhododendrons everywhere.


    • CherryPie says:

      The only time I visited Northumberland in June/July it rained. I have always found September weather more sunny.

      Except on my visit to Wallington last year, when the rain decided to intrude on my visit!

  4. ....peter:) says:

    I doesn’t matter which story is true Cherie… but i’d love to meet the guy who cut off their heads in the first place… two great shots…..peter:)

  5. Well, as a Welshwoman I am convinced they are dragons!

  6. Claude says:

    I’ve been looking everywhere for my head! Please, send it back, Cherie. It’s the left one. Thanks!

  7. J_on_tour says:

    I once took a visitor to Wallington back in 2012 … she couldn’t believe that the heads were put in such a prominent place.

    • CherryPie says:

      Did she not like them?

      I find their positioning quite striking. The first time I saw them was when I drove past them a few years ago. They captured my attention and I wondered what they were…

      Know I know ;-)