LANDMARK buildings in Tynedale usually closed to the public proved a powerful draw for visitors over the summer.

In special visits led by John Nicholls MBE, the life president of The Fifteen (The Northumbrian Jacobite Society) which maintains the historic buildings at Cambian Dilston College, people were given the opportunity to take a look around the landmarks situated in its private grounds.

The site is of particular interest to readers of Anya Seton’s historical novel Devil Water, which features brothers James and Charles Radcliffe, third and fifth Earls of Derwentwater, who once lived there before being executed for their loyalty to the Jacobite Cause.

Mr Nicholls said: “We have been thrilled by the interest shown this season by locals and others from far and wide, who really seem to appreciate the atmosphere of this very special place.”

The tours took visitors to the solar tower house dating back to 1417, with Elizabethan additions, and the fully-restored Catholic Recusant Chapel of 1616-1619.

The Cambian Group, which owns the site, recognised the importance of Dilston in the history and cultural heritage of Northumberland, and strongly supported the work carried out on-site by volunteers from The Fifteen to maintain the buildings.

Future tours are planned at the sites, with all the fees going towards the insurance and upkeep of the buildings.

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