Gibside is a country estate near Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear, North East England that was previously owned by the Bowes-Lyon family. It is now a National Trust property. The main house on the estate is now a shell, although the property is most famous for its chapel. The stables, walled garden and banqueting house are also intact. The Blakiston family acquired the estate by marriage in about 1540. William Blakiston replaced the old house with a spacious mansion between 1603 and 1620. The property came into the possession of the Bowes family when Elizabeth Blakiston married Sir William Bowes of Streatlam Castle (now demolished). In 1767 the Bowes heiress Mary Eleanor Bowes, married John Lyon, 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, who changed his surname to Bowes due to a provision in her father's will that any suitor had to take the family name. This was a device to continue the Bowes lineage in the absence of a male heir. Improvements carried out by the Bowes-Lyon family included landscaping in the 18th century, a chapel (Gibside Chapel, built between 1760 and 1812), a banqueting hall, a column of Liberty, an avenue of oaks and several hundred acres of forest. Gibside differs from many estates in that the main house, although grand, was not the focal point of the estate. The long walk actually runs from the Column of Liberty to the chapel and the mansion is located to one side. The house became vacant in the 1920s after death duties forced the Bowes-Lyon family to scale back its lavish lifestyle and give up some of its great houses. The building was stripped of its fixtures and fittings, with many of the fireplaces and other items being transferred to Glamis Castle. Parts of the structure were demolished in 1958, including the removal of the roof, and the remains are protected by Grade II listed building status. Parts of the grounds have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, including a forest garden that is currently under restoration. There are several outstanding buildings, including a Palladian chapel and others awaiting or undergoing restoration. The chapel and Grand Walk have been in the National Trust's ownership since 1965 and an additional 354 acres (1.43 km 2) of the grounds were acquired in 1993.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 5 years ago via