Although this fantastic manor house was built in the 17th Century, Kirkley is listed as far back as 1175. Originally named Cricklawe, however, it’s not until 1257 that Kirkley became a manor built by border wars for both The Scots and English. The Ogle family first appear in 1526 when John Ogle is named as a tenant of the estate and in 1612 the Manor House, 930 acres of land and the township of Kirkley was bought by Mark and Cuthbert Ogle. The Ogle family owned the estate for the next 300 years and several generation of the Ogle family were to be raised in the original hall built in 1632 by Cuthbert. In fact, Cuthbert and his wife Dorothy’s initials can still be seen in the stonework above the main porch. In 1764, it was The Rev. Newton Ogle who developed the Hall as it stands at present. He designed the building around a Cedar of Lebanon tree that still stands proud today. It was also at this time that the East Wing was completed and the Clock tower was built. During the 1800s the estate stayed in the hands of The Ogle family and it was The Reverend John Saville Ogle that extensively altered the hall and extended it to the three storey building. Sadly in 1922 the hall finally belonged to new owners. John Francis Challoner Ogle inherited the estate but was deeply in debt and had to sell the land and buildings to local farmers, who in turn lease it to the local ship builder Sir William Noble who then bought the whole estate in 1928 later Sir William would become Lord Kirkley. In 1929 disaster struck and the hall burnt to the ground. Sir William rebuilt most of the building to the glorious building you see today. In 1948 Northumberland County Council bought Kirkley from Sir William’s daughter who had inherited the estate after her father’s death. Over the past 60 plus years the council have redeveloped and grown the estate into renowned horticulture and farming college.
This location is steeped in history dating back nearly 1000 years. It was a constant battle ground during the years of the border wars. The building has been knocked down and burnt down, but still stands proudly overlooking 100s of acres of land leading to the historic village of Ponteland. Who is the apparition that is reported to wander the upper corridors? Smells of fire have been often reported and who is the bride of the famously reported bridal party seen around the grounds.
Join GHOSTnortheast as we become one of the first and only groups to investigate this historic site.
We will be investigating both floors and the underground cellars to see what secrets The Ogle family will share.