A 13th-century manor house, which is steeped in history, has opened a bunkhouse to attract more visitors to the Coquetdale countryside.
The 12-bed facility at Clennell Hall Hotel, near Harbottle, has been created by refurbishing two light and airy ground-floor rooms which give guests a place to sleep as well as access to the rest of the venue’s facilities.
Removing layers of paint in one of the rooms revealed a practical herringbone layered wooden floor that was laid on leather while the other has a traditional fireplace feature.
The three sets of bunks in each room ensure a practical yet comfortable base from which the Upper Coquet Valley is easily accessible.
The hall is steeped in border history.
On May 9, 1587, the Coquetdale country house suffered two terrifying raids from Scottish raiders.
First the Scotts, with 500 men, swept down from the surrounding hills in daylight and lifted 80 cows and oxen, seven horses and mares, £201 of goods and grabbed seven prisoners for ransom.
Notorious Reivers John ‘The Tinkler’ Scott and his son Andrew ‘The Breadie’ Scott, Adam ‘Little Peck’ Scott and Dand ‘The Lover’ Oliver led the raid.
Just three days later, the terrifying harrying continued as 400 raiders from Liddesdale and Teviotdale came down the Coquet water on another day foray and took 60 beasts and a number of prisoners, while burning surrounding farmsteads.
This time the Elliots were the main raiders and, although some of them were taken prisoner, they were released a month later from Alnwick by Sir John Forster, the Middle March Warden, who was long reputed to be involved in complicated mafia ties with the Scottish families.
Owner John ‘Rocky’ Ramshaw said: “Clennell is the perfect base for exploring Northumberland’s bloody and turbulent past.
“And who knows, on a quiet evening, as the shadows run long down by the meandering Alwin with the sheep bleating and birdsong in the trees, you may just hear the clash of steel from those ghostly riders galloping across the turf.”
The hall also features 10 individual rooms including king-size beds and modern bathrooms and is a popular wedding venue.
To find out more contact 01669 650377.