GARDENS at the birthplace of one of the North East's most famous sons are open to the public tomorrow.
The gardens at Fallodon Hall, where Charles Grey was born, will be open to visitors in the afternoon providing a rare opportunity for people to look round.
The property’s current owners are allowing access to their land as part of charity Red Cross’ open gardens scheme, which custodians of Fallodon have taken part in every year but one for the last four decades.
The property, close to Christon Bank, near Alnwick, is the sister house to Howick Hall.
Most of the property that stands today was built by Thomas Wood in the early eighteenth century, incorporating part of the older 17th century residence.
After Wood’s death in 1755, Fallodon passed through his daughter to the Grey family of Howick.
Earl Charles Grey, after whom the tea was named, was born at Fallodon Hall in 1764. He became Prime Minister in 1830, as the leader of the Whig party, and held the post for four years. Newcastle’s Grey’s Monument was built in his honour, with his statue atop a 40-metre high column, in 1838.
Another Grey of political background who lived at Fallodon was Edward, born in 1862. He was Foreign Secretary from 1905-1916, the term in this role.
Grey died in 1933 and was buried at Fallodon, with his ashes and those of first wife Dorothy marked by an engraved stone.
A stone engraving can also be found to his second wife Pamela.
A square sunken garden is dedicated to wife, Dorothy, while a strip in memory of Pamela is being replanted.
In 1917, a serious fire gutted the main part of the house, and it was rebuilt from 1921 to 1924 within the old shell, but with the second floor removed.
The Bridgeman family bought Fallodon from Edward Grey’s nephew, Cecil Graves, in 1946.
The third and fourth generations are now living there, husband and wife Mark and Lucia, who took over from his parents five years ago, and their children.
Today the formal gardens are set in traditional grounds with a lake, woodlands, specimen trees and a kitchen garden.
Lucia last night told how the year of the foot-and-mouth outbreak was the only one since the 1970s in which Fallodon’s owners have not taken part in the Red Cross scheme.
She said: “It is an annual event but it is the only official opening of the garden.
“Last year I think it raised £1,800 so it is a worthy enough amount of money to give to the Red Cross.”
The gardens are open from 2pm to 6pm.
Money raised through admissions, which are £3, a plant stall, teas and donations is given to the charity.
To get to Fallodon, take the A1 exit five miles north of Alnwick, turn right onto the B6347 and after two miles the gates of the property will be visible.
The hall will be signposted and its postcode is NE66 3HF.