SHE was a living link to the past - the last of the Trevelyan family to live at Northumberland’s historic Wallington Hall.
Florence Patricia Jennings, who was known as Patricia, has died aged 98, and was a familiar face for visitors to the property until recently.
The daughter of Sir Charles Phillip and Lady Molly Trevelyan, who gave Wallington to the National Trust in 1941, she lived in the hall and opened its Clock Tower cafe in the 1960s.
The trust has opened a book of condolence at Wallington and last night said her death “represents the passing of an era”.
Patricia was born to Sir Charles and Lady Trevelyan in Westminster in March 1915, and the family moved to Northumberland and an estate at Wallington, when she was 13 and lived there for most of her childhood.
During the Second World War, she learned to drive a tractor and worked on the land, and for a while managed the Newbiggen Farm at Wallington.
Her father donated the estate to the National Trust in 1941, following which it blossomed into one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions.
Patricia moved away to marry in 1942, but returned in 1961, into its West Wing, after the death of her second husband. The same year, she launched the hall’s Clock Tower café.
Patricia could often be found welcoming visitors in the courtyard playing her Northumbrian Pipes which were a lifelong passion.
Her love of the outdoors, inherited from her parents, continued until the end of her life and Patricia was often seen cutting flowers in the walled garden for the house.
She would regale guests with stories about her childhood and the Trevelyan family, and would also join in staff parties and support community activities.
She encouraged younger members of the Trevelyan family to take an interest in their history and the future of Wallington.
Patricia wanted them to continue the link with the trust in the spirit of her father’s gift more than 70 years ago.
She inspired her grandson, the artist Jonathan Parker, in creating portraits of the Trevelyan family, several of which hang in the house.
Patricia moved into residential care in 2011. She died on May 28 and leaves daughter Janet Hall.
Sally Richards, general manager at Wallington, said: “It is with deep sadness but very fond memories that the National Trust team at Wallington heard of the passing of Patricia Jennings.
“Patricia was the daughter of Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan who gave the generous gift of his estate at Wallington to the National Trust in 1941.
“Her death represents the passing of an era; she had a real zest for life and will be sorely missed by staff, volunteers and visitors.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”
Pamela Hood worked at the Clock Tower cafe as a waitress from its opening day, with her parents Norman and Bea Macbeth working in the kitchen.
Patricia once stayed with the family at its Monkseaton home and played her pipes for Pamela.
She recalled: “She used to play the pipes for everybody, when people were walking around in the hall, until quite recently.
“She is known so far and wide because she used to play her pipes everywhere.”