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Cherryburn

Northumberland

Art

Cherryburn is nice – a tiny white-painted 18th century cottage and a plain stone-built farmhouse added a bit later. There’s a farmyard with hens on a midden, an orchard with old fruit trees and a few farm animals in the neighbouring paddocks. The situation is charming too – looking north across the unspoilt Tyne Valley, over the river towards the Saxon tower of Ovingham Church.

What makes it special is that this was the childhood home of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), Britain’s greatest wood engraver. His British Birds was one of the most influential works of Natural History ever produced and it's here that he learnt to love nature. The tiny and exquisite vignettes for which he is famous were inspired by this landscape, he was educated in the church and first revealed his artistic talent by drawing in chalk constantly, obsessively (and to be honest, rather naughtily) all over its ancient walls.

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