NZ0256 : Giant Redwood drive, Woodcock Plantation, Minsteracres

taken 9 years ago, near to Minsteracres, Northumberland, England

Giant Redwood drive, Woodcock Plantation, Minsteracres
Giant Redwood drive, Woodcock Plantation, Minsteracres
Minsteracres is famous for its beautiful avenue of awe-inspiring Californian Giant Redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum). One planted for Henry Silvertop in April 1857 was recorded by G.C. Atkinson in 1873 as already at a height of 32 ft 6 ins (9.9m) and of substantial girth.

There are a total of 140 trees in the avenue and around the house. The best sight is the main avenue from the A68 road up to the house. The avenue of trees rises in height and curves with the road. It comprises 64 trees, with 31 on one side and 33 on the other. The remaining trees are mostly near the house and south west of it in the Barleyhill area which is 900 ft above sea level. The trees are visible from some distance outside the hall grounds NZ0255 : Minsteracres Monastery from Barley Hill Plantation

The Rev. Jules Lenders stated ‘it is a view which once seen, one can never forget and wishes only for an opportunity to admire again’ (Rev. J. Lenders, Minsteracres: the Silvertop Family, the Minsteracres Estate, the Mission and Church, Orphans Press, 1932).

Giant Redwoods of Northumbria by S. Robbins, The Vasculum Vol. 92 (2007).
Minsteracres Monastery :: NZ0255

Minsteracres was the former residence of the Silvertop family, built on a hilltop site approached from the north up a long avenue of Giant Redwood trees.

The Silvertops were devout Catholics, persecuted for their faith, who made their fortune from control of coal mines in the Ryton and Chopwell areas. The original L-shaped house dates from 1758. A second floor was added under the stewardship of John Silvertop (1748-1801) who inherited the estate in 1789. Subsequent large additions followed, including an extension designed by John Dobson.

On John Silvertop’s death the estate was inherited by his son George who travelled widely, bringing back exotic plants and trees for the grounds, and works of art for the house. On his death in 1849 the estate passed to his nephew Henry Charles Englefield, who took the surname, Silvertop. He build a private chapel adjacent to the mansion, which was to become the parish church for the local Catholic community, dedicated to St Elizabeth and opened in 1854.

His heirs all died young, several in the Great War. Minsteracres was used during the Second World War as a base for fire service training and shortly after, Charles Arthur Silvertop sold the house, church, stables and 60 acres of land for use as a Passionist Monastery. The remainder of the estate, including 15 farms, cottages and 5,000 acres of land was sold to Tyneside industrialist Charles Cookson.

Friar Colum Devine of the Passionist Order, with the help of local volunteers, transformed Minsteracres into a monastery, and the derelict stables and coach house into a retreat centre which opened in 1967.

Minsteracres: Peaceful retreat marks 250 years - Hexham Courant, Tuesday 17 February 2015: LinkExternal link

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Lowlands Roads, Road transport Country estates Woodland, Forest Primary Subject: Drive
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · Minsteracres [2] Other Photos: · Giant Redwoods, Minsteracres · Giant Redwoods, Minsteracres ·
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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NZ0256, 15 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Andrew Curtis   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 10 April, 2015   (more nearby)
Friday, 10 April, 2015
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 0286 5611 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:53.9826N 1:57.4159W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 02893 56187
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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