The Gibside estate was one of several in the region in the hands of the Bowes family. The extensive grounds were mainly laid out in the 18th century by George Bowes, using his fortune made in the local coal trade. Although the house is now only a shell (burned in the 1920s and later partly demolished) many smaller buildings survive around the estate.
The house and estate in 1830
The main work of the volunteer group has been to help with the restoration of the grounds, which are gradually being opened up as a series of walks. Recent forestry work has seen a move away from coniferous plantations back to the style of landscapes laid out in the 18th century, and we have been involved in some of the thinning out and clearing work in the areas near footpaths. We have also cleared overgrown outbuildings and ponds and done some repair work on collapsed drystone walls.
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