Hi, we're Philip and Lynn Gregory and we have two wonderful holiday cottages for hire in the idyllic country village of Bamburgh. We've created this blog to provide anyone who's thinking of visiting the region with some great ideas on how to make the most of your trip.

Our Cottages

Our Cottages
Our self catering family holiday cottages are located along one of the most breathtakingly picturesque coastal regions in the north east, with nearby Bamburgh castle towering 150 ft above the sea. If you're interested in finding out more and possibly making a booking, why not take a look at our website.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Wild White Cattle of Chillingham

The Chillingham herd is the only one in the world to remain undomesticated. The cattle still roam their natural surroundings in Chillingham Park, Northumberland.
Though their origin is uncertain, the existing herd is thought to have been at Chillingham for perhaps 700 years. It is presumed that when, some time in the 13th Century, the King of England gave permission for Chillingham Castle to be "castellated and crenellated" and for a park wall to be built, the herd was corralled for purposes of food and hunting.
Theories abound as to their history before then. The ancestor of domestic cattle, the aurochs, died out in Britain in 1500 BC, so it is difficult to see how there can be any direct historic connection.
"Nowhere in the world are there any mammals more inbred than these – yet they continue to survive and thrive."The Chillingham Wild Cattle Association
This is unique among animals, and arises from their very long history of inbreeding, together with occasional periods of very low numbers (genetic bottlenecks). Though Chillingham cattle have been taken out of the herd for various purposes, especially during the late 1800s, none have ever been readmitted.Current scientific thinking is that they are the descendants of medieval cattle that were brought together, perhaps as early as AD 1250 or thereabouts, to form the original herd.The artist and wood engraver Thomas Bewick reported that in the early 1700s black calves were occasionally born, but were killed by the keeper.