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.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Autographed Grace Darling Letter Returns to Bamburgh

An autographed letter signed by Victorian heroine Grace Darling sold for £460 at auction by Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on the 2nd May 2012. The letter discusses the Trust set up for the money raised for her after her audacious rescue of survivors from the wreck of Forfarshire in the early hours of 7 September 1838. It was bought by the RNLI Heritage Trust and will be on display at The Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh. In the letter she writes that "4 trustees viz His Grace Duke of Northumberland, Archdeacon Thorp ... have kindly taken in hand to manage my affairs, that they propose placing the whole of my money in the fund, that I receive the interest for life with power to withdraw £200 in case I should get married" and expressing gratitude for the contributions: "I am with sincere gratitude to the ladies in Edinburgh & Miss Sinclair in particular.", Longstone Light House, Jan. 10th 1840, Darling was born in 1815 at Bamburgh in Northumberland and spent her youth in two lighthouses (Brownsman and Longstone) of which her father, William, was the keeper. In the early hours of 7 September 1838, Grace, looking from an upstairs window of the Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands, spotted the wreck and survivors of the Forfarshire on Big Harcar, a nearby low rocky island. The Forfarshire had foundered on the rocks and broken in half: one of the halves had sunk during the night. She and her father determined that the weather was too rough for the lifeboat to put out from Seahouses (then North Sunderland), so they took a rowing boat (a 21 ft, 4-man Northumberland coble) across to the survivors, taking a long route that kept to the lee side of the islands, a distance of nearly a mile. Grace kept the coble steady in the water while her father helped four men and the lone surviving woman, Mrs. Dawson, into the boat. Although she survived the sinking, Mrs Dawson had lost her two young children during the night. William and three of the rescued men then rowed the boat back to the lighthouse. Grace then remained at the lighthouse while William and three of the rescued crew members rowed back and recovered the remaining survivors. Meanwhile the lifeboat had set out from Seahouses but arrived at Big Harcar rock after Grace and her father had completed the rescue: all they found were the dead bodies of Mrs Dawson's children and of a vicar. It was too dangerous to return to North Sunderland so they rowed to the lighthouse to take shelter. Grace's brother, William Brooks Darling, was one of the seven fishermen in the lifeboat. The weather deteriorated to the extent that everyone was obliged to remain at the lighthouse for three days before returning to shore. The Forfarshire had been carrying 63 people. The vessel broke in two almost immediately upon hitting the rocks. Those rescued by Grace and her father were from the bow section of the vessel which had been held by the rocks for some time before sinking. All that remained at daybreak was the portside paddlebox casing. Nine other passengers and crew had managed to float off a lifeboat from the stern section before it too sank, and were picked up in the night by a passing Montrose sloop and brought into South Shields that same night. Grace Darling died of tuberculosis in 1842, aged 26 and is buried with her father and mother in a modest grave in St. Aidan’s churchyard, Bamburgh. Grace’s achievement was celebrated in her lifetime: she received a large financial reward in addition to the plaudits of the nation.