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Blanchland is a small, isolated village in the upper reaches of the Derwent valley. It is thought that the name, which means 'white land' comes from the white habits that the Premonstratensian monks wore. They settled in this area in the 12th C. on land given to twelve monks or canons by Walter de Bolbec. Blanchland has been called one of the most perfect villages of England, and few travellers who drop from the wild moorland around it down into this wooded glen of the Derwent would dispute the label. A medieval gatehouse bars the Hexham road and a 19th C. stone bridge carries the road out on the opposite side of the village. The Lord Crewe Arms includes parts of what was the Abbey guest house and the later residence of the Forster family. The village was named for the Premonstratensian White Canons, dates to the founding of the monastery by Walter de Bolbec in 1165.
After the Dissolution the estate fell into decline, it was first owned by the Radcliffes and then bought in 1623 by the Forsters of Bamburgh. In 1699 Dorothy Forster married Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, who bought the debt-ridden estate in 1704. When Lord Crewe died he left his estates to trustees with the income to go to Oxford and various schools and almshouses.
Some of this text was taken from the leaflet 'Look at Blanchland' which is available inside the Abbey.
A Visitors Book is available if you would like to make any comments or requests.
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