In the heart of Washington village, located near the north east coast of England, is Washington Old Hall. It stands as a testimony to Anglo-American friendship.
This charming Hall is an historic landmark with links to the first US President, George Washington. The house predominantly dates from the 17th century but still incorporates a large portion of the original 12th century building. It was once home to George Washington’s ancestors and it is from here that they took the family name. By 1860 the house had slid down the social scale. It became a working glass tenement for 70 years. During that time it was rented out with up to 35 people living in appalling conditions until 1930. It was due to be demolished in 1933 but was saved by Frederick Hill, a local School Master, who formed a preservation committee to protect it.
It is a place of pilgrimage for many visitors from across the pond, and every year on the 4th July they hold a special Independence Day ceremony.
The manor house and its pretty jacobean gardens provide a tranquil oasis.
There is plenty of box (Buxus sempervirens) parterre hedging within the garden, including this beautifully manicured feature, which cleverly looks as if it has been woven.
here it is looking like slices of Christmas cake covered in snow
The central hall within the manor house
two images courtesy National Trust
George Washington by Rembrandt Peale – 1850 via wikipedia
George Washington, the first president of the US, was born in 1732 to Captain Augustine Washington and Mary Ball.
Captain Washington was a direct descendant of Colonel John Washington who emigrated to Virginia from England in 1656.
John was a descendant of William de Hertburn, who acquired the original dwelling on the site of the Old Hall around 1183.
The house stayed with the Washington family until 1613 when it was sold to the Bishop of Durham.