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 20a. Ford Village and the Lady Waterford Hall

The Village of Ford, part of the Ford-Etal Estates

Ford is a small ancient parish village in north Northumberland. It lies about ~7 miles north west of Wooler. A family named Ford owned the Ford estate in medieval times before it passed to the Carr family who held the estate until 1536 when it passed to Elizabeth Heron, granddaughter of William Heron. Elizabeth married Thomas Carr of Etal and so the estate came to the Carr family. In 1660 Thomas Carr was murdered by his stepfather, John Ratcliffe of Alnwick, and the estate passed to Thomas' three sisters. In 1662 one of the sisters, Elizabeth, married Sir Francis Blake and he went on to buy the shares of the other two sisters and so by 1685 he owned all of the estate. Sir Francis died in 1717 and the estate was inherited by his grandson, Francis Delaval of Seaton Delaval. The estate remained with the Delaval family until the death of John, Lord Delaval in 1808. Following the death of John's widow, Susanna, in 1822, the estate passed to her granddaughter Susannah, Marchioness of Waterford. The estate remained with the Waterford family until 1907 when it was sold to the Joicey family who own the estate today. Another feature in the planned 19th century-early 20th century village is the Lady Waterford Hall. The Hall was built in 1860 to be used as a school. Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford had a strong interest in the school. She financed the building and between 1861 and 1883 painted a series of biblical murals that. The school closed in 1957 but the Hall remains open for public viewing and Lady Waterfords wonderful artwork is shown further down the page.

Although the village dates back to medieval times the present village was remodelled by Louisa, Lady Waterford who died in 1891 when the estate passed to John the fifth Marquess of Waterford, then to his son Henry in 1895, who subsequently sold the estate to the first Lord Joicey in 1907 with whom it has remained ever since. Above is the memorial fountains, now a flower bed, Lady Waterford had constructed for her late husband who had died in a riding accident in 1859.


One of the fine estate houses of the planned village.


Ford Village Shop, Off-License and Post Office in Ford also acts as a cafe cum tearoom.


Just across the road from the 'tearoom' is the Lady Waterford Hall. The building was commissioned in 1860 by Louisa Anne, Marchioness of Waterford and functioned as the village school until 1957. Lady Waterford was recognised as one of the most interesting and gifted artists of the Victorian period and her mural work of biblical scenes is shown below.


Lady Waterford decorated the walls with life-sized paintings of biblical stories and characters using the estate workers, members of the community and their children as models.


The gallery, housed within Lady Waterford Hall, is managed by a charitable trust set up to preserve and display the work of Louisa Anne, Marchioness of Waterford and to educate the population at large about her paintings and life and these unique pieces of art are well worth viewing.




Samuel and his parents.


Moses and Miriam.


The coat of arms of Lady Waterford and the Lady Joicey memorial stone on the building illustrated below, the Joicey family took over the estate from Lady Waterford's family.


The Lady Joicey Memorial rooms of 1913.


Ford, Northumbria (Northumberland), England: The estate at Ford in Northumberland contains houses built for the estate workers and also Lady Waterford Hall (below). This was originally built as a school and the walls decorated with biblical paintings by Lady Waterford who used members of the community as models for the subjects of the painting. There is a post office cum cafe across the road (left).


See also 20b. Heatherslaw Mill & Narrow Gauge Railway

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