Chillingham's story is revealed in new book

The story of the synergy of Chillingham's famous wild white cattle, its castle and its church is being told for the first time in a new book.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 9:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 12:34 pm
Sir Humphry Wakefield and Philip Deakin with the new book about Chillingham.

Chillingham – Its Cattle, Castle and Church is a collaborative history written by experts and members of the community, including Chillingham Castle’s owner, Sir Humphry Wakefield, and edited by Paul G Bahn and Vera B Mutimer.

Chillingham’s medieval cattle park, where the ancient white cattle live, is one of the oldest parks in Britain while the castle is reputed to be the most haunted in Britain.

The new book covers a diversity of subjects including the castle’s chequered and scandalous family history, the theft of the Chillingham Purdey rifles, its art, ghosts, the latest study on the science and genetics of the wild white cattle, and the story of St Peter’s Church.

Spearheaded by the Chillingham Wild Cattle Association (CWCA), the book took almost two years to complete and was supported by the J H Burn Charity Trust, the Carr-Ellison Family Charitable Trust, the Hartnett Conservation Trust, Sir Michael Blake Bt, the Marston Charitable Trust and the Rothley Trust.

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Philip Deakin, chairman of the CWCA, said: “This book has been a real collaborative community effort to tell the story of Chillingham and is the only publication to bring all aspects of the cattle, castle and church together in one place It’s a must-read for anyone interested in this quintessentially British, untouched and untamed corner of Northumberland, and we hope people who read the book will come to Chillingham to experience it in person.

“Northumberland has really been put on the tourist map in recent years with TV programmes such as Robson Green’s Tales from Northumberland. Chillingham really is a rare gem, not only in the county, but in Britain. We hope the new book communicates something of what is so special – and important – about this unique community.”