South Lodge sits at the gates of Belford Hall in Belford, Northumberland. Belford Hall is a Grade I listed building in a Palladian style, sitting in extensive grounds designated as a conservation area. The Hall has been divided into private residences. Belford Hall was built in 1752 designed by architect James Paine. South Lodge is believed to have been built later than Belford Hall, in 1818, and has been attributed to John Dobson, who also remodelled Belford Hall, adding two new wings. John Dobson, 1787 – 1865, became the most noted architect in the North of Britain. He was responsible for the design of many fine houses and public buildings, the most notable of which is Newcastle Railway Station. You can see miniature echoes of the style of Newcastle Station in the design of South Lodge. He also worked with Richard Grainger in developing the centre of Newcastle in a neoclassical style. South Lodge was in a poor state of repair until recently and we are gradually bringing this fine small building and its grounds back to its former glory. Many of the features of the house are original and much of the stonework, the front door, most of the shutters and wood panelling, the Scottish slate on the roof and the windows have survived the tests of time. Even the plasterwork on the walls and ceilings is original, albeit rough in places. The enormous fireplace has been exposed again and the internal doors and bedroom cupboards are as they were two centuries ago. An interesting feature of the house is the window in the living room closest to the kitchen; the original frame and glass are in remarkable condition because they have only recently been revealed since being hidden behind a built in cupboard since when the Lodge was first built. The Lodge is a time capsule, and we discovered two signature pieces of wood hidden inside the frames of the windows with the names of Georgian and Victorian joiners engraved in them, dated in the 1820s and 1870s.
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