Waterford is in Eire and Ford is a tiny village in Northumberland so what was Lady Waterford doing in Northumberland?
Well this tiny village has a socking great castle in its back yard (not uncommon in these parts because we have a violent history in the borders). Now don’t get too excited — you can’t actually go inside this one. These days Ford Castle is a Residential Activities Centre for school children. However Northumberland has a castle every mile or three so we can afford to give up one! It used to be the property of the Marquis of Waterford who left it to his wife, Louisa Marchioness of Waterford. He was an out and out rake — the original ‘painted the town red’ man. She was a deeply religious woman. Chalk and cheese! Nobody could work out why she married him — but she was besotted by him. After his death the Waterford estates passed to a male heir. She, being childless, had to move out, and so she came to occupy a huge and neglected castle in the small village of Ford. She found the local people living in hovels in abject poverty so Louisa took it upon herself to improve their lot. She provided houses, (the chocolate box village that is now Ford,) work, medical care and a school for the children. This is the Hall. And she spent the rest of her life decorating its walls with scenes from the Bible, in the pre raphaelite style, so that the children would always remember the stories. And she was good! There’s a short film inside the hall that tells you more, an informative guide and some very nice locally made quilting for sale. Louisa would have definitely approved of the current use of Ford Castle. She rests under an ornate stone in the local churchyard which commands incredible views of the high borderlands of Northumbria and Scotland. It’s worth the short diversion to see that! Hope you enjoy my wee slideshow. Go there. Do that.
If you want to yomp around the countryside, there are plenty of walks around Ford and Etal and between the two villages too as well as a light railway which is FUN!. Oh Etal (3 miles away) has a castle too. I already told you about that one! ETAL