Traditions and Time Travel

As you are aware we have a vested interested in history and feel that it’s important to keep traditions alive -we do enjoy the odd falconry session in our courtyard, therefore we have a few fascinating facts about Northumberland which we want to share with you.

You may even learn something new to amaze your friends.

Kern Baby

The phrase ‘kern baby’ derives from the meaning, the corruption of corn. In the past a good harvest was essential, therefore a ‘Harvest Queen’ or’ Kern Baby’ was dressed in flowers with corn under her arms and carried through the village on the morning of the reaping before being placed on a pike. She was then removed and returned home after the harvest.

Kern Baby from 1905

Kern Baby from 1905


The word blackmail originates from the borders. It comes from the tradition of the local villagers paying a fee for protection from pillaging.


Northumberland tartan is black and white as the hill shepherds only had access to black and white wool. It is now used as the basis of Scottish tartan.

Northumberland Flag

Northumberland has its own flag which is designed from the regal banner of red and gold which was draped over the tomb of St Oswald, the 7th Century king of Northumbria.

Flag of Northumberland

Flag of Northumberland

All Saints Eve

Young men from the surrounding villages stole cabbages on October 31st and according to an old Gothic custom, threw them down people’s chimneys with dangerous consequences…

We hope you enjoyed your trip through time and traditions, please return again for more fascinating facts.


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