Mark Bridgeman was born and brought up on the Fallodon Estate, farming Brunton with his father and then bringing his young family to live here in 2006. Seven years later Mark and Lucia renovated the old stone farm buildings from the 1800s, removing the cattle sheds from the 1970s, and created the first two cottages, Mill Race and Brunton Burn. They opened up the view to the burn and found it was the perfect location for holiday peace in a remote rural setting, close to Beadnell Bay.
In 2013 Lucia completely renovated Brunton House from top to bottom and the 8-bedroom house became the North East’s award-winning, self-catering, luxury ‘home from home’. It is the only 5* large holiday house in this location. Stable Cottage was added in 2017 to allow 6 guests, with dogs, to also enjoy all that Brunton has to offer.
In Autumn 2022 the remaining old stone buildings were renovated, creating four more cottages and then the centuries-old granary was bought back to life as a 4 bedroom house, complete with games room and balcony overlooking Brunton burn.
Also added to the Brunton experience is the dining space in the old Blacksmith’s shop. This was the old Brunton farm forge, stable and bull pen – which has been combined into an evocative space, with the large fireplace still in situ at one end, enough space for chairs and tables to seat 35, plus a commercial kitchen and two toilets.
Guests are welcome to make use of the estate, which is full of wildlife, including red squirrels, deer, otters, and a huge variety of birdlife. The estate provides fabulous walks, excellent cycling (with ‘The Coast and Castles Cycle Route 1 going right past Brunton), and fishing on a stocked trout lake.
As well as the farm being run organically, the whole Fallodon estate is managed with a focus on sustainability (Our Green Story). All of the holiday properties are heated by two large woodchip boilers that are powered using timber from the woods on the estate. Logs, which come from seasoned wood, are provided for the wood-burning stoves and open fires.
Brunton had a watermill for hundreds of years, with the first reference to it dating back from the 13th century, when it was given to the canons of Alnwick Abbey, who were ‘granted leave to grind corn at the Brunton Mill’. The old mill building is beside Brunton Burn cottage and the mill stream (or mill race) used to run right alongside with a waterwheel hanging on the mill wall until roughly 1944. Old sluice gates can still be seen, and the wood on the other side of the road from Mill Race and Brunton Burn cottages was planted in the original mill pond in the 1950s. Sheep used to be washed in the pool below the bridge and you can see the stone channels that were used to guide the sheep into the water.
Brunton was owned by the Grey family in the 19th century as part of the wider Fallodon estate. The Grey family was steeped in British political history. The Prime Minister, Charles Grey, was born at Fallodon Hall in 1764, and the last Grey to live there was Sir Edward Grey, who was Foreign Secretary during WW1 and a famous ornithologist and fly fisherman. The Fallodon Estate, including Brunton, has been owned by the Bridgeman family since 1945.