Fenwick History Tour

Philip Fenwick Elliott at Fenwick, Northumberland

I am in England at the moment, looking forward to participating in the conference on Monday being hosted by the Technology & Construction Court, TECBAR, TeCSA and the Society of Construction Law. I have a brief gig talking about retrospective delay analysis, which is something I know a bit about, but more importantly, it will be great to catch up with a few old professional friends who I have not seen for ages.

In the meantime, I have just got back from a quick trip to Northumberland with my brother Philip: a sort of “site view” for my book 500 Fenwicks, which is a history of the Fenwick family. Probably of no real interest to anyone else (at any rate, anyone who is not a Fenwick) but is it notable that the Fenwicks retained their position as an upper middle class family in a fairly small area in Northumberland since at least the mid 1200s and probably earlier, not really moving far geographically or socially. So there were plenty of knights, a trio of somewhat unattractive baronets, and numerous army officers, lawyers (I had no idea how many Fenwicks were admitted to the bar in years gone by), clergy and colonialists.  And of course umpteen High Sheriffs and landowners. There is also a surprising number of really rather nice substantial houses built by the Fenwicks still around, and the current owners of each of them were extraordinarily helpful in allowing me to take some photographs.  I will post some when I tidy them up and get the necessary permissions.

Fenwick itself, where the family built their first castle (probably not much more than a pele tower at first, but later expanded) is just a small ruin these days, most of the stone having been reused for more modern buildings. But other fortifications, like my great etc grandfather Sir Roger Fenwick’s pele tower at Bitchfield remain remarkably intact.


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