500 YEARS OF AUTHENTIC HERITAGE, HISTORY, HEROES & HABITATS
The Land of Oak & Iron covers a 177 km2 area surrounding the Derwent Valley including Consett, Rowlands Gill, Prudhoe and Whickham.
This beautiful steep sided valley has an abundance of natural woodland, rare and iconic wildlife. However, the natural beauty that you can see today was not always as it appears. Not so long ago the area once hosted a world-leading iron and steel industry in various forms from the 1690s up until the 1980s; in the early 18th Century it was the heart of British sword making and was home to the great industrialist Ambrose Crowley. Such industry attracted wealth and culture to the area, including Mary Eleanor Bowes, known as the ‘Unhappy Countess’ living at Gibside Hall, the artist Thomas Bewick, the poet Tommy Armstrong and is famed for the local traditional rapper dancing across the globe.