Meldon Park estate comprising of agricultural land, woodland and over 30 properties, the majority of which are let out residentially. The estate is also home to several new developing business enterprises and a community of over 80 people, both living and working on the estate.
The estate comprises of circa 3800 acres including 400 acres of woodland, 36 residencies including 8 grade two listings, 23 private sewage systems and a private water supply. The estate has invested in a high speed WIFI broadband system available to its tenants and there is over 13 miles of public access for tenants and visitors to enjoy. The estate also has fishing on the River Hart, River Wansbeck and River Font which is let to a fishing club.
The estates residential properties include a range of cottages, detached properties and larger farmhouses with grazing where necessary, meeting the needs of our diverse range of tenants. We actively welcome young families who wish to live and work on the estate and are passionate about maintaining an active, diverse community for our tenants. The properties are managed in house by our estate office team.
The estate has been passed down the generations of the Cookson family and James Cookson is the current custodian. The family is the driving force behind the Estates development and its new business enterprises. These new businesses include Northumberland logs, the annual ‘Cut your own Christmas Trees at Meldon Park’, DIY livery and the Meldon Park holiday apartment, along with the in-hand farming business which includes both arable and grassland.
The estates aim is to create a fully sustainable business that can be enjoyed, whilst preparing it for the future, retaining its traditional charm yet bringing it in line with modern trends, strengthening its foundations yet bringing about flexibility whilst remaining at the heart of the rural community which we are privileged to be a part of.
A greater focus on the environment as a result of modern findings is a must. In answer to the environmental demands, we have planted 100,000 trees on the estate creating wholly new woodland, we have replaced 15 fossil fuel boilers with three district heating systems, fed on wood chip supplied from estate woodland. These sustainably fueled boilers provide affordable heating and hot water to many of the properties on the estate benefiting both the tenant and property whilst removing the usage of fossil fuels.
The estate began its journey with the Cookson family 19th April 1832 when Isaac Cookson 3rd purchased the Estate from the Greenwich Hospital Trust in London. Isaac Cookson was responsible for commissioning John Dobson, the architect of the time in the North East. John Dobson was given 6 months to walk the land Isaac had purchased in order to find the best location. He chose the current site situated on the banks of the Wansbeck within the deer park, with far reaching views to the South. Isaacs wealth was generated from his father and Grandfather who built successful businesses within the North East in glass and iron manufacturing which extended into the establishment of a steel works and blast furnace with added interests in alum-refining, coal and lead mining and latterly diversifying into banking. Isaac continued these business interests whilst residing at Meldon Park.
The house itself has undergone extensive improvements including works carried out by Edwin Lutyens during the 20th century. The rear wing to the north was removed in mid 50’s due to decay and neglect. The removal of dry rot and a new roof was fitted in the 80’s plus the East wing being converted into two separate apartments. The billiard room and orangery were also reroofed in the 80’s and then a heating system and the first radiator was installed in the naughties. Previous to this the only heating available was from open fires and an archaic coke boiler, by the time the hot water reached the house it needed warming up again with emersion heaters! The move to oil fired central heating sadly didn’t last long as a result of the extraordinary cost of £10 per hour on oil! The astronomical cost of heating the property with oil led to a biomass boiler being fitted, fed with timber off the estate. A far more sustainable solution for the hall and its surrounding properties whilst also benefiting the environment.
Today the Meldon Park Estate is a vibrant working rural business focused on developing new trading enterprises, embracing modern trends and helping to reinvigorate the estate as a whole whilst looking to the future. James maintains that above all the whole estate and business must be enjoyed, the community nurtured, its heritage protected and the environment enhanced giving it a secure future.