Country houses for sale

Guide to Northumberland’s famous footballing brothers, many castles, oh and a certain famous wall

Best thing: More than 73 miles long, up to 20ft high and once garrisoned by 10,000 men, Hadrian’s Wall emphatically demonstrates the power of the Roman Empire

Local food: Craster kippers; Pan Haggerty; Cheviot sheep; Alnwick stew; Northumberland mussels in cream; Lindisfarne mead; Hexham farmer’s market; leeks

Heroes: Bobby and Jack Charlton; Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown; George Stephenson; Earl Grey

Events: Whalton Baal Fire; Blessing the Salmon Nets, Norham; the Blaydon Race, with beer and black pudding at the finish line

Worst thing: The English and the Scots have always squabbled over Northumberland, and poor Berwick-upon-Tweed has changed hands 14 times

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Inventions: At a lecture in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1879, Thomas Swan demonstrated his working incandescent lightbulb

Battle: The English army inflicted one of the heaviest defeats on a Scottish invading army at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, killing 10,000, including James IV and 12 earls

What they say: ‘I watch the green field growing, For reaping folk and sowing, For harvest time and mowing,

A sleepy world of streams’ (Algernon Swinburne); ‘Heatherland and bent land, Black land and white, God bring me to Northumberland, The land of my delight’ (Wilfred Gibson)

Artistic connections: Wilfred Gibson; John Martin; Kathleen Raine

First: The famous eider colony on the Farne Islands was the first protected by law thanks to St Cuthbert, the patron saint of Northumberland, and eiders are still called Cuddy’s ducks locally

Houses: Alnwick Castle; Chillingham Castle; Cragside; Lindisfarne Castle; Wallington Hall; Bamburgh Castle