Alston is a bustling town made up of a hotchpotch of stone buildings, many of which date back to the 17th century.  It is remote, but central, 20 miles from the nearest town in any direction and approached over heather clad moors, which have been designated an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It’s location makes it an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area including the Lake District, Northumberland, Durham and the Scottish Borders.

The Gnomes of Alston Moor

Gnomes are a very widespread species on Alston Moor consisting of a number of different types.  The most common is the Moorland Gnome which rarely comes into contact with man.  The Farm Gnome is slightly larger than their moorland brethren and enjoy telling melancholy tales.  House Gnomes have the most knowledge of man, often speaking our language.  It is from this family that Gnome Kings are chosen.  The Gnomes of Nenthead are a strange bunch and associate freely with Trolls and Goblins.  The Gnomes who live underground in Killhope Lead Mine are much larger than the other types and have an infinitely more nasty nature. It is best never to provoke  such Gnomes for they delight in revenge. 

The male Gnome wears a peaked red hat, brown or green trousers and boots made from sheep's wool.  They are fair of face and have rosy red cheeks.  Long beards adorn their faces and turn grey far sooner than their hair.  Though sightings of female gnomes are rarely reported, Gnome women are generally thought to be beard-free.

The Gnomes here on Alston Moor eat only one meal each day which consists of: Hazelnuts, beechnuts, mushrooms and berries.  As a beverage, the gnome drinks early morning dew and fermented raspberry juice which has a very high alcohol content.

All Gnomes have magical powers and the ability to bestow health and happiness upon mankind. 


A Strange Wind

Local people say a strange wind occasionally blows across Alston Moor.

It is somewhat mystical and has magical properties that can change your destiny forever. This wind can catch you unawares and if it does your life will then be irresistibly pulled in directions you may never have ever imagined. 

What a strange wind it was today,
Whistlin' and whirlin' and scurlin' away
Like a worried old woman with so much to say.
What a strange wind it was today.

What a strange wind it was today,
Cool and clear from a sky so grey
And my hat stayed on but my head blew away --
What a strange wind it was today.


Photo by John Gay- Mrs Brannan of Middle Skelgill House. Poem by Shel Silverstein