Stonehaugh is a remote Northumberland village in Wark Forest in the southern area of Kielder Forest. It lies between the bustle of Kielder Water and the tourist hotspots of Hadrian’s Wall but is a world away from these popular attractions. If you are looking for somewhere away from the crowds then this is a perfect place to visit.
The village was created for forestry workers in the 1950s and was originally planned to be a larger settlement that would have included a church and a pub. Changes in forestry practices and increased use of machinery meant that a smaller workforce was required and Stonehaugh stayed small. Today the houses cluster around a village green and are painted in colourful shades.
Stonehaugh also has a lovely campsite and during our stay there we took an evening walk around the village and down towards the burn. Here there is The Star Dome, a wooden circular shelter for comfortable star gazing in these dark skies, three tall wooden totem poles and this welcoming memorial bench.
This memorial bench remembers Sam Harrison who lived in Stonehaugh with her partner from 1988 until her death in 2017. This newspaper piece tells how her organs helped to improve the health of others after her sudden death in 2017. This giving nature is reflected in Sam Harrison’s work as she supported the NHS with public engagement projects.
A Just Giving page fundraising in memory of Sam Harrison tells us that, ‘Sam was a beautiful person, with a passion for sailing , and spent all of her spare time with her husband David out on their yacht.’ ‘She will never leave us because a life that touches others goes on forever,’ will give anyone who sits on this bench and enjoys the view pause for thought and also comfort.