Prior to the time of the 1st Duke, the North Demesne was farmland, as can be seen in the map below. The old road to Denwick ran through the farmland, to the north of the Aln.
The Northumbrian landscape gardener, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, was involved in the landscaping works on the North Demesne. Weirs were built in the river in order to regulate its flow and the old field boundaries were removed, creating the landscape we see today.
During the latter years of the 19th century, the North Demesne was used for military training, with annual camps, and during WW1, a large hutted camp was built.
Today the area is the location for the annual Shrovetide Football.