More than 1000 years ago, Northumbria was the most powerful kingdom in all England, ruled from Bamburgh Castle and the Royal residence of ‘Ad Gefrin’ in the Glendale Valley near Wooler.
Like the ancient Kings of Northumbria, we take our inspiration from Ad Gefrin, a royal place of gathering and community, which is why we have chosen it for the name of our new distillery.
We will breathe new life into old buildings, creating jobs, futures and a stronger community in the process. Creating a new Northumbrian whisky has become our passion – the ‘Spirit of a Kingdom’ – that we want everyone across the North-East and around the world to enjoy.
We hope that this means Wooler becomes the heart of something very special and sustainable for decades to come.
Our vision is to re-awaken a 200 year-old Northumbrian tradition for whisky distilling, showcase the unique heritage and products of Northumberland, and revitalise a Northumbrian community through the creation of a new whisky distillery and visitor experience on South Road, Wooler.
The Ad Gefrin distillery will become one of the ‘go to’ venues in North Northumberland, alongside Bamburgh, Alnwick, and Berwick. Our location on the former Redpath’s Yard in Wooler, next to the A697, places us on one of the main North-South routes through Northumberland, at the gateway to Northumberland National Park, and with a water and spiritual link to the highest hill in the region, Cheviot. We will transform the current buildings, unused for over 20 years, to be part of a new gateway to the town.
Whisky hasn’t been made in Northumbria since the last Cheviot illicit stills were closed almost 200 years ago. It is our aim not only to reintroduce this artisan craft, but in doing so, create spirits that will be truly world-class. And not only whisky; alongside our premium Single Malt, we will be crafting fine local spirits including ‘Aqua Vitae’, a mystical spirit whose name means ‘Water of Life’, first distilled by Cistercian monks many centuries ago.
Apart from being the home of our artisan spirits, Ad Gefrin Distillery will also be a visitor experience in its own right, featuring an exhibition space and amazing distillery tour. Our exhibition will bring to life the history and legacy of the Kingdom of Northumbria, the Northumbrian Kings, and the community they were part of. As well as looking back at our heritage, our shop and gallery will celebrate Northumberland’s culture in the 21st Century, highlighting the best of regional produce, crafts, and artists of the area, encouraging a new dynamism, creativity, craft-working and artistry in Wooler.
Our distillery tours will reveal the care, attention, and skills that will go into creating our unique spirits, combining to create a ‘must-see’ experience and drawing visitors to one of the best parts of our county.
A multi-million pound investment – one of the largest inward investment projects ever seen in North Northumberland.
Restoration of a redundant site at South Road, Wooler.
Creation of up to 50 jobs.
Utilising and supporting, wherever possible, Northumberland-based businesses.
Providing a high quality visitor destination in North Northumberland.
Encourage the growth of tourist income in the region throughout the year. (Last year more than 1.5 million people visited whisky distilleries in the UK, spending around £12.60 each in the local area outside the distillery).
Create a new prestige product from Northumberland, capitalising on export markets, local, and domestic customers.
Create a new starting point for The Whisky Trail.