RESIDENTS of a "hidden hamlet" in Teesdale will be offering visitors the chance to discover its secrets for one day only in a bid to support their local church.

Those who live in Little Newsham are preparing to throw open the doors to intrigued tourists on Sunday, June 24.

All funds raised from the day will be donated to St Andrew's Church, in nearby Winston, which has been classed as "at risk" by English Heritage.

The congregation is currently trying to raise £120,000 to repair the nave roof of the Grade I listed building, which dates back to the 13th Century.

It was extensively restored in 1848 but rot was uncovered during English Heritage's last inspection.

The congregation raised £190,000 to replace the chancel roof three years ago but now the extra funds are needed to tackle the problem on the nave roof, with work needing to start before 2020.

Churchwarden, Chrissie Barnett, said: “We are very lucky to have be allowed to open up this hidden hamlet to the public.

"It is certainly not something that you would see everyday and certainly not to be missed.

"Fundraising is currently underway to raise £120,000 to replace the nave roof at St. Andrews which is currently deemed 'at risk' by English Heritage and this is just one of the exciting events happening over the year.”

The village itself, which is believed to be of Saxon origin, was built because of its pure springs.

Newsham Hall was built about 1600 and extended and modernised in Georgian times about 1790.

A private chapel was built in 1876 by Thomas Hustler of Acklam Hall, Middlesbrough for his son-in-law the Reverend Beaumont who lived in the Hall.

It is said that it was built to stop Rev Beaumont taking Mr Hustler's daughter abroad for his ministry. The Hall gardens will be the setting for a pop-up tea stop and the chapel, adorned with floral creations from local residents will be open for viewing.

Some farm buildings and cottages in the hamlet were also built by Mr Hustler in the 1850s and the settlement has been in the current owner’s family for 150 years, members of which will be on hand to share its history on the day.

The courtyard to the Hall has recently been adapted to house a creamery to make the artisan cheese Volesdale and visitors will be shown the cheesemaking process.

The blacksmith's shop which had not been used since the 1890s was re-opened in 1976 by Brian Russell.

Mr Russell, aided by an enthusiastic team of trained artist blacksmiths, uses hot forging techniques that have been around for centuries.

Mr Russell was has been awarded the prestigious Gold and Silver Medal of The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths for the excellence of his work.

He will be opening up Little Newsham Forge and explaining the techniques used in making his unique creations.

The village will be open from noon until 5pm and visitors will be able to view the private chapel, the artisan creamery and the blacksmith's shop and have tea in the gardens at Little Newsham Hall. Tickets are available on the day at £4.50.