Journal entry – John Grey – 14 Jun 1833

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 14 Jun 1833
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 18
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Friday June 14th

	Mr Leadbitter Tenant of Newtown north farm complained that in consequence of a water course; which passes through some adjoining grounds, not being kept clean, the water from the high grounds lodged upon his corn fields. I examined the spot & finding his complaint well founded, caused Mr Hunt to give notice to the parties to clear the watercourse forthwith, or that I should, according to the provision of the act for dividing Corbridge waste, which I found in the office, order it to be done at their cost. I then proceeded to the inspection of the Newtown north farm, Newtown south farm, Dilston park farm, Dilston Demesne Haugh farm, Dilston Hall farm and Dilston Mill & lands annexed. In my progress I had occasion to make several remarks on matters which may come under future considerations. I shall at present make such as are of immediate urgency – At the Park farm occupied by John & Wm Benson, the buildings are all in a good state except the Stable, the slates upon which are so bad, as to have rotted the wood & rendered it incapable of holding the water, & indeed totally unfit to lay fresh slates upon. The walls, as well as the hay loft are sustaining much damage from the same cause, & I am not certain, that when the roof comes to be taken off, some part of the walls may not require to be taken down. Mr Benson has occupied this farm for three years, & states as the reason of this roof being so bad, that it was condemned as being unworthy of repair at his entry, & that he had ever since defended his house from rain as he best could, ‘by stopping bundles of straw into the holes’. The other roofs which had been all repaired on Mr Benson’s coming to the farm three years ago, are not water tight, nor are any of those I have been met with, though quite new, that are made of the gray slate of the country but of course he has no claim upon the Hospital for any but this one, which had not been put in order for him. I considered it a great misfortune to the Hospital property, that the buildings are almost exclusively covered with gray slate, which being very porous, imbibes so much moisture as to keep the wood always damp, & when frost succeeds a course of wet weather, is found to scale off & admit the wet to the ruin of the timber & the discomfort of everything beneath. I have seen several houses, & Mr Benson’s is one, which have been lately covered but are now dripping with wet inside from the late rain.

      Mr Wm Benson of Newtown South farm occupies a portion of hill ground at a distance from his office, the only access to which is by a steep road which probably was not previously good, but which he states to have been much cut up by permissions having been given to the Railway company to lead stone upon it from the hill for building a bridge etc. In addition to this the late rains have run it into holes & such as to render it impassable. Mr Benson states that on entering to his farm, Mr Sample promised that this road should be repaired, which was not done. He would do something towards it, but as he holds an unquestionably a very dear farm, & cannot pay his rent, much cannot be expected from him. I shall, if possible, procure something from the railway company and probably a contribution of 10 or 15 £ from the Hospital, would render the road tolerably safe. I shall of course take care, that cuts be made for carrying off the water, & preventing the runs which have done so much mischief at present.

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467