Journal entry – John Grey – 15 Jul 1833

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 15 Jul 1833
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 18
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Monday 15th July 1833

	I rode over to Learmouth to see the manner in which the encroachments of the Tweed upon Lord Grey’s property there had been guarded against. In one part, it has been done by laying large flat Stones of equal size in rows, beginning at the river’s edge, & receding as they advance in height like steps of stairs. A good deal of this has given way, owing to the gravel upon which it is founded, having been washed out, which loosens the stones at the Bottom – and in other places, a stone of a soft sandy quality has perished under action of the water, & left a hole by which other Stones have been displaced & in time a considerable breach made in the work – In another part of the same ground, a different plan has been adopted which has proved to be in this, as in every situation where Stones can be had in plenty, the cheapest & by far the most effective of all – The Bank being first formed into a gradual slope, Stones are tumbled promiscuously over it – The next rest upon those, & so on successively till the whole bank is covered – The foundation never washes away in this case, because there is no unbroken line for the water to act upon – and if any stones are moved rom their place, those next above, immediately occupy it, & so they continue to adjust themselves throughout. My own experience in such matters, led me to the invariable conclusion, that a steep or precipitous bank, of whatever materials formed, is unsafe, & that the thinner the edge presented to the water, & the more easy the slope the better, & imitating as nearly as may be, the natural bank thrown up by the waves at the extreme tide mark.

	From Learmouth I proceeded westward for some miles through the village of Carham, to look at the Wears which had been lately erected there – Those however are not applicable to the situation of Dilston, some being placed at the head of a stream, to turn it off a field upon which the bend of the river at the place gave it a great advantage & a great part of which it had swept away, & others being placed at the lower end of the same field, pointing up the river, so as to form eddies & dead water, for the collection of gravel, mud etc., to cause the river to restore the ground it had been in the habit of taking away – and they are producing this effect very visibly – These Wears are of great size, constructed of planks covered with pitch, & resembling a ship with the bottom up, & filled with stones and gravel.

	I returned to Milfield Hill, after a long ride in a hot Sun, having traversed some of the best farms in the Borders, upon which I could not but remark that in spite of their excellent cultivation the crops are much less luxuriant than I have often witnessed.

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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