Journal entry – John Grey – 25 Jun 1833

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 25 Jun 1833
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 18
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Tuesday 25th June

	I was occupied in the morning in ascertaining the Houses and parcels of Land belonging to the Hospital at Haydon Bridge, & with Messrs Howdon & Rud respecting the repairs of the Inn & the most economical way of making the necessary farm Buildings at the farm newly entered to by Mr Howdon, which he is now anxious to commence – The Inn will in time be made comfortable, but it has been left in a horrible state – It would be a great advantage to the Tenant to have a little more tillage land, both for growing his Corn & giving imployment to such horses as he must keep for posting, the demand for which is uncertain & without other occupation must be unprofitable – There are two Fields held by old Coats, which, if they were no great object to him, might be transferred with benefit to Hetherington.

	There are two erections here which strike one as having been needlessly expensive. One is, the large Building & apparatus for forcing water to the Inn which cannot be worked, when it might have been brought by a pipe from the rising ground above – and the other, the expensive aqueduct, by an arch of hewn stones over the turnpike road at Esphill, to convey the water to the Thrashing Machine, whereas a pipe laid across below the road, with one for its descent on the one side, and another for its ascent on the other, upon the simple principle of water rising to its own level, would have answered all the purpose – As so much has already been expended upon the former – it may probably be better to place a common pump upon the top of the building to force the Water into the pipes by, than to begin anew to bring it from the Hill by pipes – I shall however ascertain the respective costs and advantages of both modes, before deciding upon the adoption of either.

	I then rode to the Lees, farmed by Mr Watson, who has done a great deal for the improvement of the land but complains that after expending a great capital upon it, he cannot continue to hold it – The Farm House is excessively bad, but excepting a Byer the Offices are in good repair.

	Tedcastle a Farm of only 75 Acres, which is in good condition – the Buildings all new & the house of a sise suited to the Farm, but left without a Coal house, which with a small shed for Milch vessels etc, should be added behind – Thomas Dickinson, the tenant, is a good manager, but very requiring of assistance which cannot be granted.

	I crossed the Tyne at Ridley Hall and proceeded to Whitechapel farmed by J Woodman who has been tenant of the Hospital for 42 years – The low land is good & in good condition. He is doing a good deal to improve the high grounds. The Buildings are old & bad. The House might perhaps stand for a time, by renewing the roof & adding a teefall behind, for necessary accommodation – some Cattle Sheds & Stable ought to be made new.

	Lipwoodwell – occupied by Thomas Errington & Son – The low land is very good well managed, with a large proportion of high Ground of inferior quality – The Buildings are very bad & insufficient – Orders had been given for an addition to the house & some new offices to be commenced in the spring, for which some stones have been prepared by Mr Howdon, but the work was suspended – It is however very necessary.

	Lipwood, occupied by the same tenant – The Buildings are old, but better & more substantial than those at Lipwoodwell.

	Rattenraw West Farm – lately entered to by Mr Potts – the House and Buildings generally are good – the only thing wanted is a wall to divide the fold yards & Cribs for Cattle Feeding – Potts was inclined to discover many wants about the Farm & Offices – but I told him that having left the Town Farm, now occupied by Howdon in such wretched condition, that I did not consider him deserving of any indulgence, & that except for necessary draining as a permanent improvement when well executed, I should not recommend any of his suggested alterations.

	Rattenraw East Farm held by Mr Lambert – The land and Buildings in good condition – a Pipe much wanted to bring Water to the place, which Mr Hooper directed to be done. The two farms at Rattenraw would have laid well together, the House, Barn & Machine of either, would have served the whole quite well.

	Tofts occupied by Mr Todd, a substantial Tenant, but saving of outlay – The Buildings but indifferent & ill arranged – The land rather cold & wanting Drains. 

	Grindon Hill – farmed by Mr Benson & Sons – a high situation, the land wet & little adapted for growing Corn. No more of it should be kept in Tillage than is absolutely necessary to produce winter fodder for the Cattle. Some repairs are put in progress, having been ordered by Mr Hooper.

	Grindon & Beamwham, occupied by the Woodmans, who seem to be industrious & respectable people. The Land is chiefly in grass of course quality, with very little tillage – Here I found the Scotchman Eskdale, doing the Sod draining in the bogs remarkably well, and spoke to him about the morass on Lightbirks, which I wish to have drained in the same manner, & which I hope he may get done before winter. The repairs ordered by Mr Hooper of the Buildings here are now going on. The new roof of Welsh slates will be finished in a few days & the farm house again restored to a habitable condition. It was now late in the evening, & I returned to Corbridge eleven miles distant, at ten o’clock, having been on horseback twelve hours.

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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