Journal entry – John Grey – 28 Jun 1833

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 28 Jun 1833
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 18
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Friday 28th June 1833

	Rode to Hartburngrainge West Farm, occupied by Thomas Brewis, who manages his farm in good stile, though the land is but of a cold & ungrateful description, & has the appearance of being a substantial tenant – He has been in the farm only 3 years & neither at the time of his coming, nor since has any thing been done to put the Buildings into a proper state of repair – The roofs are of grey slate or Pantyles & universally bad – It had been proposed, Mr Brewis says, to take the roof of the Farmhouse, repair the timber & putt on a cover of blue slate, using the grey ones for the purpose of mending the other roofs – Before putting a good roof upon so insufficient a house, I think the back Kitchen part ought to be raised & two small Bedrooms made over it, of which the house stands much in need – At present the Servants are obliged to sleep in an out house – The Machine belongs to the Hospital and according to custom, the outer Wheel is standing under a Roof of Thatch, entirely unfit to keep the rain off, - preparations have been made for building a small Stable & Cart shed, which have not been proceeded with.

	The North Farm, occupied by Samuel Brewis, is also land of cold quality, but better than the last – The House is of sufficient size & comfortable – The Offices ample & the walls generally strong, but the roofs affording the most striking example I ever saw of the infamous manner in which work may be executed, when not examined into – Excepting the Farm house, & new Stable, there is not a Roof in the place which does not require to be entirely taken down – The only one that turns the wet at all, is one, the oldest of all, having stood upwards of 80 Years, and now the wood is giving way under the heavy grey slate – But a range of Barns & Granaries, covered only 20 years ago, with excellent scotch blue slate, is full of holes all over, rotting the floors & machinery below – I know roofs of Easdale Slates, like these that have stood for 40 Years, as good as the first, but it seems that this is the only one of many done at Meldon & on. This farm, within 20 Years that has not been altogether taken off & replaced. The reason is obvious – the Slates are contracted for by the yard, as well as the work of laying them on, & to make both go as far as possible, the Slates are not allowed a sufficient ‘overlap’ to keep them steady – when one moves in the wind & breaks off, at the nail hole, it leaves those next to it more exposed. They continue to go one after another, till like the roof in question, a high wind coming, takes off whole yards together. The Tenant has those hoes filled up with straw, no one having been at the place to say what should be done. It is obvious however that it cannot remain in this condition long without destroying the Granaries etc – the windows and frames of this building, are quite decayed, being made of bad American fir – a part of the Garden Wall, only six feet high, built a few years ago, has fallen completely overall this is truly provoking – The Machine here too, belongs to the Hospital.

	The South Farm, held by Thomas & Wm Davison, resembles the last in Soil – The Tenants seem very industrious, three young men doing most of the work themselves – The House small, but they are satisfied with it – There have been lately built two good cottages, a Stable & Cowhouse – the Barn is exceedingly small & inconvenient - & a Cattle Shed is wanting to unite it to a Granary & fill up the range of building – the roofs of both Barn & Granary of gray slate, are very bad – The Machine belongs to the Hospital & was left by the late Tenant in such condition as to do its work very badly – These tenants are not anxious or much being done, as they think they must give up their Farm – but that is no reason why the buildings now standing, should be allowed to go to ruin from the badness of the roofs.

	This Estate is well inclosed with hedges, & has a great extent of fine plantation on the north, capable of affording excellent larch trees for roofing and other useful purposes.

	I rode to Corbridge, 20 miles after inspecting these farms – Found a letter from Mr Ruddock in answer to mine, stating that ‘the Hexham Road Trustees, fully understand that they are to pay £70 on the 12th May next, & £70 each year after till the Debt be ‘discharged’ – This is satisfactory & explicit.

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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