Journal entry – John Grey – 10 May 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 10 May 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Saturday 10th May 1834

       Went to Haydon Bridge to attend a Meeting for letting the Tolls of the Suspension Bridge over the Tyne and other business.  The Tolls of this Bridge have fallen off in consequence of the unproductive state of Fourstones Colliery. The Lessees of that Colliery & Lime Works having been accustomed to pay £120 a year of the £280 for which the Gate was met, but now offer only £60.  It seems to me matter of regret that when so large a sum as £2500 was subscribed by the Hospital for the building of this Bridge, the whole cost of which was only £4000 it had not been suggested by the Receivers to claim an exemption for the carriage of Lime, as well as of other Manure, in the Act, which would have grown such an advantage to the Kilns at Fourstones as would have afforded good Interest to the Hospital for their advance, & which must have been at once conceded, as without that advance the Bridge could not have been erected.  

       Fourstones Lime Works are the only ones affected by this Toll, & are placed in a worse position that those approached by Hexham Bridge, in as much as other Tolls are only payable once a day, whereas this pontage is collected every time this Bridge is passed, so that if not altogether exempted, as I think Lime might have been it ought at least not to have been put upon a worse footing than at other Lime Works.  Except in this instance however, the Bridge is unquestionably of immense benefit to all the Hospitals Property on that side of the Tyne.  Our Tenant the Blacksmith at Westboat, near the end of the said Bridge, complained to me heavily of the sum he had to pay, in compounding for Horses coming to his Smithy; which I proved to the Trustees that they had exacted illegally ever since the Bridge was Built, their local Act containing no clause to supersede that in the General Act, which exempts from Toll all Horses etc going to or returning from being Shod, that have not traversed more than two Miles upon the turnpike.  This they admitted, & the poor man will have redress for the future, though he will obtain no indemnity for the past.  These Trustees & their Clerk at Hexham take things very easily. 

       I had Benson to meet at Haydon Bridge & decided with him, upon the easiest way of getting some more Stable room & a Shed for Gigs etc at the Anchor Inn. Examined the work which is nearly finished for bringing the Spring of Water from Esphill through the Alms Houses with a pipe for their use, to the Inn.  This is a good thing, & Mr Hooper who suggested it, would have been gratified could he have seen it executed.   I tried without much effect to reconcile the differences between Mrs Routledge & her neighbour, but for the destruction of the Gate & removal of the Hay, I must look to Mr Todd, her brother.   Went with Benson to Lees to fix upon the situation of the Farm house which I thought it better to alter a little from that originally intended, but it is likely at some time, that a Water power, which can be easily commanded, may be substituted for a Horse one here & the House ought to be placed so as not to interfere with such an arrangement.  I then crossed the Tyne & went to Whitechapel the farthest point of the Property in that direction, where the new Farm House is in progress, of which Howden is making good Mason Work. 

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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