Journal entry – John Grey – 13 Jan 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 13 Jan 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Monday 13th January 1834

As soon as I could get away from the Office, rode to Throckley where I had appointed the Workmen to meet me, whose tenders had been accepted for making the Pits & fences for the plantations, that I might fix the dimensions & distances of the former, according to the situation & quality of the Soil.  It will be necessary in some parts to carry a little good soil from the low ground to put into such pits, where there is only the refuse of the old Coal heaps, to make the trees strike root.  I wished also, not only to set out the line of the fences, but to direct the manner of making them & planting the thorns, which is not generally judiciously done in this part.  The young trees & thorns supplied to this place, by Falla of Gateshead, are remarkably healthy & good.  I was gratified to see the improved manner in which Mr Stephenson has set about to cut & dress the hedges upon his farm, & to try to restore them to a close & healthy state, in consequence of a lecture I formerly gave him on the subject.  In some points he is not quite right yet & I have promised to send down my Tweedside hedger for three days to show him a specimen of good cutting.  It is pleasant to teach those who are willing to learn & though some of the old folks are obstinate as to their own method, which is probably the worst in the world, I hope ere long to effect a reform in this particular, which has led to a great & very unnecessary expenditure on the property.   There is a Cottage & garden on this Estate for which no rent has hitherto been received & which Messrs Bones wished me to attach to their Colliery.  It is worth about £5 a year, but I let it to day to a Labourer recommended by Mr Stephenson as a very steady & respectable man, for £3 on condition of his maintaining the plantation fences and preserving them from damage, as the house commands a view of most of them, which are far from any other Woodman & are not of consequence enough to keep any one to attend to them.  I visited the Colliery, to know why the Lessees had not paid the rent at Christmas as promised.  The reason assigned was that for the last three weeks they had not been able to leave home to collect money, owing to the quantity of water in the Pit, having drowned the working & kept them day and night at their horse Gin trying to subdue it. The Seam of Coal is so near the surface that the long continued rains have penetrated to it & produced this effect.  A small Steam Engine would soon overcome it, but these people have no capital, & perhaps the sale of Coal in that place would not justify much outlay.  I have great doubt of their doing any good either with Colliery or farm, the condition of the latter being by no means flourishing.  Returned after dark, and as usual in heavy rain.   

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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