Journal entry – John Grey – 30 Jan 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 30 Jan 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Thursday 30th January 1834

The flood having entirely subsided, I spent most of the day in examining along with Harle, who manages the embankments, the effects it had had upon them and the Shores.  The former have sustained no damage, but what was occasioned by some runs through Mole holes, which having been marked at the time of the flood, a man today has remedied.  In another respect the flood has done us a kindness, for by leaving its mark along the side of the embankment, it has shown the exact level which should be followed, & proves that at the first formation of the Banks, the levels had been erroneously taken by the Ground instead of being struck at intervals from the surface of the River, and without making allowance for the more rapid descent of the bed of the river in some parts, than of the adjoining lands.  It follows that although the top of the embankments preserves a gradual inclination, the water was at some parts three or four feet higher upon them than in others. This makes it unnecessary to make a uniform addition to the height of the banks throughout, and having marked the different places today, a considerable saving of expense will arise from the discovery. To the Shore to the West of the Confluence of the Devils Water, where the Wears were made to protect it, little injury is done, save the washing one or two spots of Sandy soil which had not acquired firmness enough, but on the East side, where no Wears are yet made, a great breach has been made & some trees washed down. The Soil is so fine and soft in quality, that when once broken into the Water makes a great impression upon it.  I see now that it is absolutely necessary to defend it also, or the whole wood would be in danger & in time the interior embankments also.  I much regret the necessity of such outlay but I see no alternative between that and losing the land, and certainly the Tyne here is the most mischievous & unmanageable river I ever engaged with.  I observed Water standing in several fields adjoining the embankments, which by the ordinary course of making water furrows and cuts across hollow parts, when the fields were ploughed & down, might have escaped as soon as the flood subsided. On asking one of the Tenants why it had not been done and accusing him of slovenly management, he told me that such cuts had never been made in Dilston Haughs.  I asked if he thought the Wheat would be the better for it, he admitted that it would likely perish some of it, but that they had never been used to cut out their land.   The solution must be that they expect to get as many Pounds from the Hospital for the injury of their Corn, as they save Shillings to themselves by their blameable & disorderly practise. 

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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