Journal entry – John Grey – 7 Feb 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 7 Feb 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Friday 7th February

Went out as soon as I could see & traversed Spency Croft Farm, which Mr Dickinson has held for 17 years at the rent of £100 and which is one of those included in the list to be reduced from May day last. Most of those in Alston which were entered to at the same period, have been reduced one third or more.  As a mere Farm, I question that it would now let for £70, the Poor’s rate amounting to £22 a year upon it.  But Mr Dickinson is willing to take it upon lease at £76 a year, owing to the accommodation it affords him as Moor Master for Horses keep etc.   This is a mutual advantage, for the land is well managed & the rent always secure.  I then went to examine the Watercourse through Burn’s field which he had petitioned the Board to have covered in.  The Water comes at times very foul from the Lead Mines & the course has been covered over through an adjoining field at the expense of the Hospital, for which reason he thinks his ought to be done too.  I stepped the length of the Drain and estimated the cost at £6 of which I engaged that Mr Dickinson should pay him one half, upon his completing the Work, considering that as his field was more remote from the Mines than those already covered in, and as an end must be put to such claims, he ought to incur half the cost, & that beyond his, no other should be done.  I think it doubtful whether he may do it on these terms or not.  I next examined the Mill, the smooth working of which I found to be very different from the last time I was there.  The Miller stated that he could now grind Six Bolls in the same time that was before taken to grind two, and with less water.  The motions of the Machinery being accurately adjusted. I then spent some Hours at the Meeting of the Alston Road Trust, where the Books and Accounts of the Surveyor and Treasurer, being examined, were turned over to their successors in Office & some of the Plans for future management which I had discussed with Mr Rome on the previous evening considered & adopted.  I also examined the young Trees in the Alston Nursery & directed Mr Dickinson respecting the small pieces of Plantation to be made & the kinds of Trees to be used in them, besides some of a more ornamental kind for the approach to the Inn, to which the door at the end is a great improvement .   I regretted however to find the house in so damp a state, the paper both in the sitting and Bed rooms being much stained and spoiled.  This arises partly from the decayed state of the Spouts, but more from that of the roof, which must be carefully examined and repaired so soon as the season will admit of it.

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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