Notes – unknown RB – 13 Sep 1796

Document Type: Notes
Date: 13 Sep 1796
Correspondent: unknown RB
Archive Source: DUL CCB B 182 121
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In Weardale the Lands are of 3 descriptions.

1st. The Inlands, or Enclosures adjacent to the Villages, which are rich meadow or pasture ground, & in general let for 40s/ or 60s/ pr. Acre or even more.

2d. Stinted Pastures enclosed from the Moors, on which the Customary freeholders exercise a limited common right. A Stint of 2 Acres is valued always at 8s/ or 4s/ pr Acre.

3d. Moors on which common right is generally exercised.

      The rights of the Customary Freeholders appear to be of an uniform Nature, so that one bill of Enclosure would suit all Weardale alike, & the Stinted Pastures generally appear so far to partake of the Nature of the Inlands as by drainage, & the use of Lime, which is there abundant, & of the best quality, to be capable of great improvement. Whilst other Tracts of Moor being enclosed for the purposes of the Stinted Pasture might undergo a favourable change by being regularly stinted.

      The Customary Freeholders are numerous & too much upon an Equal footing to furnish among themselves <an head> to direct, <.....> have generally a jealousy of the claims of right which would follow any measure of Enclosure on the part of the Bishop of Durham as Lord of their Manors. These Claims of right in the interim, & till an Enclosure, can however produce nothing to the See whilst, supposing them to be substantial, the Freeholders would be benefitted in general by an Enclosure more than in proportion to what must be sacrificed to satisfy those claims.

      It is apprehended that from the Records of the County the Bishop might ascertain the nature of those claims, & if his Lordship were to propose to the Freeholders a Bill of general Enclosure for Weardale by which legal disabilities shd. be removed on a certain Number of them concurring in the Measure; & were to make overtures to the Freeholders to submit any disputed claims to the Opinion of leading then in the Law either previous to passing such a bill, or under the provisions of the bill itself, I am disposed to think that his Lordship would be gratified by producing within his County is a short period, what I fear will be long sought for in vain by the bd.  of Agriculture with regard to England at large.


Sedgefield Sept. 13. 1796

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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