Croft, Hurworth, Neasham, Middleton and Dinsdale in old picture postcards

Croft, Hurworth, Neasham, Middleton and Dinsdale in old picture postcards

:   Vera Chapman
:   Durham
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-6347-7
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2 - 3 werkdagen (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Croft, Hurworth, Neasham, Middleton and Dinsdale in old picture postcards'

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The neighbouring villages of Croft, Hurworth, Neasham, Middleton and Dinsdale lie along the riverTees about three miles south of Darlington in County Durham. In places they merge into one another. Croft, Hurworth and Neasham are virtually a continuum, whilst Middleton St. George and Middleton One Row in fact are. Only Dinsdale is separate and rural. But what happened in the parish of Dinsdale affected Middleton One Row on the other side of the boundary, and oddly, the railway station serving the two Middletons is named Dinsdale!

These five villages share a variety of common experiences. Their river and countryside provide recreation for residents, for townspeople and for visitors, fishermen, ramblers, naturalists and golfers. The Tees, that 'boiling, surging water' of Celtic name, at times thundered down in spate from the Permines as a wall of water, the Tees Roll. It wrought havoc over the centuries upon Teesbank settlements in repeated inundations.

The villages commonly look to Darlington as their market town, shopping centre and workplace. In return, the villages developed as residential and retirement places, not only for Darlington but also, from the mid-nineteenth century, for the growing industrial eentres ofTeesside. At first it was for wealthier families with their villas, but latterly on a wider

basis. A further link between the villages came with the dawn of steam-hauled public railway transport for goods and passengers. The Stockton and Darlington Railway opened via Fighting Cocks in 1825 and its Crofi Branch came to Hurworth Place in 1829.

Historically a part of County Durham and the land of the Prince Bishops, four of the five villages came administratively into Darlington Rural District. From the reorganisation of local government in 1974, the Rural District was unitedwith the County Borough of Darlington to become one of the eight Districts of County Durham. From 1997, Darlington and its surrounding villages are to become an independent Unitary Authority.

Croft might appear to be the odd one out, being historically in the N orth Riding ofYorkshire, and from 1974 in Richmondshire, a District of North Yorkshire. But Croft-on- Tees has been linked from medieval times by the sturdy but graceful bridge which carries the Great North Raad onward to Darlington and sends a road directly to Hurworth-onTees, Neasham and Middleton. Croft also shared the railway experience, being connected to Darlington from the Durham end of Croft Bridge by the Croft Branch of the S&DR from 1829, and by the Great N orth of England Railway from York to Darlington from 1841.

Moreover, the birth of Croft as a spa in the 17 th century and its expansion following the New Spa of 1829, meant that both Croft and Hurworth Place redeveloped at either end of the bridge to serve the Spa. Hurworth Place additionally grew to serve the railway, coal sidings and gas works. In fact, the main line station on the Hurworth side was at first named Croft and later Croft Spa! Dinsdale, too, developed a Spa similar in sulphurous content to that at Croft, but it succumbed at an earlier date. Both villages are now small and rural, and have maintained astrong. probably a predominant, farming interest.

Formerly there were other populous settlements. Croft had two manors. The medieval villages of Middleton St. George, West Hartburn and Dinsdale, however, disappeared when their common arabie fields were enclosed in the 16th and 17th centuries. Only grassy bumps and hollows remain. Over Middleton, later renamed Middleton-One-Row, and Croft shrank, but filled out again later when their spas were established.

The central villages expanded to become the largest in this group of five, redeveloping with manufacturing. Hurworthon-Tees and Neasham prospered for a while with the cottage hand-loom weaving oflinen for Darlington merchants. Middleton St. George redeveloped with ironworks and an-

cillary industries. These were concentrated at a new location beside the Stockton and Darlington Railway some distance away from the medieval site beside the old parish church. Then the Second World War braught a shift eastward at Goosepoal airfield, nowTeesside International Airport, and new uses for the old airfield buildings. Middleton-OneRow revived to serve Dinsdale spa with ladgings and went on to expand with desirabie residences.

So these five villages tributary ta Darlington share similarities and diversities of past experience. They also share with previaus generations, glimpsed in these pictures between the 1880s and the 1930s, the beautiful countryside and attractive river banks along the spectacular curves of the winding Tees.

1 Croft Bridge has withstood ferocious Tees floods for centuries. A bridge here was repaired in 1356. The red sandstone structure visible today on the downstream side dates from the 15th century.An inscribed Blue Stone of Frosterley marble records its restoration in 1673.The catastrophic flood of 1 771 meant more repairs, followed in 1795 by widening upstream in the hard brown sandstone seen here. Croft Bridge carried the Great North Raad, turnpiked in 1745, from Yorkshire into County Durham where the first bridge-end toli-house was swept away in the 1 753 flood. Tolls ended in 1879

and the toll house became, for a while, a smithy. At Croft Bridge or Neasham ford until 1826, each new Prince Bishop ofDurham was handed the falchion, the sword with which Sir

Iohn Conyers slew a dragon, the Sockburn Worm. Bishop David ]enkins revived the ceremony. The flood wall and seats have gone.

2 This winter crowd scene on a postcard posted in 1909 is at the Yorkshire end of Croft Bridge. St. Peter's Church chancel appears on the left. Bunting winds up the two telegraph poles and is slung across the bridge approach. The picture could have been taken at an unveiling of the granite plaque to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897, on the upstream parapet at the Crofi end of the bridge. Or was it for a falchion ceremony far an incoming new Bishop of Durham, or were they waiting to greet a royal visitar?

3 This turn-of-the-century view of the parish

church of St. Peter, Crofton-Tees, was taken from below the bridge-end. The two pale gravestones, now darkened, were then new, the smaller being dated 1899. The photograph also captured the rebuilt upper tower, its new battlements and the new east window of the south aisle, all part of a Victorian restoration of 1878. The prominent Gothic gravestone no longer stands and the rails have gone from the table tombs below the chancel's east window. The background trees are now much larger, and those along the river

obscure this view of the church formerly visible whilst crossing Croft Bridge. Like the older side of the bridge, the church was built from the red sandstone which outcrops

along the riverTees between Croft and Dinsdale.

4 A postcard made from this original picture was posted in 19 1 o. The elevated Milbank pew. overhanging both nave and nor th aisle, has for long vied to dominate the interior of Croft church. The Milbanks acquired the Place family's Halnaby estate in Croft and took the 14th century north aisle for their burials. In the background, the white marble chest tomb surmounted by a funeral helm is that of Sir Mark Milbank who died in 1680.The audacious

17th century farnily pew was probably used by Lord Byron and his bride Annabella (Anne Isabella) Milbank when they honeymooned in 1815 at Halnaby

Hall. In 1857 the Wilson Todds bought the Halnaby estate, and at the end of the Second World War gave the pew to the church. Halnaby Hall was demolished in 1952.

5 Croft village consists of several terraces. scattered cottages, two halls, a hotel and the old rectory. Still embowered in trees, a modicum oflater housing is insufficient to change the village's character. Monkend Lane leads past Monkend Terrace and Monkend Hall to Croft Mill. On the left, opposite the church where the Reverend Charles Dodgson served 1843-1868, are the rectory gardens. Here ran a model railway, topical because of the recent arrival of the Croft Branch and North of England railways. The Rector's eldest son, Charles Ludwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), entertained the many children of the

family, creating stories, magazines and games. The grinning cat on Croft church sedilia and the Soekburn Worm are amongst local inspirations which

emerged in his 'Alice' books.

6 The eight houses of Monkend Terrace were built in pairs of slightly varying styles. The pair beyond the window cleaner are reached by railed steps, as on the previous picture, and have a date plaque 1865. Monkend Terrace, South Parade, Richmond Terrace, The Terrace and South Terrace are thought to have been built as lodging houses to serve Croft Spa. Up to the 1930s and until the Second World War, lodgings were offered at Croft and at Hurworth Place across the river. Monkend Lane led to the water com mill on Clow Beek, near which some new houses have just been unobtrusively sited.

7 This railed avenue of ancient trees fronting Monkend Hall was felled a few years ago and replanted with fast-growing Lombardy poplars, now impressively tall. Behind the poplars is a new avenue of chestnuts which will mature in the longer term. Land at Monkend belonged to St. Mary's monastery, York, and was bought after the Dissolution by Roland Place ofHalnaby. Possibly it was he who built the old stone house which survives behind the brick fa├žade of circa 173 O. Here, after his retirement sale in 1810 lived Charles Colling, famous Shorthorn breeder from Ketton Hall, whose bull Cornet fetched 1,000

guineas. Monkend Hall was for half a century the home of Captain Parlour who died in 1977. The windows have now been restored with more appropriate small panes.

8 Craft Mill, a waterpowered corn mill, was granted after the Conquest to Sir Hamman Clervaux whose family held it for sixteen generations. The little Clow Beek turned [olby Mill and Craft Mill before entering the Tees upstream of Craft Bridge. The present mill was built on the embankment which ponded back a mill dam or reservoir. It was last worked by William Adamsan until 1947, when the dam burst and drained direct to the Tees instead of through the mill. Repairs seemed too costly for what then appeared to be a dying trade. Mr. Adamson continued to farm there, however, with

swallows nesting in the rafters and a dipper by the wheel. Limewash hid the red sandstone rubble walling which by the 1960s was showing thraugh and has

now been made a feature in the conversion of the mill into a house.

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