Ferryhill in old picture postcards

Ferryhill in old picture postcards

:   Anne Dixon
:   Durham
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5903-6
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Ferryhill in old picture postcards'

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In compiling this baak, I have attempted to show how parts of Ferryhill and the surrounding area looked in the past. The baak contains a selection of old picture postcards and photographs covering various subjects, including mines, railways, and buildings, together with street scenes, farrning, transport and fashion. Many features have lang since gone, sorne have changed considerably, whilst others have hardly changed at all. It is hoped the baak will bring back memories and stimulate discussion among the older members of the community and provide the younger ones with a brief glimpse of how things were in the days of their forefathers. Dating some of the photographs has been difficult, but using the evidence available on the cards themselves, old Ordnance Survey Plans, Mining Records and Trade Directories, a serious attempt has been made to date them as accurately

as possible. .

Whilst the remains of an ancient Auglo-Saxon dwelling have recently been found at Ferryhill, the tewn's earliest documented history dates only from the 13th-15th Centuries, when many references were made to it in the Court Rolls of the Abbey of Durham. Most of the land at Ferry was held by the Abbey and included a wood, park, water mill and wind mill. At the same time, the Prior and Convent had in Ferryhill, a court house, chapel, swannery and fish pond.

The medieval hamlet of Ferryhill consisted mainly of farming families who paid rent to the Abbey. Though farming was the major activity, it is recorded that in 1347, Robert Todd & Hugh Smith of Ferryhill paid 30 shillings to the Abbey for the right to mine coal. It is also recorded, that in

1354, Thomas, son of Richard of Ferry leased to John, Prior of Durham, coal mines and seams of coal on the north side of the village for a period of thirty years.

Agriculture and mining thus existed side by side in the village for hundreds of years. There are many references to coal mines in the district during this period but they were all relatively small and employed few people. This situation changed with the arrival of the railways around 1840. Access to large markets through rail transport resulted in new, larger and de eper mines being sunk: Leasingthorne 1842, Little Chilton (Bull Crag) 1852, Broom 1870, Chilton 1872, East Howle 1873, Mainsforth 1876 & Windlestone 1876. Whilst the owners of these mines provided local housing for their workforce, there was a small number of min ers living in Ferryhill who travelled to them. The sinking of Dean & Chapter Colliery on the edge of the village in 1902-1904, changed this situation dramatical!y. The colliery was the largest and most modern in the area, at its peak over 2,600 men and boys were employed producing over 750,000 tons of coal per annum. Ta house this workforce and their families, Dean Bank, consisting of some 1,000 houses, was built by the Coal Company between 1902 and 1907. As a result, the population of the village increased from 3,123 in 1902 to 10,674 by 1921.

With the rise in population came a need for larger schools, the existing National/Church School built in 1847 being now far toa smal!. Dean Bank School was built in 1907 with places for around 1,400 pupils followed by the Broom School in 1913.

In 1829 when Ferryhill was still part of the parish of Mer-

rington, a chapel of ease dedicated to St. Luke was built at the east end of the market square. In 1843 a new parish was formed from the townships of Ferryhill and Chilton and in 1853, the present St. Luke's Church was built incorporating materials from the demolished chapel of ease, The Reverend T. Lomax was vicar of St. Luke's from 1895 until his retirement in 1940. During his lang incumbency, he was responsible for the building of churches at East Howle, Dean Bank, The Broom, Ferryhill Station and Chilton. Other Churches built in Ferryhill included the Wesleyan Methodist 1863, the Primitive Methodist 1877, Dean Bank Zion Methodist 1907, the Village Methodist 1909 and finally the Roman Catholic Church of All Saints in 1927.

The Town Hall, probably the best known building in Ferryhill was built in 1867, adjacent to the village pond, on the site of old cottages originally provided for the paar.

The town would at first glance appear to have little in the way of historical or architectural interest, but behind the facades of many houses in North Street and Market Street are the remains of 18th Century and possibly earlier buildings. There is also the Manor House, built at the end of the 16th Century, now a grade II listed building. Whilst it is believed there was an earlier manor house in the village, this house was built around 1588 and although greatly restored in 1891, substantial parts of the original building remain. In the early part of this century it was used by a colliery manager until around 1914 when it was converted into an orphanage by the Reverend Lomax. It remained so until it was decided it was toa smal! for this purpose and bought by the local doctor who made it his home. In 1989 it had a

further change of use, becoming the Manor Hotel which it remains today.

In an area of coal mining Ferryhill became a centre of trade, employment and entertainment. The mines have now all disappeared and entertainment as known in earlier years, such as cinemas, dance halls - even same public houses have disappeared. However, Ferryhill still has much to offer, large multi-national firms have moved into the area together with other smaller companies providing safer and cleaner employment. As aresult, Ferryhill has continued to grow, new housing estates have developed on the edge of the village, the centre with its supermarkets and mixture of small shops is still the shopping centre for many and the Friday market continues to draw people from the surrounding villages.

In the production of this baak, my grateful thanks are extended to Mr. G. Nairn, who copied many of the photographs. In collecting the cards, photographs and information which make up the baak, I have been given invaluable help from many sourees and would like to thank Beamish Hall Photographie Archives, Sedgefield District Council, Ferryhill Parish Council and Ferryhill Library. Finally I thank most sincerely the people of Ferryhill and the surrounding area, who have shared their knowledge and love of the community with me as well as providing many of the photographs used.


1. The Town Hall, Ferryhill, circa 1880. Probably the most well-known building in the villa ge, erected in 1867 at a cast of noo raised by public subscription. It originally consisted of a large hall and a small room with a residence for the caretaker on the lower floor. This photograph shows the original stone construction of the building along with the of ten recalled but little photographed village pond in the foreground.

2. Top of Durham Road, FerryhilI, circa 1890, showing Dial House in the foreground.

3. Dial House, Durham Raad, Ferryhill, circa 1900, from a card postmarked 1910. The sun dial from which the house took its name can be clearly seen on the wall between the centre and right window on the first floor. It is recorded as having been built in 1629 as a coaching inn. In the late 1800s it was converted into a private house and became the home of the Stephenson family who ran a joiner's and undertaker's business. It remained the family home until its demolition in the late 1960s.

4. The Cut, Ferryhill, circa 1915, showing the natural ravine on the west side of the village prior to the road development. Plans were originally made to develop the Cut as a coach road as early as 1832, to save horses the heavy strain of Durham Bank. It was to be the enterprise of the Turnpike Authority who hoped to recoup the cost from tolls charged. However, following the arrival of the railway, the scheme was dropped. Further plans were drawn up by Durham County CounciJ to develop it as a highway in 1913, but cancelled at the outbreak of the First World War.

5. Red Hall Farm, Ferryhill, 1898. This large, double-fronted farm house, situated to the north of the village, still stands today. At the time of the photograph, the farm was owned by the Walker family pictured in the foreground, left to right, daughter Margaret, Mrs. Walker, son William, son Henry, N anny holding baby Fred, Mr. Walker, the farm hind and son John on the horse.

6. Ferryhill Haulage Contractor, Magnus T. Hepplewhite on the Ieft, standing in front of his Garrett 'No l' steam lorry with driver Stan Hetherington in the cab, circa 1915. Note the water tank behind the cab, the oil headlamps and chain drive.

7. Steam traction engine and threshing machine belonging to Ferryhill contractors Hepplewhite & Hetherington, operating on one of the loeal farms, circa 1920.

8. The King's Head Hotel, FerryhilI, circa 1930, as seen from Durham Road. The Saddler's Arms can be seen further down the hill with the colliery in the background.

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