Alston - Description

CUMBERLAND POST OFFICE DIRECTORY
1873.

 
The
PRINCIPAL TOWNS
AND
ADJACENT PLACES
IN
C  U  M  B  E  R  L  A  N  D.
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ALSTON is a small market and union town, parish polling place, and head of a county court district, having a station on a branch of the Newcastle and Carlisle railway; it is situated in a mountainous district, being about 1,700 feet above the level of the sea, and considered the highest market town in England; it is 29 miles east-south-east from Carlisle by road, and 35 ¼ by rail, 19 north-east from Penrith, 20 south-east from Brampton, 43 from Mewcastle by road, and 50 by rail, 13 from Haltwhistle, and 281 from London; it is in the eastern division of the county, rural deanery of Corbridge, archdeaconry of Northumberland, and diocese of Durham, situated in the turnpike road from Penrith to Newcastle, and to the extreme  east of the county, bordering on Northumberland and Durham. The parish of Alston contains the villages of Nenthead and Garrigill, and the hamlets of Clarghyll, Nentsbury, Lead ????, and Nent Hall. Nent Force Level is a stupendous edit, cut at the expense of the Commissioners of Greenwhich Hospital, from its mouth to Nenthead Shaft. This subterranean canal is about five miles in length, boats are kept, and guides may be had to conduct parties who wish to explore it from its mouth.Near the town of Alston, at this point, the river Nent forms a romantic waterfall of several yards in height, and flows thence into the South Tyne.
 
The Church of St. Augustine was rebuilt from the foundation in 1870, and is a handsome edifice, in the Early English style; has a chancel, nave, aisle, and tower; the cost of rebuilding, over £4,000, was defrayed by public subscriptions, with a grant from the Church Building Society of £50, on condition of all the seats being free. The steeple is not yet completed.
 
The register dates from the year 1735. The living is a vicarage, £300 yearly value, with residence, in the  gift of the Lords of the Admiralty, and is invariably bestowed on a chaplain of the Royal Navy; the Rev. William Cecil Pery BAYLEE, M. A., of Trinity College, Dublin, is the incumbent.
 
There is a grammar school partly endowed. There is a free school, likewise a National school, and a school at Nenthead, supported by the London Lead Company, one at Garrigill, one at Nenthall, and one, a National School, at Lead Gate, where the church service is performed every Sunday afternoon; each has a Sunday school attached. There are two independent chapels - one at Alston, the other at Garrigill Gate, with chapels for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists.
 
The Society of Friends have a meeting house in Alston. The Wesleyan Chapel is a handsome building, and was built at a cost of £2,500, raised by public subscriptions; it has a very spacious gallery, and the whole is lighted by eight windows; it is capable of seating 600 persons; there is a fine organ, by NICHOLSON, of Carlisle; school rooms and meeting rooms and meeting rooms are also attached; the whole was designed by R. F. N. HASWELL, and built by Thomas CRANSTON.
 
The town has a carpet manufactory, but the principal business of the place arises from the working of the numerous lead mines which abound in this extensive parish. The principal establishments belong to the London Lead Company, who have smelt works at Nenthead for smelting and refining the ore, Rodderup, Fell, Brownley Hill, Cash Well and Blaygill. Silver is invariably found in the ore in portions varying from 12 to so high as 60 ounces to 20 cwt. of lead.
 
The proportion of metal to ore is 27 hundred of the latter to 20 of lead; copper is also found here.
 
The Union-house is situated near the town, and is capable of accommodating 80 persons; the Board of Guardians meet every fortnight. The Union comprises the township of Alston, and chapelries of Garrigill and Nenthead. There is a well built residence for the Constable (one of the county constabulary), together with lock-up for prisoners, rooms for magisterial and petty sessional business. The magistrates sittings are held at the lock-up the first Friday of every month.
 
In the centre of the town is a handsome building, consisting of news-room, mechanics institution, and reading-room; also board-room, with town hall above; commodious savings-bank offices, with dwelling-house above, form a distinct building, but are attached to the other; the cost of the above building was upwards of £2,000, which was raised by voluntary subscription.
 
The County Court is held at the Town Hall once in two months the district of the court comprises the following places, viz.: - Alston, Ayle, Bailes, Barhaugh, Blagill, Brownside, Burnstones, coal Clengh, Eals, Foreshield, Galligill, Garrigill, Green Ends, Kirkhaugh, Knarsdale, Lead Gate, Nenthall, Nenthead, Nentsbury, Nine Banks, Skelgill, Slaggyford, Town Green, Tyne Head, Whitlow and West Allen.
 
There is a weekly market on Saturdays; and fairs on the third Saturday in March, the last Thursday in may, the Saturday on or before September 27th, and the first Thursday in November; a tup fair and a cattle show on or before the Saturday prior to St. Luke’s Day.
 
There are numerous natural curiosities in this district; large caverns are frequently met with in the lead mines, exhibiting all the variety and splendour of the most curious grotto-work, being formed by the variegated spar shot into the diversity of crystals. The Roman road, called the Maiden Way, crossed the West side of this parish, where its remains are very distinct in several places. Upon Hall Hill, a little below Tyne Bridge, is the foundation of an ancient fortress, which was surrounded by a moat. Tutman’s Hole is a large cavern in Gildersdale forest, of unknown length; it is said to have been explored for more than a mile from its mouth.
 
The Lords of Admiralty are the lords of the manor of this extensive parish (with the exception of the Tyne Head, which belongs to Col. Alfred Molyneux BYNG); they lease the mines conditionally on receiving a certain proportion of the produce, which varies from one-seventh to one-twelfth. Small trout abound in the rivers, and grouse upon the moor, where grow clustered bramble-like cranberries, commonly called cloudberries. A very small portion of the land is under cultivation. The soil is a mixture of clay, moss and sand. The high lands and waters afford but a scanty pasturage, being covered chiefly with heath and bent. The acreage is 36,9671/2, a great portion of which is moorland and sheep walks; gross estimated rental, £15,748; rateable value, £12,722; the population of the whole parish in 1861 was 6,404, and in 1871 was 5,680; and of Alston 2,918 and 2,627 respectively.
 
Garrigill is a parochial chapelry, 4 miles south of Alston, situated on the river Tyne. The chapel is an exceedingly plain building, without pretensions to architectural design or beauty; the Rev. George MONKHOUSE, of St. Bees, is curate.. There are chapels for the Wesleyans, Independents and Primitive Methodists. The landowners are the Lords of Admiralty, E. C. TUFFNELL, esq., and Col. BYNG. The area is included in Alston; the population in 1871 was 1,242.
 
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POST OFFICE. - James VIPOND, postmaster. Letters from Carlisle arrive at 12 a.m.; dispatched at 2.30 p.m.; the nearest money order office is at Nentheads.
 
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Nenthead is a village 5 miles south east of Alston, situated on the river Nent, and forms part of the parish of Alston. The church of St. John is a neat edifice in the Early English style. The living is a perpetual curacy (unendowed) in the gift of the vicar of Alston; the stipend of the Curate is derived from a grant made by the Lords of Admiralty and a yearly contribution  of the London Lead Company; there is a residence and garden and about 1 ½ acres also attached. The Rev. Henry ROBINSON, L. T., of Bishop HATFIELD’s Hall, Durham, is the vicar. There are chapels for Wesleyans, Independents and Primitive Methodists. The principal landowners are the London Lead Company and the Lords of Admiralty. The area is included in Alston: the population in 1871 was 1,811.
 
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POST & MONEY ORDER OFFICE, Post Office Savings Bank & Telegraph Office. - John TATTERS, post master. Letters arrive at 12 a.m.; dispatched at 2.30 p.m.
 
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POST AND MONEY ORDER TELEGRAPH OFFICE, Post Office Savings Bank & Government Annuity & Insurance Office. - Mrs. ERRINGTON, postmistress. Letters from all parts, through Carlisle, at 10 a.m.; dispatched at 5 p.m.
 
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LIST OF MINES on Alston moor belonging to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and leased by London Lead Company : -
 
Rampgill Vein
 
Carrs Hangingshaw
 
Scaleburn Vein
 
Long Cleugh
 
Middle Cleugh                     } Nentland.
 
Small Cleugh
 
Caplecleugh
 
Gudda??gill
 
Peat Stark

Browngill Vein
 
Fletcher’s Vein
                                            }  Garrigill
Tynd Bottom Vein
 
Benty Field, W. End.
 

Superintendent, R. W. BAINBRIFGE, esq.
 
District Agent, J. J. MILLICAN, esq., Nentland.
 
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MINOR MINES.
 
NAME OF MINE                            MANAGER.

 
Bromley Hill Mine ………………Jacob CRAIG, Garrigill
 
Cash Well Mine ………………….John PEART, Alston.
 
Dongang Mine ……………………Jonathan WALTON, Nentland
 
Dowpot Syke Mine ………………….John PEART, Alston.
 
Galligill Syke Mine ………………….John PEART, Alston.
 
Grass Field Mine …………………….Jacob CRAIG, Garrigill.
 
Holy Field Mine ………………………John PEART, Alston.
 
Roddemp Fell Mine …………………..Isaac WALTON, esq., Brownside
 

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INSURANCE AGENTS: -
 
City of Glasgow, J & J. DICKINSON
 
Mitre, T. STONEY.
 
Newcastle Fire & Life,  J & J. DICKINSON
                    
North British Mercantile & Marine, J & J. DICKINSON
 
Norwich Union, J. WOODMAS.
 
Royal, BAINBRIDGE & MILLICAN.
 
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PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENTS: -
 
County Court, held at Town Hall every alternate month, T. H. INGHAM, esq., judge.
 
Joseph DICKINSON, Registrar
 
George PEART, Bailiff
 
Excise Office, Blue Bell Inn, Jonathan WALTON.
 
Union House, George LAMB, master, Mrs. Mary ARMSTRONG, matron.
  

PUBLIC OFFICERS: -
 
Clerk to the Trustees of the Alston Turnpike Roads, Vacant.
 
 
Moor Master, Joseph M. PAUL, esq.
 
 
Steward to the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital, vacant.
 
 
Clerk of Ore Deliveries, Adam WALTON.
 
 
Wood Bailiff, Mr. John ATKINSON.
 
 
Clerk of the Highway Board, Joseph DICKINSON, esq.
 
 
Surveyor of Highways, Joseph RENWICK, District Cemetery.
 
 
Surveyor of Turnpikes, Hugh MacKENZIE.
 
 
Superintendent, Joseph WALTON.
 
 
Clerk to the Burial Board, Joseph DICKINSON, esq.
 
 
Clerk to the Board of Guardians & Superintendent Registrar, Joseph DICKINSON, esq.
 
 
Secretary to Alston Moor Association, Joseph DICKINSON, esq.
 
 
Sub-distributor of Stamps, Thirwall STOREY.
 
 
Relieving Officer & Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Joseph WALTON.
 
 
Assistant Overseer & Rate Collector, Jacob PEART.


 
PLACES OF WORSHIP: -
 
St. Augustine’s Church, Rev. William Cecil Pery BAGLEE, vicar.
 
 
St. John’s Church, Nenthead, Rev. Henry ROBINSON, vicar.
 
 
St. John’s Church, Garrigill, Rev. George MONKHOUSE, curate.
 
 
Friend’s Meeting House, Alston.
 
 
Independent Chapel, Alston.
 
 
Independent Chapel, Garrigill.
 
 
Wesleyan Chapels, Alston, Tynehead, Nentsbury, Garrigill, Nenthead, Brownside & Nest.
 
 
Primitive Methodist Chapels at Alston, Nenthead & near Nentsbury Hall & at Blaygill & Garrigill Hill.
 
 
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SCHOOLS:-
 
Free, Edwin WOOD, master.
 
 
Free, Nenthead, John HYSLOP, master.
 
 
Grammar, Alston, George DAVIES, master.
 
 
Grammar, Garrigill, Robert DENT, master.
 
 
Grammar, Lead Gate, George LUPTON, master.
 
 
Grammar, Tyne Head, Thomas RICHARDSON, master.
 
 
Girls, Garrigill, Miss. Jane MacKENZIE, mistress.
 
 
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RAILWAY STATION: -
 
William LITTLE, Station master.
 
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CARRIER TO PENRITH,  Walton Carrier, from Dun Cow on Monday & Thursday.