Local Historical Stories

A COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL ARTICLES THAT FIRST APPEARED IN THE ALSTON MOOR NEWSLETTER

INTRODUCTION
Early in 1996 Alastair Robertson - our local historian was asked if he would write a couple of historical articles for the Alston Moor Newsletter. He thought he could manage three or four but in the event, over 20 years later, they were still going. Once, and only once, he received an unsolicited article from an outside source, this was the reminiscence of a school for wartime evacuees at Nent Hall that came from Mr. Michael Dickinson and it was gratefully included in the series.

They’re a real mixed bag, too random to put into a book, but they’re still worth keeping in a more permanent form, so the Historical Society website seemed the perfect place to have them.

Material for the articles came largely from local sources, from the Alston Moor Historical Society Archives, St. Augustine’s Church Records, Alston Library, the Cumbria County Records Office in Carlisle and the County Records Office Northumberland.

There has been editing in some cases that will be noted at the beginning of each item, otherwise the articles have been left as they were written, complete with occasional references to such things as cement lorries, the millennium, and foot and mouth disease, which are themselves now things of the past (?).
Read on …


Story No 44: The Ayle Burn Trail

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THE AYLE BURN ‘TRIAL’


(Issue No.79, Winter 2011/2012)

The family of Jacob Walton, of monument fame, kept a large number of documents that are very informative about the local lead industry and demonstrate that not all of their enterprises were successful. The following story happened at a time when the financial worth of lead mines of the north Pennines was teetering on collapse. All the known veins had been explored and worked for many decades if not centuries, cheap Spanish ore was being imported, and on Alston Moor there was an air almost of desperation to find new sources of ore in old workings, or in veins previously untried because they were thought to be too poor.
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 45: V.J. DAY, 15TH August 2020

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VJ Day (Victory over Japan)



VJ Day (Victory over Japan), is on Saturday 15th August, the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Twenty-seven men with connections to Alston Moor gave their lives during the war, at least four of whom died in the Far East.

Two Alston men, Gunner/Private Thomas William Elliott and Private John Reginald Shield, are commemorated with over 24,000 others on the Singapore Memorial in the Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore.

We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 46: Canadian Cousins?

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CANADIAN COUSINS?



(This brief article was written in 2012 – but nothing came of the suggestion for a 200th anniversary commemoration in 2018.)

Are you from an Alston Moor family? Have you any connections with a group of people who emigrated from Alston Moor to Upper Canada, now Ontario, in 1818? Can you trace your family back to 1800? Would you like to trace your family back to 1800?
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 47: Nowell Oxland - Alston’s War Poet

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Nowell Oxland - Alston’s War Poet



In St. Augustine’s Church there is a portrait on either side of the altar depicting a knight in armour, each with a halo, each with the face of Nowell Oxland. In one he is St. George, having slain the dragon, and the other he is St. Alban, Britain’s soldier-saint. Both portraits have middle-eastern scenes in the background, but neither has the name of the artist. Part of the dedication beneath the left hand portrait reads ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.’ (‘It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country”.)
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 48: The Boundary Crosses of Alston Moor

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Short's Cross above Middle Cleugh on Killhope.

The Boundary Crosses of Alston Moor


In the Middle Ages at least five crosses were placed around the boundary of Alston Moor - and why? In many ways Alston Moor has a history different from that of its surrounding areas. For example, before the time of the Norman Conquest Alston Moor was probably part of Northumbria, not Cumbria where it is now. Then for about 150 years from the middle of the twelfth century, it was part of the Scottish kings’ Liberty of Tynedale, quite separate from England and governed more or less as part of Scotland from its administrative centre at Wark in the North Tyne valley.
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 49: In search of Wesley Dobson

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In search of Wesley Dobson


(From the Alston Moor Newsletter No.87, Winter 2013/14)

In the archives of Alston Moor there’s an envelope of photographs marked ‘People in Uniform - Mostly Unidentified’. One of the photos is a studio portrait of soldier from the First World War. Now then, the fact that the photo is here on Alston Moor implies that this man had a connection with the area, but what was it?
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 50: The High Mill

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THE HIGH MILL, ALSTON


The High Mill in Alston has been empty since Bonds Precision Products moved out some years ago. The complex of buildings was bought recently by someone with the interests of Alston Moor at heart. But the question, what should the mill be used for? To help raise awareness, here’s an article in two parts about the mill’s history.

The earliest record of a corn mill on Alston Moor is from 1315 when a mill was listed in the inquisito post mortem (a legal inquiry as to the entitlement of the deceased to his estate) of Nicholas de Veteripont, lately deceased lord of the manor. The earliest reference to an individual mill is to Blackburn Mill at Leadgate in 1590, when it was demised with other land and property to Thomas Vepound, which makes me wonder if that was the original lord’s mill. In 1699 the lord’s mill was rented to John Stephenson of Crosslands, with ½-yearly payments to be made at Michaelmas and Pentecost.

North Pennines Heritage Trust no longer exists, so please don't contact Barhaugh Hall with queries.
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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We are adding a story every few weeks, so bookmark this page to come back for more………..


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We would appreciate any contribution you could give us to help us with our work.
About Us
Alston Moor Historical Society was founded in 1973 and, due to the nature of Alston Moor, it is a member of both the Northumberland Association of Local History Societies and the Cumbria Federation of Local History Societies.
Alston Moor Historical Society
LOCATION
Alston Moor, Cumbria
Alston Moor Historical Society - Alston Stories