John Smeaton was the first man in the world to call himself a civil engineer; he designed the successful version of the Eddystone Lighthouse which withstood all the storms that had demolished its predecessors. In 1764, at the age of 40, Smeaton was then ‘at the height of his powers’ and in great demand as an engineer, on 30th December 1764 he was appointed joint ‘Receiver,’ or agent to Greenwich Hospital, Lords of the Manor of Alston Moor.

2024 sees the 300th anniversary of Smeaton’s birth. Along with the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Smeatonian Society and the Royal Society, Alston Moor Historical Society is playing its part in commemorating the event.