Dovecotes, also known as pigeon lofts or culverhouses, were probably introduced to the UK by the Normans, and provided a nesting house for pigeons, which could then be domesticated and farmed on a large scale. In the Middle Ages only the lords of the Manor and the monasteries were allowed to keep…
Read More...
Q  Why has Weardale got so many waterfalls? A   Its geology.  300 million years ago the North Pennines, which were then located near the equator, were covered alternately by shallow tropical seas and river deltas, resulting in alternate layers of the bones of sea creatures, mud and sand being…
Read More...
Sheepfolds The questions you were too scared to ask... Surely sheep are claustrophobic (or is that agoraphiliac?) and would not go into a sheepfold unless they were being bullied by a sheepdog? We are used to seeing sheep out in fields in all weathers and assume that is the natural way…
Read More...
Following centuries of lead mining in the North Pennines there are areas where plant life is sparse due to lead contamination of the soil.  These include areas around old smelter chimneys and former crushing and washing plants, on spoil heaps and along transport links, such as packhorse routes…
Read More...
Wor Netties (Trans: Our outdoor earth closets) In Weardale the last netties, or earth closets, were replaced by indoor toilets connected to either mains sewerage or septic tanks in the 1950s and 1960s.   However, there are still a few well preserved netties to be found up in the hills next to…
Read More...
After 1066 William the Conqueror struggled to bring peace to his new kingdom.  His arrival with his army was usually sufficient for rebels to bend the knee and swear fealty to their liege lord, accepting any patronage that was on offer, but no sooner had he moved on to the next disturbance than…
Read More...
Stanhope Walk: Linear Walk From Rookhope Length: 5 miles Ascent: 600 feet Time: 2.50 hours Map: Explorer 307 Consett & Derwent reservoir Start: Take the bus to Rookhope from Stanhope Market Place to the “terminus” next to the pub. (To make this a circular walk there is an easy to follow road…
Read More...
Stanhope Walk: Linear Walk From Rookhope Length: 5 miles Ascent: 600 feet Time: 2.50 hours Map: Explorer 307 Consett & Derwent reservoir Start: Take the bus to Rookhope from Stanhope Market Place to the “terminus” next to the pub. (To make this a circular walk there is an easy to follow road…
Read More...
The rules of walking in Rookhope are: Buy your Mars bar at Salah's shop. Have a cup of coffee afterwards with Ken and Scott in the Inn. Leave your car for service at Barry's garage while you're away. Drop your litter in Stanhope - as if they'd notice. Vote for John Shuttleworth. In…
Read More...