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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Leaving behind the Rookhope Inn, where you have doubtless well imbibed, head along the Allenheads road for 50 yards and then turn left on a track which runs alongside Bolt’s Burn.  Cross the bridge over the Rookhope Burn and then turn left on to the footpath besides the Burn, with Boltsburn Garage…
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