Teesdale Essay

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Teesdale’s industrial heritage is just as enticing as its scenery, and this walk has a good mixture of the two. The woodland around Hudeshope Beck sustains a rich variety of wildlife and makes a superb finish to the walk.
Middleton-in-Teesdale, revered as the capital of Upper Teesdale, lies in the very heart of the most beautiful and enchanting scenery that one can imagine. The village was founded c.1031, when King Cnut granted it, as part of a much larger estate, to the monks of St Cuthbert at Durham. However, it did not begin to grow significantly until the nineteenth century, when it became an important lead mining centre.
In 1815 the Quaker-owned London Lead Company established their northern head­quarters at Middleton. The company
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After crossing the shoulder of Hardberry Hill, the harsher scenery of the lead mining period becomes more apparent. The valley is strewn with the remains of the Coldberry Mine, which closed in 1955 after more than 200 years of lead production. Coldberry was one of the largest lead mining complexes in the North Pennines. Accordingly, the immediate area of the mines holds the status of a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The most prominent scar on the landscape is Coldberry Gutter, the result of an early open-cast mining method known as ‘hushing’. Hushing involved the construction of a reservoir with a turf dam on the moor above the suspected vein. When the reservoir was full, the dam was breached so that the sudden torrent swept down, tearing away the soil and surface rocks to expose the vein. The miners then used picks and shovels to loosen and remove the lead ore. The repetition of this process created deep gullies on the hillsides and are visible from many miles around.
During the descent, we pass the remnants of a water balance incline; this consisted of a wheeled water-tank which moved up and down an incline between two walls. A cable connected the tank to a bucket of ore at the bottom of the mine shaft; as the water balance descended, the bucket came up. After draining the water, empty buckets pulled the tank back up to the top. Using water

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