Crossing Peg Powler’s beat

The section of road from Girsby to Over Dinsdale is marked on the OS map as ‘Roman Road’. During the 18th century Gainford Antiquarian, John Cade, studied the Roman Roads of the north and theorised that a Roman road ran from the Humber estuary to the River Tyne. Cade thought that the road may have been an extension of Ryknild or Ickneild Street, a road that ran from Gloucestershire to South Yorkshire. Cade placed the crossing point of the Tees at Sockbridge. The Roman Road became known and is still referred to Cade’s Road.

In the 1920’s Archaeologist OGS Crawford took a look at the area and thought that the crossing point of the was more likely be Middleton One Row at the site of a medieval bridge known as Pountey’s Bridge. A reliable late nineteenth century source reported timber piles and abutments being visible at the site. An earlier report states that a large number of squared Stones being found in the river.

Recent work by the Mid Tees Research Project has discredited Crawford’s theory and moved the search for Cade’s crossing eastwards to a bend in the Tees close to Newsham, where at least three separate river crossings once existed.

The modern road leads to the bridge over the Tees at Low Dinsdale. The bridge was originally built in 1850 by the Surtees family and operated as a toll bridge. In 1955 the bridge was taken over by the North Riding County Council and the original trussed iron beams were replaced with steel beams rolled at the Cargo Fleet Iron Works, a concrete deck was cast then over the beams. The bridge was further upgraded in 1993.

In the churchyard of St John the Baptist at Low Dinsdale is the lower portion of an eleventh century cross shaft. The shaft is carved on all four faces but quite weathered. There are other carved stones within the church but this church is always locked when I visit.

Sources

Bridges over the Tees. The Cleveland Industrial Archaeologist. Research report No. 7 C. H. Morris. 2000

Mid Tees Research Project

Archaeologia, or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity Vol.7

The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture

Map Extract reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Travelling stones – All Saints Old Church Skelton

..that of all the unfortunately plain – not to say ugly – structures which do duty for churches in Cleveland this is about the plainest and the most tasteless. One ancient buttress, of Early English character, remains on the north side of the chancel, and that is all which is left to testify to the former existence on this site of a really ecclesiastical building.

History of Cleveland Ancient & Modern Vol.1 Rev J. C. Atkinson. 1874

The lovely Norman font was brought from the ruined church of St Andrew at Upleatham. Rita Wood describes it as square with corner columns and central panels that have bold, well-carved geometric patterns. She tells us that there are similar fonts at Marske and Sneaton that are likely to have been carved by the same person.

There are a number of stone fragments inside the church including Upleatham’s Big Stone.

One of the stone fragments is the remains of a Hogback Grave that has probably been re-used as a building block. it is described as a child’s gable-end grave slab. It is classified as a Type E (dragonesque) Hogback, a type confined to the east coast of Yorkshire. It closely resembles two examples found at Lythe.

The Hogback stone has had a bit of a journey. It was found during an excavation at Upleatham old church, it was then moved into the new church in the village. When the new church was converted into a private home the stone was moved to Kirkleatham museum, where it is currently listed as being located.

Sources

History of Cleveland Ancient & Modern Vol.1 Rev. J.C. Atkinson. 1874

Romanesque Yorkshire. Rita Wood. 2012

Yorkshire – A Gazetteer of Anglo-Saxon & Viking Sites. Guy Points. 2007

The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture

Teesmouth – Carl Mole

Carl Mole has been photographing the Teesmouth area of Teesside since 2015. The photographs on display at Eston Arts Centre show the habitat, landscape and the relationship between people and the geographic area. They range from where the river meets the North Sea between the coastal towns of Hartlepool and Redcar, and upstream to Middlesbrough Dock. There is a Natural Nature Reserve at Teesmouth and the area is surrounded by some of the largest concentrations of heavy industry in the UK.

The series of photographs of around Teesmouth are an unsentimental visual exploration of the area around the mouth of the River Tees. The photographs take the viewer on a documentary and environmental journey of the landscape to enquire if beauty can be found in the least expected and industrial places; the places overlooked and neglected in favour of the idealised natural landscape.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Exhibition Open
September 10 – October 3 2020
Thursday 10-4pm
Friday 10-4pm
Saturday 10-1pmEston Arts Centre
176-178 High Street
Eston
Middlesbrough
TS6 9JA

Saltburn Beach

I hear and smell the beach before I see it.

The air still carries a charge from the storm.

A primary school teacher once told me that small children are noticeably more excitable during a storm

If the knot is undone, turn for home. If the knot remains, keep walking.