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.


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

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

The Fishing Flies of a Teesdale Angler by Graham Vasey


My multi-talented friend Graham Vasey has written a book. Graham is an artist, writer, photographer, countryman and fisherman philosopher, he also brews wonderful beer. I’d recommend you take a look.

The one positive thing to come out of lockdown for me is I have finally finished my book “The Fishing Flies Of A Teesdale Angler” in which I look at over 30 flies published by Robert Lakeland in the 1850’s. Within the book I discuss the flies individual history (many of which go back to the 17th century) the materials they were created with and how we can replicate these simple but effective fishing flies. It is available to buy directly from for £25 plus postage, but if people would like a copy please contact me, if I can order over 20 copies I can offer it at a significantly cheaper at £15 plus postage.

Graeme can be contacted via Facebook, Instagram or through his blog 

A Ballad – The Lads of the Tees

Old Sagittarius, stuck in the sky  

To serve as a watchman as well as a spy.  

On finding our archers excel those above,  

In envious spite gallop’d off to tell Jove.  

Great king of the gods can you bear to look down

And see your great favorites of old so outdone

No more will your Trojans and Grecians please,  

When eclips’d’ by the feats of these ‘Lads of the Tees.’      


Jove rose in a rage and call’d out for Apollo,

And entreated that he would old Fourlegs follow

And examine if what he’d reported was true;

Then away to the banks of the Tees the god flew;

It happen’ d the arrow was shot for that day,

When the archers appeared in their nicest array;

Their sports and their mirth did his godship so please,

He resolved to stop with the ” Lads of the Tees.”  


Next morning old Jupiter sent out his scout,  

Winged Hermes to know what Apollo was about;  

Who swift as an eagle, headlong dashed forth  

To enquire why the god staid so long upon earth;

Oh ! I’ve found, cried Apollo, some lads to my mind.  

They’re gentle, they’re courteous, they’re social and kind;  

They shoot like us gods, and their songs me so please;  

I’ll never more quit these brave ” Lads of the Tees.”  


With the god of the bow and of music so near,

Triumphant our course, for no rival we fear;

With so splendid a model of grace and of art,

Emulation alone do we need on our part;

Now let us avoid all vain squabbles and strife,

And our science will gild the dull evening of life;

Aud hoary old age feel a glow when he sees

His sons are enrolled ‘mong the ” Lads of the Tees.”  


This is an admirable archery song, and is evidently the emanation of some superior mind whose name is to me unknown. It appears in that excellent selection of sporting lyrics— Charles Armiger’s Sportsmans Vocal Cabinet. 1830.

Taken from Holroyds Collection of Yorkshire Ballads. 1892