The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian



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2 posts
Bulmer's Stone Natural Rock Feature
1 post
Darlington West Park Enclosure
1 post
Sadberge (destroyed?) Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
1 post
Shackleton Beacon Hillfort
1 post
Springfield Farm Cropmark Enclosure

Latest posts for Darlington

Bulmer's Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Links

Durham County Council

A photo of the hemmed in stone.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th March 2010ce

Bulmer's Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Folklore

You've got to feel sorry for this rock. It's got no space. And yet, legend has it that it turns round nine times when it hears the clock strike twelve. It used to sit proudly by the road on Northgate, and Willy Bulmer used to read out the London news whilst standing on it. But Health and Safety deemed it in the way, so in the 1920s it was moved behind railings at Central House to be safely out the way.

It's also supposed to have railway folklore links. In the 1820s Edward Pease had a horse-drawn railway that took coal to the Tees at Stockton. George Stephenson is supposed to have walked from Stockton to speak to him, to persuade him to use his new fangled steam engine. Stephenson sat on the stone to re-tie his boots, apparently.

(This information collected in a document about Northgate conservation area by Darlington Borough Council.)

It gets a mention in the Denham Tracts:
Rhyme on Bulmer Stone, Darlington.

In Darnton towne ther is a stane,
And most strange is yt to tell,
That yt turnes nine times round aboute
When yt hears ye clock strike twell.

This truly wonderful revolving stone, though by-the-by it is not singular in this property, stands in the front of some low cottages constituting Northgate House, in the street bearing the same name. It is a water-worn boulder-stone of Shap (Westmorland) granite.
The rhyme must be pretty old, as it's from a book given to the Durham cathedral library in 1662, and it previously belonged to the church of Hutton Rudby, Yorkshire, so the Tracts tell us.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th March 2010ce

Sadberge (destroyed?) (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Miscellaneous

The County Durham Sites & Monuments Register, citing "ASUD, Durham University, A66(T) Sadberge Junction, walkover and geophysic survey, ASUD Report 813, June 2001" as its source, describes how this site was discovered:

"Geophysical survey in advance of a road scheme identified a circular enclosure containing at least one smaller circular feature. Outside of this a further circular feature and a number of other linear features were identified. The observed feature appear to represent the ditches of an enclosed settlement with round-houses and the remanats of a field system. The whole probably dates from the Iron-Age but may be earlier. The site fits into an established pattern of such small enclosed farmsteads noted from cropmarks across the area to the East of Darlington, indicating a settled densley populated area in the later prehistoric period."
Surveys of this sort are usually carried out because the monuments in question are about to be destroyed (ie. by the new road), and I wonder if any trace remains of this ancient settlement and enclosure. The map reference given here is accurate to within 1km.
TomBo Posted by TomBo
14th August 2003ce

Darlington West Park (Enclosure) — Miscellaneous

"Rectilinear enclosure identified during evaluation of site {PRN5958}. No finds recovered during trial trenching although enclosure was proved to pre-date ridge and furrow. It is assumed to be Iron Age / Romano-British, based on its size and shape." (County Durham Sites & Monuments Register)

The map reference given here is accurate to within 1km.
TomBo Posted by TomBo
14th August 2003ce

Springfield Farm Cropmark (Enclosure) — Miscellaneous

"Cropmark noted from an aerial photograph (Fraser, R, NAA 94/1/0. SMR F.I. Files, 1994, Filed under AP collection NZ21SE). At least three circular marks are visible. The 2 smaller circles are approximately 20 metres in diameter, suggesting an iron-age or Romano-British date. The largest of the circular features is approximately 50 metres in diameter and may therefore be an earlier prehistoric feature." (County Durham Sites & Monuments Register)

The map reference given here is accurate to within 1km.
TomBo Posted by TomBo
14th August 2003ce

Shackleton Beacon (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

"Probably the best example of an Iron Age hill-fort within County Durham. The site is first recorded in 1794 by the antiquarian Hutchinson. In 1905 the Victoria County History described the site as follows 'Hill fort on Shackerton (sic) Hill, Heighington. Much obscured by timber growth and other causes, parts have been mutilated by a road to the windmill which once stood on the hill and other portions were destroyed in C18. There is an unusual lunar-shaped extension of the two outer banks on the northeast side. The earthworks are in a strong natural defensive position' (Victoria County History, 1905, vol. 1, pp. 349-50). The defences follow the natural contour of the hill which slopes from northeast to southwest. The banks at the top of the slope average 2.5m in height, and they decrease in strength and size to the lower banks just above the disused quarry, where they are no more than 0.2m high. The two banks on the northeast side are 5m wide and 1m in height, with a ditch of similar proportions dividing them. The only possible entrance is at grid reference NZ22972326 where a causeway is visible over the ditches. It may be partially modern, for a footpath to the old windmill inside the fort utilises the causeway. All the other sides of the hill are of a rather steep nature (NZ22SW4, Ordnance Survey Record Card, 1953). The old windmill site within the fort at the peak of the hill was also used at some point as a belvedere or folly. This was constructed by a member of the Surtees family, owners of nearby Redworth Hall. There has been some debate regarding the date of the hillfort earthworks with the conjecture being put forward that they are entirely or partially a fake created by Crozier Surtees in the late 18th century. Informed debate would indicate that this is not the case and the fort is genuine although possibly altered during the construction of the gazebo in the late 18th century(Hutchinson. 1794. Volume III, page 205)." (County Durham Sites & Monuments Register) TomBo Posted by TomBo
14th August 2003ce