Consett History and Local Forum

Consett, Blackhill, Shotley Bridge, Medomsley, Leadgate, Delves Lane, Rowley, Castleside, Waskerley, Allensford

A bit of a Timeline of Consett

1183 Conekesheued (later known as Conside and later as Consett) mentioned in the Boldon Buke. – Arnaldus Pistor habet Conekesheued in escambium de Trillesdena, et reddit 24s. (Arnold, a grinder/miller or baker has Conekesheued in exchange for Trillesdena for return 24s).

In a charter granted by him to the Almoner of the Covent of Durham, he calls himself ‘Arnaldus de Concheshuet, filius [son (of)] Jocelini’ and mentions his sons William and Ralph, and his wife Addoc.

note: At the bottom of the page it has: B.C. Cornesheuet.

1377-82 Bishop Hatfields survey. A survey of all the lands belonging to the Bishop of Durham including tenants.

c1456 - 1519 Thomas Castell lived. He was Prior of Muggleswick and held lands where the farm Castle Hill was built. The lands at the side of Castle hill was named Castle-sides which later became the village of Castleside. He was most famous for his clock at Durham Cathedral.

1641/2 Protestation returns. A list of all men aged 18 years and over who took the protestation oath and those who refused (i.e. papists)

1651 Thomas Tillam, a Baptist was sent from London to preach the gospel in the four Northern Counties.

1652 Quaker movement founded by George Fox

1652 Thomas Tillam, the Baptist minister came to Hexham, Northumberland

1654 October, Thomas Tillam, the Baptist minister met with John Ward (bapt. 1652) and Anthony Hunter (bapt. 1653) and went to a meeting of the deluded souls called Quakers, at John Hunters of Benfieldside, Consett.

1649 Sir George Baker of Crook Hall, sequestered for raising forces against parliament (deliquincy), he was a cousin of General Forster and Lady Forster of Blanchland

1662 March, Muggleswick Conspiracy, Local baptist plot to overthrow the Government

1673 A house at Allensford called Iron-forge, for the making and working of Iron.

1687/8 Between 9th May 1687 and 24th September 1688 Sword-makers, Sword-grinders, Cutlers, came to Shotley Bridge from Solingen, Germany.

Blarney Castle forfeited estates passed to the Hollow Sword Blade Company who subsequently sold it to Sir James St. John Jefferyes, Governor of Cork in 1688.

1689–91 Williamite war in Ireland (swords supplied by the Shotley sword makers)

1690 Battle of the Boyne, Ireland, William of Orange and James Stuart

1691 13th October, Charter for The Governor and Company for Making Hollow Sword Blade in England.

1691 The blast and forge at Allensford occupied before the year by a person named Davison.

1692 The blast and forge at Allensford occupied by Dennis Hayford and partners. The rent £50 per annum.

1600′s-1793 [Penal Laws in Ireland] – Irish Roman Catholics prohibited by the penal laws from owning land, from leasing land; from voting, from holding political office; from living in a corporate town or within five miles of a corporate town, from obtaining education, from entering a profession, and from doing many other things that were necessary in order to succeed and prosper in life.

1703-1712 Marlborough’s wars, John Leaton possessed a Sword manufactuary at Shotley Bridge.

1703 Tuesday Sept 1st. Dublin, Queen Anne’s first Parliament, Irish Statutes; Leave given for the Hollow Sword blades Company to ‘take conveyances of Landes in Ireland’.

1703 seems to be the time when The Hollow Sword Blade Company sold all the forfeited estates

1713 The Iron forge called Allensford forge, with two acres of ground called Gills-haugh and a meadow called Sissehaugh, conveyed to Nicholas Fenwick of Newcastle.

1715 Jacobite Rebellion

1716 Friends of the Earl of Derwentwater, brought his body brought back to Dilston, Hexhamshire to be buried. They stopped with his body at Dean Howl near Castleside.

1720′s The Governor and Company for Making Hollow Sword Blade in England, had branched out into banking and started producing bank notes with swords on them, they were the bankers for the South Sea Company

1733 The Estates and Mills at Shotley Bridge, Consett, for sale, belonging to the London company The Governor and Company for Making Hollow Sword Blade in England.

1745 Jacobite Rebellion, Charles Edward Stuart known as the Young Pretender and Bonnie Prince Charlie

1761 – Cuthbert Smith of Snaws Green (Snows Green), one parcel of land called Ealands with a sword mill, a Barley mill upon the same, lying near there, the mills called Bishops mills, with a malting and corn mill. (Ea – Anglo Saxon, meaning water/river, therefore Ealands would be Waterlands or Riverlands)

A few years later Ealands with it’s mills had passed on to Thomas Johnson, then later on to John and Hannah Johnson.

1772 June 1st, John Wesley preached to an assembly of lead miners under a larch tree near to Dean Howl farm

1780′s Lead miners from Garrigill and Alston area start to move to Castle sides, (later known as Castleside) to work the Lead mines.

1794 Students from Douay, France, came to Crookhall, The first Ecclesiastical College established in England since the reformation. Leased from George Baker.

1801 Act of Union; England, Scotland, Northern Ireland

1801 – Census, 139 people in Medomsley which includes Consett.

1807 May 31st, first meeting of the Primitive Methodists at Cheshire

1811 – 141 people in Medomsley which includes Consett.

1812 – John Annandale purchased Ealands sword, barley and paper mills from John and Hannah Johnson.

1821 – Census, 146 people in Medomsley which includes Consett.

1831 Arrangement and agreement for a railway from Stanhope to Medomsley via Cold Rowley.

1831 – Census, 195 people in Medomsley which includes Consett.

1837 Johnathan Richardson – Shotley Spa

1840 Ironstone found at Shotley Bridge (Richardson)

1841 Derwent Iron company formed

1841 – Census, 2,777 people in Medomsley which includes Consett. (1,589 male, 1,188 female)

1843 Aug 31st, Workmen in the Conside Iron Works lately presented with a library by Charles Bigge esq., of Newcastle and Jonathan Richardson esq., of Shotley Bridge

1845 Crookhall Iron Works built

1845 to 1852 Irish Famine, emigration of Irish to Consett.

1847 Apr 23rd, Crookhall Iron works belonging to Consett Iron works Boiler explosion, six killed.

1847 Dec 2nd, English and Irish feud. On Sunday the labourers at Crookhall Iron Works, attacked the English workmen, upwards of 4,000 men were engaged in the struggle, which lasted till Tuesday, many men were wounded and several houses were demolished all the ringleaders are in custody.

1849 Iron Ore exhausted, new supplies brought in from Cleveland.

1854 Bradley Iron Works built

1854 July, Post office opened in Castleside, run by Mr Thomas Redshaw, Grocer and Draper.

1855 Dec 17th, William Backhouse, Quaker, Consett Ironworks,

1857 Nov 8th, The United Presbyterian church congregation formed at Blackhill, Consett.

1857 Derwent Iron Company to whom the Consett Iron works belonged became insolvent.

1857 David Dale joined the Consett Iron Company.

1857 Derwent Iron Company goes into liquidation (Northumberland and Durham Bank)

1857 Consett Iron Company bought for £900,000

1857 The Leadgate Iron and Brass Foundry worked by J.G. Forster and Co.,

1858 Irish riots which lasted several days started at Blackhill. The Sherwood Foresters were brought in to quell the riot.

26th Leaders of the riot apprehended; Michael Kelly, Michael McMahon and James Mahoy and about 30 others.

1858 July 25th, Opening of The Hownes Gill Viaduct on the Stockton to Darlington Railway.

The materials used were fire bricks manufactured at Pease and Stobarts works, and stones of the finest quality, hewn from the adjoining quarry of which there are 3 1/2 millions of the former and 100,000 cubic feet of the latter. The entire length of the viaduct is 700 feet, it’s height 175 feet, with 12 arches of 50 feet span each. It took fifteen months to erect at a cost of £14,000, for a single line of way. It is 45 higher than the High Level Bridge in Newcastle.

1860 Feb 26th, The United Presbyterian church, Blackhill, Consett opened. Cost £376:10s:10d

1860 Sept 1st, Consett Guardian. Thursday. Front st, Consett. (Liberal) Established, Proprietors: Robert Jackson & Co.

1863 July 27th, At the court at Osbourne House, Isle of Wight, an act enabled for the formation of the Parish and the District of Castleside.

1864 Jun 23rd, Voluntary winding up of Derwent and Consett Iron Company ltd, meeting held 9th July 1864. John Grey, Chairman.

1866 October 2nd, After fourteen weeks of Strike action, the puddlers and millmen of Consett Iron Works, who had recieved notice of a proposed reduction in wages of ten per cent on the previous wages they had been recieving, the strike is virtually said to be at an end.

1868 St Mary’s church blackhill has been beautifully painted and decorated by Mr James McManus of Bishop Aukland.

1869 October 27th, Mr William Jenkins from the Dowlias Iron Works, Merther Tydfil in Wales took over as manager of Consett Iron Company, from Mr. Jonathan Priestman, J.P.

1871 October, on or before the 18th, Post Office Telegraph Offices opened at Blackhill and Leadgate.

1871 Nov 10th, Consett agreed to join the home rule society in Dublin, Ireland.

A lecture was given at the new school room about the history of Ireland from it’s first colonisation to St Patrick, by Mr P. McArdle.

After the lecture, the following resolution, on the motion of Mr J. McGrath, seconded by Mr P. McNally, was carried by acclamation:-

“That we, Irishmen, of Consett, Co. Durham, England, will at the earliest convenience enter into communication with the Home Rule Association (which has our hearty approval, and the importance of whose object we are thoroughly convinced of), for the purpose of forming a local organisation in connection with the parent society in Dublin, to the end that we may promote Irish interests in England and influence English opinion in favour of Home Rule for Ireland.”

1873 Nov 2nd, Irish outrage at Blackhill. James Boyle and Owen Green attacked Patick McCabe and a companion over alleged party differences, at Mr Jameson’s Public house in Blackhill. Sergeant Natrass P.C. Riddell later apprehended the men and had McCabe taken to his own house. On Monday the 3rd Nov, The prisoners were taken before the magistrates at Shotley Bridge. The route from Consett lockup to the police court was lined with crowds of men, women, and children, and at Blackhill the people assembled in the strets so numerously that it was with considerable difficulty that Supt. Oliver and his men pushed their way through. The prisoners were remanded in custody.

1873 November 20th, Discovery of a Mysterious Book.

As an official in the employment of the North-Eastern Railway Company was walking down the Bishop Auckland Branch a few days ago, between Brancepeth and Brandon Colliery, he passed two Irishmen walking towards the former place After they had passed him a short distance, the person named found a book containing a number of letters, lying on the six-foot way immediately in the track of the men he had seen. On examination the book indicated to be “The Rules and Regulations of the I.R.B.” and it contained a code of about eighty regulations, not one of which explained either the meaning of the initial letters forming the title on the back of the volume, nor yet the object of the association or confederacy. The first rule not only bound the members down to secrecy, but also threatened reprisal should any expelled member divulge the secrets of the brotherhood. Another rule determined that a subscription of 6d per fortnight should be contributed for firearms, and 1d for ammunition, and it was also provided that a member should contribute for a fixed period before he became entitled to a weapon and ammunition. A balance-sheet was appended, in which the number of members of the brotherhood resident in the various villages in the county of Durham was appended, Witton Park, Spennymoor, Cornforth and Consett being the strongest. The various items of expense, in the financial statement were indicated by the initial letters, such as “For p. g., 20l.” “For g. h., 5l.” and so on. The letters were addressed to a person who, it is alleged, took a leading part in the amnesty meetings in the county; but the signatures to each were fictitious, such as “Rosy,” “Molly,” &c. These documents contained some valuable information, and the book and its contents have been handed over to the police authorities.

1885 During the first week of January, the whole of the clerestory windows in the St. Mary’s church in blackhill have been filled with stained glass, the subjects being of the twelve disciples. The work has been carried out by Mr W. H. Atkinson of this city.

1885 August 24th, Sale of Consett Park Estate. 133 acres 2 roods and 7 perches, bought by Mr William R Taylor of Selby Lodge for £3,200 or 36½ years purchase on the total rental.

1886 February 22nd, Fenian proclamation posted at the entrance of Shotley Bridge Iron Works near Consett.

Proclamation – Fenians, be ready at a moment’s notice to make the first attack, and after we do that we will have all the soldiers to assist us, as we are certain they will come over, as they will be better paid than they are at present. Signed by order of the Committee,-God Save the People.

1891 July 11th, The Public park for Blackhill and Consett was opened.

1894 Consett and Stanley Chronicle. Friday. (Independent) Established. Publisher: Philip C. Neasham.

1895 May 14th, At 9 O’Clock in the morning, Mr. William Jenkins, J.P. of Consett Hall, Manager of Consett Iron Company died aged 70 years.

1897 Dec 7th, Consett Races wound up. Mr Edward Wylan, the chairman of the directors of Consett and North-West Racing Company Ltd at a meeting stated that The unsatisfactory condition of the course at Carribees and its incompatibility for racing purposes, it was resolved after discussion that the company be wound up.