The pastures

This is how Skelly described the walk from Lion Bridge to Denwick Bridge, in 1889. Today we would still call this the “pastures”, and we could still say that “since that date, little or no change has been made“.

“In most cases, however, the tourists and sight-seers, after visiting the ruins of St. Leonard’s,and the monument to Scotland’s unfortunate King, invariably retrace their steps to the Lion Bridge; and from this point, shape their course through the “Pasture” or northern demesne. With the Castle boldly planted on the opposite embankment, and the river flowing smoothly downwards, they wend their way through this charming bit of scenery. Of all the lands in the neighbourhood, none possess such attractions to the natives of the town as this. For generations it was regarded as open ground, the inhabitants having liberty to go about it without let or hindrance; and none of the Earls of Northumberland appear to have thrown any obstacles in their way.

A close study of the history of the town and neighbourhood will shew, that during last century, great and important changes were made in regard to certain lands lying to the east of the castle. The dilapidated state into which the great northern border fortress had fallen, prevented several of the Earls of Northumberland from inhabiting it. This continued down to the time of Hugh, 1st Duke of Northumberland, when a different state of things was inaugurated. Independent of remodelling the castle, he set himself to beautify and enlarge the adjoining grounds.

Hesleyside, which was situated on the south side of the river, formerly belonged to the Freemen, but now forms a part of Barneyside. This was sold in 1776 to the Duke ; and with the money, the Corporation purchased other land lying to the south of the town. On the Hesleyside land, was formerly a mill, and on the opposite side of the water, was the Wyhope or Denwick Mills, long occupied by the Eadingtons, a family of “ancient millars.” Near the present bridge, was a ford for the passage of horses, cattle, carts, waggons, vehicles, &c. ; and near to this, would probably be a wooden bridge for foot passengers. Between Hesleyside and the town, there would appear to have been two different roads ; one going in the direction of GreenwellLane, and the other diverging from a point near Hotspur’s Tower in Bondgate.

After the completion of the Barneyside Grounds, and the building of the bridge near the Wyhope Mill by the Duke, this part of the district began to assume a more imposing appearance; in fact so complete have the improvements been, that since that date, little or no change has been made“.

There’s more on the mill at Denwick Bridhe <here>.

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