|The route of our walk in 2003 - red stars from Helmington Row to Witton le Wear|
green stars back to Crook (map from Bing Maps)
Sarah Ellen Nutley was born at Salmon Hall, North Bedburn in 1878 and this appears to be a small cluster of houses on the road between Howden le Wear and Fir Tree. In the 1861 census returns Salmon Hall appears after Howden and before Hargill Hill, but that might not signify anything - the settlements on the maps look so far apart the order of listing by the enumerator may not reflect the way he walked to collect the schedules. The Green Tree pub that I mentioned yesterday as a Good Beer Guide entry was listed in Howden in that year though!
I'm currently being a little bemused by the location of the church where the Nutley's held their vital events (baptisms, marriages, burials). I have notes of the baptisms of twelve of James' thirteen children at St Mary the Virgin, Fir Tree - but last year on our way to another short break in Durham I got the OH to detour through Fir Tree, which is just to the north west of Howden le Wear, and I couldn't see a church. The Durham County Record Office site lists the church as being in 'business' from 1862 to 2008 which is a clue ... another hit, on the website for the Howden le Wear Local History Society tells me that the church there closed in 2008. I think the church in Howden le Wear is the only one, so the Fir Tree in the title is a misnomer, boundary oddities again, however it would have been very handy for the Nutley's as they practically lived next door. It also means that in 2003 we probably walked right past it and didn't go in. Note to self: look around churchyards in the vicinity of ancestors, they didn't always stay in the same place and boundaries are weird.
|The west of Howden the Wear in the 1890s (from Digimaps)|
Hargill Road runs off south west, as I recall it was a steady upward climb, not as steep as the drop we had come down on the other side of the beck though. I remember we stopped halfway up, on a handy bench, for our sandwiches.
We know that James' wife Eleanor Joll(e)y was born at Hargill Hill in 1854, I have her birth certificate. Her place of birth varies on the census returns, sometimes Hargill Hill, sometimes North Bedburn. In the 1861 census Thomas Joll(e)y her father was a Publican and Coal Miner at the Board Inn on Hargill Hill. I can only see one pub on the old maps, called the Bay Horse in the 1890s, but that's not listed in the earlier census returns. Thomas is still a Licensed Victualler on Hargill Hill in 1871, but the pub is not named this time. In 1881 the only pub on Hargill Hill is the Black Horse and there's a Grey Horse at Low Beechburn. I think it must be the same pub, maybe when it changes hands it changes names. There are a couple of cottages on the site today, called the Bay Horse Cottages. No pub!
Thomas Joll(e)y goes off to another pub though - this time in Witton le Wear, the next stop on the walk. I even have a photo of this one, thanks to a kind correspondent in 1997.
|The Grey Mare in Witton le Wear from around the 1890s (thanks to Tom Manners)|
Ah, I missed out a star - we stopped at the cemetery on the edge of Witton le Wear after we'd topped Hargill Hill and were walking down towards the village.
|Thomas and Sarah Jolly's Gravestone in Witton le Wear Cemetery|
As the Grey Mare wasn't around any more the OH and I had a beer in the Dun Cow, a Good Beer Guide listed pub in the middle of the village. It is still in the Guide now, selling Black Sheep Best Bitter, Jennings Cumberland (one of my favourites) and Wells Bombardier. The maps show yet another, the Victoria, but I can't say I noticed it on our visit although a Google search suggests it might have real ales these days having been "saved from closure by the locals" in 2011. Hooray!
Tomorrow (or the next day) we'll start walking back to Crook and see what we can find.