Northumbria - Northumberland Scenes
The Town of Allendale
Allendale: The Market Place in the centre square of Allendale, plenty of space for parking, hence a good place to start a local walk from, particularly to investigate the local industrial archaeology. Allendale Town is in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a great area for wild hiking and bracing walking! It is close to the Scottish border and seen troubled times in the past particularly in the 16th century and many ruins of old fortified houses (bastles) can be found in the dale of Allendale. It was a centre for lead mining from Roman times until the 19th century. The first lead smelting mill was built in Allendale ~1600.
Allendale: A good parking spot to start a walk.
May be due to the traces of shimmering silver and lead ores running through its river valley, Allendale means ‘Valley of the Shining Water’ in the old Celtic language. Allendale has been crowned twice crowned Village of the Year for All England, which is no surprise to those of us who know Allendale well with its pretty, stone-built cottages, shops and church in the heart of the Allen Valleys. Allendale has an active vibrant community and renowned for throwing a 'party'! Most famous is the Tar Barle, a unique New Year celebration. This festival of fire dates back to 1858 and has attracted onlookers from far and wide, including celebrated English poet, Philip Larkin. The May fair is a chance to enjoy traditional village fete activities and sample the produce from local farms and traders. In late summer the valley’s rich musical heritage is celebrated with the two-day Allen Valleys Folk Festival, which attracts some of the top folk acts from all over the UK. After a walk in the rich and ancient scenery around Allendale try a pint of Allendale real ale from the town’s own brewery, tuck into generous sandwiches and homemade pies at the Allendale Butchers or call into one of the traditional village pubs which sit around the village square. The countryside around Allendale is good for walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike. For a great scenic walk, head out around the River Allen East on routes taking in moorland, waterfalls and wildlife. Here you will find the remains of Allendale’s industrial heritage of lead and silver extraction.
Allendale: Quite handy car parking in the town centre.
Allendale: There are several pubs in Allendale including the Kings Head Inn and The Golden Lion Hotel.
Allendale: The Allendale Tearoom dated ~1860
Allendale: Hotspur House is quite a good looking building in the town centre.
Allendale: The Gift Shop was once a savings bank!
Allendale: Looking down to the B6303 road from Market Square.
Allendale: The tower, nave and chancel of St Cuthbert's Church which stands high above the River Allen and much restored (rebuilt?) in 1873.
Allendale: The arches of the nave and chancel of St Cuthbert's Church.
Allendale: Some of the stained glass windows in the south wall of the nave.
The painting of the 'Last Supper' and accompanying wood carving above the altar below the stain glass of the east window.
The church is a nice to finish the walk, with a few moments of quiet contemplation to complete a lovely day out in Allendale.
A Circular Walk from Allendale via the Allenmill Chimneys and Flues
A really good industrial archaeology walk
Allendale: The exit drain into the River Allen from the Blackett Level below Allendale town centre
Allendale: A drainage channel from one of the old mines, it flows into the River Allen.
Allendale: The River Allen below the town centre
A new salmon leap on The River Allen below the bridge near the Allendale Brewery and Allendale Bakery
The road bridge near Allendale, beyond is where the Allendale Bakery and Allendale Brewery are sited. They are reusing the site of what was the main lead smelting mill in Allendale
An ancient prehistoric ditch earthwork.
The fork in the Allenmill flue systems which carried the poisonous sulphurous fumes from the Allendale lead smelting mill.
One of the flue chimneys on the horizon, the double elongated hump covers the path of the two flues.
The road up to near the chimneys of the flue system.
Another view a section of the Allendale mill flue system.
The road up to near the highest point of the flue system.
Inside the flue system showing the stone wall construction - horseshoe shaped in cross-section
The lower chimney on the flue system.
The higher chimney, or at least, what's left of it!
The base of the main higher chimney where the two flue systems converge into it.
A good point for a group photograph!
The lower chimney
This is wild country, even if its man-made!
Looking down to Allendale from above Wager House
Allendale: Wager House
Allendale: Low Broadwood Hall is a collection of buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, above the main door entrance a lintel is dated 1716.
Allendale: The old grain grinding mill in Allendale, on the side is clearly marked in white paint "A. & C. LITTLE LTD FLOUR CORN & CAKE MERCHANTS"
Allendale: A well natured thick slabs of stone roof!
Allendale: The bridge over the River Allen near the old mill
A Circular Walk from Allendale via Catton
This webpage illustrates Walk 21 East Allen Dale from Walking Country Alston and Allendale in the North Pennines by Paul Hannon and takes an anti-clockwise circuit from Allendale and passing through the village of Catton.
From the centre of Allendale Town you head north-east on the B6303 and just after a left-hand bend you turn sharp right up a bank and turn left up a path when the road levels out. You head across the fields to Housty and enjoy views south across Allendale and the Town itself - which is really a big village!
The broad pleasant rural vista of the northern lower part of Allendale as the weather improved!
From Housty you zig-zag via path and minor road to Stone Stile - farm cottage above.
From Stone Stile you make your way down to the village of Catton.
Catton is quite an attractive village of grey stone cottages and a village green (unseen on the right).
The Crown (vendor for the Allendale Brewery) is a good friendly pub-inn to have an evening meal in after a good walk, plenty of space, good car park and really good food. The Crown also runs good folk music evenings.
You cross the village green and head along a track that runs south of Pasture House - looking back you can see Catton village on the distant right.
Looking up to the many sheep of High Pasture farm.
Looking down Allendale from the 'lower/southern' Old Town (there are two 'Old Towns' marked on OS map!). In the lower foreground is the embankment of the branch line that ran from just west of Hexham on the Newcastle-Carlisle. It went within 1 mile of Allendale, but never quite reached its destination and was closed in 1950.
Continuing from Old Town you reach Colliery Lane (above a house called Staward Villa) and this minor road has some extremely neat and fine stone walling on its upper west side!
Descending Colliery Lane you pass between the buttresses of the former railway bridge that carried the branch line, once destined for Allendale Town.
At the bottom of Colliery Lane, and well hidden in the trees, is a fine double arched Oakpool Bridge over the River East Allen.
Over the bridge you turn left immediately to pass by Oakpool Farm ...
... with its aging tractor, somewhat 'skinnier' and 'smaller' than its modern successors!
Leaving Oakpool you then walk ~east to south-east for 23/4 miles near or along the banks of the River Allen back to Allendale - a particularly lovely stretch of walking.
The River Allen and the house at Kittygreen.
The restored house-cottage of Brig Eal below Bridge Eal.
There is a good track through some lovely open pastures and woodland known as Bishopfield Haugh.
The pebbled and eroded banks of the River Allen and continuing on this track brings you to the B6295 road at the two-arched Allenmill Bridge.
At Allenmill Bridge, below Cattonlea Haughs, you cross over from the south-west bank to the north-east bank of the River Allen. In October 2009 they were doing some work on the weir and constructing a 'salmon leap' - the concrete channel seen in the bottom right of the above picture. In a later picture, you can see the completed salmon leap.
Details of the 'salmon leap'. Apparently (via one of the workman) the zig-zag plates produce a faster upper flow of water and below it, calmer water, through which the fish can navigate more easily! Can anyone give me more details about this interesting construction?
On the north bank, just before Allendale Town, the back of a stone seat has a carving of a dipper bird, a common site on the river.
There is bit of industrial archaeology just before the ascent back into Allendale, where you find the ruins of a winding house from the days of lead mining ...
and to its right is the 'black hole' of the drainage outlet from one of the mines. This is stone arched adit of the Blackett Level runs for two miles before releasing its contents into the River Allen.
You pass by the Allendale Inn as you re-enter the Market Place.
A circular walk from Allendale across Hexhamshire Common
The crossroads on Hexhamshire Common
Hexhamshire Common was a bleak place in February 2012
Places to eat and drink in Allendale
Our favourite cafe in Allendale is the Allendale Forge Cafe, with the Allendale Forge Gallery and the Allendale Forge Studios!
A very interesting and relaxing place to visit with several galleries of paintings and craftworks, plus a really nice cafe.
Allendale: The Allendale Forge Studios with its lovely Forge Cafe and Bakes, Gallery, Studios and Gift Shop, a great stop for a cup of tea, mug of coffee with cake or a more substantial meal.
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