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Monday, 1 June 2020

Proposed Durham History Centre

Durham has applied for planning permission to base a new Durham History Centre at Mount Oswald Manor House, off the South Road near the University & Howlands Park & Ride.
Oswald House (as originally built) drawn by John Preston Neale in 1818
(as released from the British Museum to Wiki)
An artist's view of the front & entrance via the proposed extension
The proposal will bring together & publicly present several aspects of County Durham history, including the Durham County Records Office, which holds 900 years of Durham's archives, including coverage of more recent mining, railways & industry.

An artist's view with the proposed extension of the former manor & latterly golf club
The Durham Records Office has some photos & other material on line, but all artefacts are in a searchable catalogue.   Once identified, you'd make an appointment to view, or possibly order a copy.   For example, one of several results of searching for Causey Waggonway states that there is an image of c1778:
"Ref: D/X 632/1
View of Causey Bridge [Causey Arch], dedicated to Sir John Eden, Baronet, M.P., n.d. [c.1778]
Below the image is the inscription: Jameson del. et Scul. This means Jameson both drew and engraved the image. Jameson shows the south face of the arch: the Tanfield pits are to the west (left) and the waggonway continues from the east end of the bridge to the staithes. 

Thomas Jameson, Newcastle engraver, was disgraced in 1765 for counterfeiting £5 notes of the Newcastle Bank. He was committed to prison on 2 December 1765, having been apprehended in Edinburgh. However, he was acquitted at the Assizes because of perjury by the woman with whom he had lodged (Jean Gray - she was pilloried for the offence on 2 August 1766) [John Sykes, Local Records]"

When searching, remember that names & spellings may have changed, & many results will be details of wills, marriages & other legal or financial transactions.   For example, searching for Bowes Bridge gives:

l May 1876 
(1) John Bowes 
(2) Charles Mark Palmer of Grinkle Park, Esquire 
Counterpart lease by (1) to (2) o f Marley Hill House and 6 cottages near it, 4 at Crookgate, 4 at Woodhouses, l at Sunniside, 2 at Fell Side, l at Bowes Bridge and 7 at Schoolhouses, all in the parish of Whickham, Sandygate Farm (77a. 3r.), Fen House Farm (112a. 2r. 12p.), East Marley Hi ll Farm (263a. lr. 3p.), West Marley Hill Farm (160a. 2r. 16p.), Birkhead (7a. lr. 15p.), Gibralter (5a. lr. 37p.), and a cottage at Schoolhouse with 5a. 0r. 27p. of land, all for a term of 21 years from 1875 Rent: £ 711 10s p.a. plus additional rents as specified 

Endorsed: Memorandum reducing rent to £630, 20 October 1888"

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