Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The History and Antiquities of Cleveland - John Walker Ord

I've finally finished reading 'The History and Antiquities of Cleveland' by John Walker Ord. It was published in 1846 and contains some interesting information about the Cleveland area.

One thing that particularly aroused my interest was this description of a possible settlement near Roseberry Topping.
"Our exploration was amply rewarded by the discovery of the remains of a complete BRITISH TOWN, of vast magnitude, extending from the higher part of the farm belonging to George Reade, Esq., of Hutton-Lowcross, near Highcliffe, and stretching upwards of two miles to the base of Rosebury. The remains of these British dwellings are in the form of large oval or circular pits, varying considerably in size, viz. eight to twelve feet deep, and sixty to eighty and a hundred yards in circumference. These pits commence, as we observed, near Highcliffe, stretch across Bold and Venture Gill and the Kildale road, nearly on a line with Haswell's hut, run along the edge of Hutton Moor, below the Haggs (qy. Aggeres?), Hanging-Stone, and White Hills, and terminate in a deep line of circumvallation round the upper part of Rosebury Topping. Of the pits here mentioned there are many hundreds in single or double lines, of a zig-zag, irregular form, and divided from each other by a broad, well-defined ridge or rampart of earth, sufficient for the passage of men, horses, and cattle; in some cases larger pits being connected with smaller by an entrance."
Sadly, I don't really know enough about our local history to know if this claim holds any water or not, but it seems quite interesting. Maybe a better informed person can shed some light on this for me.

Also of interest to me were the various names that Middlesbrough and the river Tees had had over the years. With Middlesbrough at times being labelled 'Middlesborough,' 'Middleburgh' and 'Middleburg' and the Tees having several spelling variations, as this passage shows;
"[C]alled by the Latins Teisis and Teisa; by Polydore, an Italian, Athesis; by Ptolemy, Tuesis; and, at this day, Tees[.]"
It's also been spelt 'Theese,' 'These' and 'Tese.'

A final thing of interest worth mentioning is that vast swathes of land in Cleveland were once held by the de Brus family, of Robert the Bruce fame.

1 comment:

  1. The feature described seems to be what I would know as a series of jet mines.

    They are described here http://greatayton.wdfiles.com/local--files/special/Roseberry-Topping.pdf