WHERE IS HOWDEN - LE - WEAR ?????
Church and Chapels
Railway at Howden-le-Wear
Streets and Shops
HOWDEN CHURCH CLOSED
ST MARY'S CHURCH PROJECT ENDS
HOWDEN VILLAGE HISTORY PHOTOGRAPHS BOOK
TRADITIONAL CRAFTS GROUP
Contact Information for Howden-le-Wear Local History Society
Links for Howden-le-Wear Local History Society
In the early eighteen hundreds, land around Howden-le-Wear was owned by three families, the Stobart's, the Shafto's and the Coates's.
The Coates family owned the land to the North and West, around the main house, Smelt House, and this land was apportioned to tenant farmers.
The Smelt House Estate consisted of 7 farms, 12 cottages, accommodation land, woodlands and brickworks extending to 578 acres. Upon Mrs Carew-Shaw's direction, this was auctioned in 29 lots - or sold by private treaty - on June 12th. 1953. All but one of the tenant farmers retained their farms.
Fold House Farm
|The Home Farm for Smelt House was the farm known today as Fold House. It is situated adjacent to the 'Big House' on The Bridle Road. There has been a farm here for at least 400 years and some of the house walls are of wattle and daub construction while evidence of alterations over the years is visible in the West facing gable.
HAYTIME 1955 Mr Ralf Horn of Fold House drives the tractor while Mr A. Wells works with a horse, turning and raking the hay in the field opposite Salmon Hall.
|On the outskirts of the village in Hargill Road, was Hargill Farm. It was a small farm, some of the land originally part of the Smelt House Estate until Mr & Mrs Ronnie Elliott purchased it in 1953. Later, land was sold to J.H.Fisher & Co. property developers who, in 1966, built dwelling houses on part of the land.
For many years, Ronnie Elliott was also the village milkman where he, and his cart horse Bobby, were well known on their daily round.
HARGILL ROAD AND FARM HOUSE ( now much modified by new owners )
Haytime at Hargill Farm
|Haytime at most farms was a vital time of year when the fodder to over-winter the stock was gathered. A period of fine dry weather was always hoped for as haymaking went on for quite a while - unlike today, where modern machinery can quickly harvest crops in a short time. It was also a great social occasion, when many 'helpers' volunteered to work - or, if they were lucky, get a ride on the haycart. |
Until the invention of efficient mechanical forms of transport, horses were the main source of power to drive farm machinery, carriages carts, etc.
Haytime was one time of the year when they worked long and hard, bringing in the hay.
|In the 1800's, a new and powerful machine became widely available for farm use. The Steam Traction Engine. This was an expensive piece of equipment and few farmers could afford to buy one for their own use so, The Weardale Threshing Association was formed. This enabled any farmer in our area who wished to use the Traction Engine, especially at Harvest Time to be visited by Harold Dobson (driver) and Jack Bradwell (fireman), to power the thresher.
The engine was kept at White House Farm and later taken to Sunnydene, Howden-le-Wear, where it ended its working life.
|For a long time after the introduction of mechanical power onto farms, horses were still used for much of the work - and also in the collieries - The Blacksmith remained a very skilled and important person. Nearly every community had at least one Smithy. There were several forges in Howden-le-Wear where alongside general metal working, horses and ponies were fitted with their metal shoes.
THE BLACKSMITH'S SHOP AT FIR TREE
On the left is Mr Parkin while Mr Hardy holds the horses head.