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Content * * *

The Village Hall

The School

Our Church

Landscapes Of Light (By Robert Cooper)

The Chapel

Village Pubs

Sadberge Past & Present

A Look Back At The Queens Jubilee

Leisure Pursuits


How To Find Us

Sadberge Parish Council


Services In Our Community

Village Pre-school

Remembrance Sunday

Links for Community Of Sadberge



A Short History of Sadberge

The Historical Secrets of the Village date
back to the Medieval and Roman Period.
The Village retains few traces of this
former importance nowadays,
but the situation is striking.


The are existing signs of Roman Occupation here in Sadberge:
(1) Roman Road (Rykenield Street)
(2) Roman Camp

The question NOW being asked is:

Did a Roman Fortification exist on the hill at Sadberge?

The statements taken from Historical Documents below could help verify this, and may possibly be backed up with Archaeology finds at some point should any excavations be carried out.

Rev.W.G.Wrightson asserts that a castle existed on the hill of Sadberge where the Church Now Stands.

Dr EastWood writes "The Village commands a view of the whole neighbourhood round, and the distant views extend to the Pennine Range, fifty mile away to the west, and to the Cleveland Hills fifteen or twenty miles to the South-East, a Range which stretches nearly twenty miles, being the most defensive point north of the Tees, and the need for various roads (i.e. Rykenield & Watling Street) seem to have their support from this Fortification.

Longstaff States that this Castle Hill is Crowned with a raised mound of ground a hundred yards broad, probably the site of the Roman Castle.

It is very possible that the Romans did fortify, the hill of Sadberge, in view of two facts:

Haverfield's assertion was that the Roman Occupation in the north was military, and that the Romans were masters of strategy, and would be likely to make full use of such a commanding site like Sadberge.

The ONLY other final and obvious sign was that there was some sort of Fortification on the hill of Sadberge is on the East side of the PRESENT Church, a moat of early Roman Origin which played some part in the Fortificiation, as well as signs being discovered that a battle has been fought on this spot.

Opinions differ as to what the Military Fortification was, and therefore still leaves us with the above question mentioned earlier in the text.

Looking back at this evidence I think, that we may reasonably say:

(1) That Sadberge was a Roman Military Station
(2) That on the hill there was a Roman Fortification
(3) That a Roman Camp surrounded it
(4) That the Roman Road (Rykenield Street) ran through the Centre of it


The Roman Road

The Roman Road (Rykenield Street)

Travelling down Rykenield Street towards the turning point for Catkill Lane.
The best place to stop and take in the breath taking, extensive views of the rolling countryside surrounding the Village before carrying on through the densly mixed woodland to the delightful chorus of bird song.

The 'Stone'

The Jubilee stone is sited on the main triangular cross-roads in the centre of
the Village.

The main reason for the stone being sited here was to represent Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee of 1887.

The 4-tonne stone was dug out of the reservoir, and is believed to have originated from the west of the country,travelling here by glacial action.

Our Historical Past

From the southern tip of the Sockburn peninsula, the Tees flows three miles north,before reaching the villages of Dinsdale and Middleton St George.

Dinsdale is the site of a manor owned in Norman times by a family called Siward.

When the Siwards settled at Dinsdale in the eleventh century they changed their name to Sur Tees which in Norman French meant`on the Tees'.

Descendants of this Dinsdale family later included Robert Smith Surtees, the author, Bessie Surtees, the famous eloper of Newcastle upon Tyne and Robert Surtees the great historian of County Durham.

Under the entry for Dinsdale in `the History of the County Palatine of Durham' Robert Surtees compares this sleepy place of his ancestors to the `Border Country' of the north

The knights of the Tees might mingle in the border warfare; but the bugle horn of an assailant would seldom startle the in mates of their quiet halls.

Their mansions stood without tower or peel.

An important Roman road once crossed the Tees near Dinsdale on its way to the Roman forts at Chester le Street and Newcastle.

The road sometimes named Cade's Road after an old Gainford historian,can be traced near the villages of Middleton St George and Middleton One Row.

The old road is known by the name of Pountey's Lane and is probably named after a Roman bridge which crossed the Tees here called Pons Tesie- `Bridge of the Tees'.

The bridge has long since disappeared with
some of its foundation stones used in the construction of buildings at Middleton St George.

The Roman road from Middleton St George passes through Sadberge (our village being a few miles to the north.)

Sadberge was a place of considerable importance in Viking times.


Here in Sadberge we are situated half way between Stockton and Darlington which was once the capital or Wappentake of the Viking settled area north of the Tees known as the Earldom of Sadberge which stretched from Hartlepool to Teesdale.

Wappentakes were found in these parts of England Settled by the Danes and continued to be important administrative centres in medieval times.

There were neighbouring Wappentakes to Sadberge at Northallerton in Yorkshire and at Langbaurgh in Cleveland.

The word wappentake literally means `Weapon Taking' and refers to the way in which land was held in return for military service to a chief.

Sadberge is a name of Viking origin deriving from Setberg, meaning `flat topped hill', an accurate description of the location of the village from where good views of the
surrounding countryside can be obtained.

The place name Setberg from which Sadberge derives also occurs in Norway and in Viking settled Iceland.

Closer to home in Norse settled Cumbria we may find the village of Sedbergh near Kendal which has the same meaning.

Northumberland, Durham, Scotland or Sadberge?

The history of Sadberge can be confusing because in early Norman times the Earldom of Sadberge, though north of the River Tees, was not part of Durham and was not initially under the rule of Durham's Prince Bishops.

Instead, the district formed an outlying part of the county of Northmberland by virtue of the fact that it had been part of the old Earldom of Northumbria.

To further add to confusion Northumberland was given to Scotland by King Stephen of England in 1139 so that the Tees actually became the southern boundary of the kingdom of Scotland.

This situation continued for eighteen years until Northumberland was repossesed for England by King Henry II in 1157.

Hugh Pudsey, Prince Bishop of Durham (1153-1195) was the man largely responsible for the decline in importance of the Sadberge district.

He added the `earldom' to Durham in 1189 and from then on Sadberge was ruled by Durham's Prince Bishops.

The Earldom of Sadberge included the old parishes of Hart, Hartlepool, Greatham, Stranton, Elwick, Stainton (near Sedgefield), Elton, Long Newton, Egglescliffe, Middleton St George, Low Dinsdale, Coatham Mundeville, Coniscliffe and the baronry of Gainford in Teesdale.

Despite its fall in status, Sadberge retained a degree of independence and continued to be administered as an almost separate county
until 1576. Even as late as the nineteenth century there were still occasionally
references to `the Counties of Durham and Sadberge.

In 1836 the revenues of the Bishopric of Durham including Sadberge passed to the Crown.

A plaque attached to a large ice age stone on the village green reminds us how important Sadberge once was;

Historic Sadberge

Our Village in 1926 looked like this!

Farming Past

Photograph showing
"Threshing Day at Spring House Farm"

Traffic Free Sadberge

Sadberge Today

If you have been one of those many people who have left a message in the Site Guest Book,then this is my opportunity to say a HUGE THANKYOU

Please Keep Emailing as I am expanding and building the site further.

Anyone who has read our Site Guestbook, and who knows any of these people please email the site with your details so I can update all those people out there with information about the village and those who still live here.

The More People, the More Information, the more Welcoming we can make our site, and our village in general for all those people who wish to visit and see for themselves.

OLD MEMORIES OF THE OLD SCHOOL, Would be VERY Gratefully Received.

Much Thanks Your Website Editor

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Welcome |The Village Hall |The School |Our Church |Landscapes Of Light (By Robert Cooper) |The Chapel |Village Pubs |Sadberge Past & Present |A Look Back At The Queens Jubilee |Leisure Pursuits |Snaps |How To Find Us |Sadberge Parish Council |Remembrance |Services In Our Community |Village Pre-school |Remembrance Sunday |Links for Community Of Sadberge |Guestbook