I’d never been to the village of Hurworth before in my life! In the years I lived in Yorkshire, and since moving back north and visiting CB, I had never had cause to go there, but on Saturday I found myself driving there as the Spar shop was the nearest place to Paddock Farm where I could get cash to spend at their Christmas craft fair.
I followed instructions to reach the Spar shop, a little supermarket at the top of the village, and as I approached it I could see more of the village stretching out beyond. Mainly built in red brick it looked so pretty. Georgian style architecture! I love it!
Let me show you some of the views I took photos of, and where I can I’ll tell you more about it. Apparently just a bit beyond the end of the village there was once a brickworks that obviously provided local builders with their materials. Nearly all the buildings are brick built. On the right of the photo is a stone building, the old church school in Blind Lane, and in the middle of the road junction is what I at first took to be the war memorial, but no… that’s in the churchyard further down the village. This is a water trough fountain thing, erected by two sisters to commemorate the accession of King George V in 1911.
A church probably existed on the same spot as far back as the 15th century with the present church of All Saints being rebuilt twice in the 19th century. In the churchyard is the grave of one William Emerson, mathematician and teacher, one of Hurworth’s better known sons.
To a Scot, such as myself, the ornamental gates to the churchyard are very unfamiliar. They are lych gates, which seem to always have a bench seat beneath the roof. I am under the impression that the bench was used to rest a coffin on while the vicar conducted part of the funeral service before burial..
The Inn at the foot of the village bears the name, the Emerson Arms, named for the above-mentioned William Emerson. There may well have been several inns and pubs in the village in years gone by, but “The Fish and Otter” and “the Bay Horse” are the only others today.
There seem to be several open grassy areas that could be called the Green, but I think this area suits it best. The cream coloured building on the left has a plaque over the front door that seems to indicate that the house’s origins are back in the 15th century and that it was restored in the 1930s.
Alongside the cottages there are several rather large houses in the village . Normally there would be only one “big house” belonging to the chief family, normally the land owners, but here there is a mansion and several other big houses in extensive grounds.
This is the mansion, possibly older than the other two. In the grounds I found the most amazing sculpted tree stump. Not sure what to make of it, but I didn’t like it, despite the detailed work that has gone into it!
The plaque above the doors of this pair of cottages states that they are freehold houses from 1715. Most of the village would belong to the local landowner and the houses in the village would have been built on land leased from the landowner. If the piece of land belonged to the housebuilder, that land would be freehold, so there would be no rent to pay for the land or house. Well, that’s how I understand it, having bought a house on a freehold when I was in Yorkshire.
Most of the buildings are from the Georgian era, possibly rebuilt from earlier buildings. A plaque on one house says that William Emerson lived in a house on the site of the present Georgian house. Of course building has gone on since, through Victorian…..
There’s nothing to beat the solid wooden doors of the Georgian/Victorian eras.
It was interesting to see the physiotherapist’s premises with its pretty bow window, and next door the dentist’s surgery with wisteria growing up its walls.
Altogether an interesting village.
Talk again soon.