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Today is   Last update 07-11-2011
 








Crying wolf.....



August 1879:

A two-day excursion to the Naworth and Gilsland areas.

Naworth Castle
Naworth Castle


 Gilsland Old Rectory, sited right of Hadrian
Gilsland Old Rectory, sited right of Hadrian's Wall


After Day 1, the members dined together at the Shaws Hotel* in Gilsland.

Next day, they travelled by train from Gilsland to Brampton, where they 'were met by carriages'. Their next destination was Brampton Old Church. Unfortunately, the Vicar was late in arriving at the church in order to address them and Canon Dixon of Hayton filled in the wait by speaking on the subject of the Hayton parish registers. When the Vicar did arrive, however, he was able to pass on to them an outline of the church's history. He explained that in 1789, when 'the ancient church was pulled down..... the chancel was allowed to remain, because the churchyard continued to be used as a burial ground'.

He went on to make two points of special interest.

  • 'The Talkin people buried their dead here, though they did not belong to the parish, and for this it was said they voluntarily gave the hay tithe.....The hay tithe is still paid to the vicar of Brampton'.
  • 'Burials were made at Brampton because the forest between Talkin and Hayton was infested with wolves.
Brampton Old Church
Brampton Old Church


Now 'fast forward' to1897

Some 17-18 years later, Rev'd H. Whitehead, by now Vicar not of Brampton but of Lanercost, contributed to Transactions a paper on Parish Registers of the Brampton Deanery, dealing with the links between Talkin and Brampton, and also the role of wolves.

'It appears from the register that down to the beginning of last century most of the burials from Talkin, which is in Hayton parish,.....took place in Brampton churchyard. The tradition on this subject is that funeral cavalcades did not care to encounter the wolves which infested the forest formerly existing between Talkin and Hayton church, and that it was for burying the Talkin dead that the vicar of Brampton had the Talkin hay-tithe; which he still receives.'

He went on to write that in old deeds he had now found references to places in Talkin township described as "in villa de Brampton"; and he therefore believed that Talkin had been regarded in early times as an outlying part of Brampton parish, and the parishioners had gone on paying the tithe for so long out of 'sentiment.'

*This hotel was built in the 1740s and was originally called The Shaws. It burned down in 1859 and was replaced with a building on a grander scale. The name was used until the hotel was leased to Gilsland Spa and Hydro Co. of South Shields in 1893. The company failed in 1900. Two years later the hotel was acquired by the Co-operative Wholesale Society.

C19 engraving of Gilsland Spa
C19 engraving of Gilsland Spa
















































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