Eaglescliffe, County Durham


Eaglescliffe VIllage
(underneath says “Jervaulx Abbey, Wensley Dale”)
c.1910
Publishers: Brittain & Wright, Stockton-on-Tees

Google Street View.

First recorded in the 11th Century, Egglescliffe was a small village on the Co. Durham side of the tidal River Tees, with a Parish Church dating back in parts to the 12th Century. The Ancient Parish consisted of three townships, of which one became the Civil Parish of Egglescliffe in 1894, when our Parish Council was formed. In 1825 the Stockton & Darlington Railway was opened through the Parish. Two years later the victim of the World’s first recorded fatality on a public railway was buried in the Churchyard here. A further railway line 25 years later entered the Parish by the 48-arch Yarm Viaduct to a new station called “Eaglescliffe”. A new settlement, Eaglescliffe Junction, partly in the Parish, grew up round the Station.
Egglescliffe & Eaglescliffe Parish Council

Gelert’s Grave, Beddelgert, Wales


Beddelgert, Gelert’s Grave

Google Street View.

A short walk south of the village, following the footpath along the banks of the Glaslyn leads to Beddgelert’s most famous historical feature; ‘Gelert’s Grave’. According to legend, the stone monument in the field marks the resting place of ‘Gelert’, the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great. The story, as written on the tombstone reads:

“In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent. On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry. Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here”.
Beddelgert Tourism

To this day, a cairn of stones marks the place, and the name Beddgelert means in Welsh ‘The grave of Gelert’. Every year thousands of people visit the grave of this brave dog; slight problem however, is that the cairn of stones is actually less than 200 years old!

Nevertheless this story has great appeal. History and myth appear to have become a little confused when in 1793, a man called David Pritchard came to live in Beddgelert. He was the landlord of the Royal Goat Inn and knew the story of the brave dog and adapted it to fit the village, and so benefit his trade at the inn. He apparently invented the name Gelert, and introduced the name Llywelyn into the story because of the Prince’s connection with the nearby Abbey, and it was with the help of the parish clerk that Pritchard, not Llywelyn, raised the cairn!
Historic UK

Bellanoch & Crinan Canal, Scotland


Bellanoch and Crinan Canal
1930s
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (approximate).

Bellanoch, a village, with a public school, in North Knapdale parish, Argyllshire, near the W end of the Crinan Canal.
Ordnance gazetteer of Scotland : a survey of Scottish topography ; statistical, biographical, and historical, 1885

The canal goes from the middle of the W side of Loch Gilp, 9 miles west-north-westward, to Loch Crinan, in the vicinity of Crinan village, and enables vessels of 200 tons burden, from the upper Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Lorn, to avoid the difficult and circuitous passage of 70 miles round the Mull of Kintyre. Projected by Sir John Rennie in 1793, at an estimated cost of £63,678, it was opened in 1801 at an actual cost of £141,810 ; and even then other loans had to be obtained, which by 1814 had burdened the Company with a debt of £67,810. It is cut chiefly through chlorite schist, traversed by trap dykes, and showing indications of great geognostic disturbance ; and has eight locks between Loch Gilp and the summit-level (59 feet), and seven between that and Loch Crinan, thirteen of these locks being each 96 feet long and 24 wide, and the other two 108 feet long and 27 wide. The average depth of water is only 10 feet, the canal being fed by reservoirs on the hill above, whose bursting (2d Feb. 1859) washed away part of the banks and choked the channel for upwards of a mile with debris.
Ordnance gazetteer of Scotland : a survey of Scottish topography ; statistical, biographical, and historical, 1885