Thursday, 15 August 2013

Away on my holidays I found myself in the Northumberland  County archive at Woodhorn in - well, Northumberland. 

Now - I am far from sure how we can stretch Greenwich industry geographically but I am wondering if we didn't ought to be include a fairly large stretch of Northumberland.

I learnt about Greenwich Hospital Estates a long time ago.  On a study tour of the North East in the early 1970s we were faced with a resentful lecturer - 'look' he said ' all of this land - here in the north, all making profits for Londoners.  The income all goes down south to these big buildings in Greenwich and is spent on southerners' .   At that stage I didn't actually know where the money went - but I was pretty sure it wasn't spent on the residents of the London Borough of Greenwich and I said so  -  and was treated with a great deal of suspicion for the rest of the week.

So - Greenwich Hospital Estates. It does cover a lot of Northumberland. I flicked through the pages and pages of the accessions list in the archive  - a lot of lead mines, some of them quite famous, collieries, fisheries, stone quarries, farms, a lot of other mineral workings.   Then page after page after page of account books. I didn't have the time to call items up, but I guess it would have been very illuminating.

So - historically - can we stretch Greenwich's industrial history to cover all of this? (this is a historical blog but the politics are more than interesting too).  I am sure there are proper histories out there of the Hospital's northern estates - people who have studied the lead mines and the quarries.  I think we need more information about all of this - if we are to sort of annexe it.


PS - I found two items in the accessions list about Greenwich Foot Tunnel  - so those of you researching that would do well to come up here and look. Woodhorn is, I guess, a bit on the inaccessible side - as I left I did wonder how you got there by public transport, if at all! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Northumberland connection I'm aware of is at Wallington House, a collection of curiosities in the attic by Lady Jane Wilson, the Wilson being of Charlton House & Maryon-Wilson Park