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A history of Powburn

By John Taylor

Hedgeley Parish lies at the extreme southern edge of the great prehistoric Glendale lake. As the land forms changed and natural drainage took place, human life began to shape the landscape as we know it.

Powburn village probably owes its existence to its strategic position near a river crossing (usually a ford) which, in time, would be replaced by a bridge of sorts. The Roman Army certainly used it for a military road which was part of the network north of the Great Wall. The road began in this part of the world at Rochester, crossing through Alndale to the Bridge of Aln. It was excavated on farm land at Rothill and shown to cross east of Glanton, coming down the high Powburn road and, following that part of the current A697, to Percy’s Cross along the route of the Devil’s Causeway to Hortons, Lowick and Berwick.

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Master craftsmen at Hedgeley

An account given by Robbie Hall in 1980

My grandfather, Robert Hall was born at Brandon White House in 1813. In 1825 he was apprenticed to James Stewart (for six years) who was a shoemaker in Powburn. His indenture, which we still have in the family, is interesting in that it lays down rules for both Master and Apprentice:

“The Master shall teach the Apprentice all he knows of the art and business of shoe-making, and also shall find and supply sufficient meat, drink, washing, lodging and all other necessities during his apprenticeship. The Apprentice shall undertake to faithfully serve, his secrets keep, do his lawful demands gladly, shall not waste or lend his Master’s goods to anyone, shall not buy or sell without his Master’s leave and shall not enter Taverns, Inns or Ale Houses, and shall not play Cards, Dice or any other unlawful game…”

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A History of the A697

By MIKE SMITH

Living here at Powburn, the A697 is a road we use all the time. So, it is interesting to take a moment to consider its history and to look at why it developed here, since the history of the road and the village are connected.

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A History of Crawley Tower

By MIKE SMITH (Sep 2013)

[Crawley Tower is at OS Grid Reference: NU0616]

The ancient name of Crawley was Caer-law, or Crawlawe, signifying the ‘fortified hill’. Appropriately, the most significant historic landmark remaining today at Crawley is Crawley Tower, a scheduled monument and a grade 2* listed building, consisting of a medieval Pele tower surrounded by fortified buildings, which stand on top of a steep hill immediately to the East of Powburn, positioned with fine views of the Cheviot Hills and the length of the Breamish Valley.

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