Part of the occasional series following the River Skerne, Hurworth Burn Reservoir is a few miles east of the river’s source. Built in 1867 to supply Hartlepool’s now defunct ship-building industry, the reservoir was put up for sale in 2012. Curiously it originally had an associated railway station; the walk followed the Castle Eden Walkway, which follows the route of the former Castle Eden railway.

Just south of the reservoir, Butterwick Moor wind farm.

Having lived in Durham nearly 20 years, it was very surprising to come across a medieval building (15th C) I didn’t know about! Although referred to as Hallgarth “tithe barn”, it was actually a granary for Elvethall Manor (or “Hall Garth”), the home farm for the cathedral priory.

Good old fashioned mechanical dials at the Spring Bank Holiday steaming of the Ryhope pumping engine.


Blast Beach at Seaham. (L) Probably named after the former blast furnaces of nearby ironworks, Blast Beach used to be covered in mining waste – the remains of a slab of this “minestone” can be seen on the right. (R) It’s not clear how this stack has survived, given the weak nature of the rock.


The 2nd edition of Balloons in Durham. The winds were mostly too strong for safe takeoff, but conditions improved just in time to allow flight on the final evening.

May 2018