23 - Durham and Home Once More
Description‘The Road to Albalanda’ By Samuel Tuke Richardson of Darlington c.1896 ‘After lunch a visit was paid to the Cathedral & Cloisters & some shopping indulged in by the coachman’s wife. Then at 3 o’clock the Team was harnessed for their last stage & followed by the Smiles & benedictions of Mrs Brown of the Dun Cow they started up the paved street & passing St Oswalds Church were soon clear of Durham. Looking back a magnificent view of the Cathedral [south side] was obtained surrounded by its woods & houses, a mighty monument of the past, & most splendid from whichever point it is surveyed, in this shrine too they had personal interest the Hunter family having a tomb there where lies General Martin Hunter, & it is something to have been born in the county which can boast such a Cathedral & has produced such a man as the venerable Bede whose birthplace was not far from Durham. Near Sunderland Bridge on their road are Burn Hall & Croxdale Hall both fine old houses, & Sunderland Bridge is memorable for having in old days been the scene of a very serious & fatal coach accident. The Bridge in those days was very narrow & the coach coming down the hill into it probably struck the wall & was upset onto the parapet some of the passengers being thrown into the river & drowned whilst the coachman sticking to the reins hung in suspense until rescued & sent to jail in a charge of manslaughter. Ferryhill & Rusheyford were next passed the latter old coaching inn now made into a dwelling house of quite imposing aspect, but no Coaches now enliven the view from the windows. Aycliffe was next entered & turning to the right they soon found themselves in Heighington twisting in & out through the narrow roads they soon found themselves near Walworth Castle the seat of the ill fated Aylmer family who in the year 1864 were all except 2 of the family burned to death in that most terrible railway accident at Abergele, when the train was set on fire by some trucks laden with paraffin which ran into it. About 5 o’clock the guard sounded his horn for the last time as they descended Carlbury Hill & a few minutes later the coachman was trotting the team into his own Yard at Piercebridge’.
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