Romaldkirk

Romaldkirk is one of the most striking villages on the Teesdale Way thanks in part to its eponymous church also known as the Cathedral of the Dales. Before the boundary changes of 1974 the parish of Romaldkirk was in the North Riding of Yorkshire. In fact, it was one of the largest in England, stretching from Barnard Castle to the Tees source on the border with Westmorland. 

Teesdale has many prehistoric finds and sites but not much in the way of habitation until the Iron Age. Even during the Roman occupation the dale may have remained relatively quiet. Its name, which literally means ‘Church of St Romald’, suggests later occupation by Norse settlers. In 1069 the parish was sacked, along with much of Teesdale, by the Scots under Malcolm III. This may have led to it avoiding the worst excesses of William the Conqueror’s ‘Harrying of the North’.

St Romald’s Church

Without the tree cover typical of many parish churches, St Romald’s is unmissable and dominates the lower village. It is built in a variety of styles from the late c12th – c17th with Anglo-Saxon masonry in its fabric. Inside there is a c12th font and an effigy of a knight, Hugh Fitz Henry (d1305). He lies recumbent in chain-mail, with sword, on a tomb in the north transept. The churchyard is well tended with many interesting headstones several of which date to the early c18th.

Village Green

Around its attractive and expansive green are clustered the most significant buildings in the village. Where the Teesdale Way enters and leaves the village it does so past two large houses: Beckwath (c1800) and Romaldkirk Hall (c1840). Both are Grade II listed, the latter situated close to the mid-c19th water pump. There are two hostelries in the village again both of which are Grade II listed. First is the imposing Rose & Crown Hotel, an c18th coaching inn. The second is the more down-to-earth Kirk Inn (mid-late c18th) on Middle Green, worryingly close to the village stocks.

Hannah Hauxwell

On the outskirts of the village, in a cemetery close to the Teesdale Way, is the final resting place of Hannah Hauxwell. She was the farmer whose harsh life at nearby Birk Hatt Farm was featured in the 1970s documentary Too Long a Winter

Location NY 995221(church)

References

“Parishes: Romaldkirk.” A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Ed. William Page. London: Victoria County History, 1914. 117-127. British History Online. Web. 31 October 2020. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/north/vol1/pp117-127.

Keys to the Past. “Local History Romaldkirk (County Durham).” Keys to the Past, 02 November 2020, http://www.keystothepast.info/article/10339/Site-Details?PRN=D6869. Accessed 02 November 2020.

Historic England. “Church of St Romald.” Historic England, 02 November 2020, https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1121857. Accessed 02 November 2020.

Historic England. “Rose & Crown Hotel.” Historic England, 02 November 2020, https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1338584. Accessed 02 November 2020.

Historic England. “Kirk Inn.” Historic England, 02 November 2020, https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1121817. Accessed 02 November 2020.

Historic England. “Beckwath.” Historic England, 02 November 2020, https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1121853. Accessed 02 November 2020.

Historic England. “Romaldkirk Hall.” Historic England, 02 November 2020, https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1338582. Accessed 02 November 2020.

Wikipedia Contributors. “Romaldkirk.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, 02 November 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Romaldkirk&oldid=947407169. Accessed 02 November 2020.

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