Teesdale Way Section 10 (Hurworth to Middleton One Row)
Section 10 of the Teesdale Way links the villages of Hurworth-on-Tees and Middleton One Row in a walk ‘between two fountains’. Starting from the King George V commemorative fountain in Hurworth-on-Tees the route passes through the medieval village at Neasham and close to Sockburn Hall, well known for it’s Viking artifacts and association with the ‘Sockburn Worm’, before making its way, gently and sinuously, to the public fountain near the Devonport Hotel on ‘The Front’ at Middleton One Row.
Download the ROUTE FILE by clicking the PLAY button on the map and going to MENU > DOWNLOAD. If the menu disappears, click the crossed arrows to EXPAND the map which should work even if it’s minimised again.
Stats at a Glance
Distance 9.9 km/6.2 miles | Height Gain 80 m/264 ft | Maximum Elevation 47 m/153 ft (Neasham Hall) | Going Generally good, muddy in places. Sheltered on trails, tracks and road through farmland and woodlands | Hospitality & Supplies Hurworth-on-Tees (BB; GS; PH; Re); Neasham (PH); Middleton One Row (Ho) | Start King George V fountain, Hurworth-on-Tees NZ 303102 | Finish Water fountain, The Front, Middleton One Row NZ 351123 | Grade Moderate
From the King George V commemorative fountain in Hurworth-on-Tees, the trail passes the village green where several depressions are thought to indicate the locations of medieval plague pits. Among those buried in the churchyard of All Saints Church is the mathematician William Emerson who was born in Hurworth but also spent a lot of time in Weardale where the surname is well established. Neasham was once the site of Neasham Priory (founded c1156 and dissolved 1540) but today the trail takes to a pleasant embankment built to separate the village from the threat of a swollen River Tees.
On Sockburn Lane the route passes the entrance to Neasham Hall. Sockburn is the most southerly diocese in County Durham and was the manorial home of Sir John Conyers who is said to have slain the legendary Sockburn Worm using a sword known as the Conyers Falchion, a representation of which is presented to each new Bishop of Durham in the ceremony on Croft Bridge mentioned in the previous section. The trail however, heads for Low Dinsdale with its manor house which once belonged to the Surtees family (from the French ‘sur-Tees’) and another distinctive church – this one dedicated to St John the Baptist – constructed, like St Peter’s at Croft, from local red Triassic sandstone.
The trail then crosses fields (often containing cattle) into Dinsdale Wood, magnificently populated with wild garlic in spring and an environment encountered much less frequently as the trail approaches the coast. Out of the wood, the trail diverts around Dinsdale House – once the site of Dinsdale Spa – rather than self-consciously crossing the patio as it used to. At the bottom of the drive it rejoins a short section of riparian woodland passing below Tower Hill – the site of a Norman motte.
The motte may have been constructed to dominate Pountey’s Bridge where a Roman road is believed to have crossed the Tees (the name derives from ‘Pons Tees’). The road was postulated by the c18th antiquarian John Cade and is referred to as Cade’s Road though Cade himself thought that it crossed nearer to Sockburn. Foundations of a bridge have been investigated in the riverbed at the site.
The trail enters Middleton One Row by ascending an unusually, steeply sloped medieval village green to reach The Front and the fenced-off fountain opposite The Devonport, a distinctive, white-painted c18th coaching inn, now a hotel.