Hethpool From 1600 To 1900
The later history of Hethpool village is traceable in maps, trade directories and photographs. By the 16th century various branches of the Greys had become the chief landowners in the township, having first acquired land there in 1358 (NCH XI (1922), 257). The overlordship of the manor had passed to them before the end of the 15th century (before 1470) and this dominance is reflected in Bowes and Ellerker's Border Survey in 1541.
The documentary evidence relating to the 17th century is summarised Dixon (1985, II, 331). In the Hearth Tax return of 1665 there were twenty households in Hethpool and Elsdonburn (PRO E179/158/106). By 1688 the whole township was owned by the Greys and the Reeds. Gilbert Reed owned two farmholds called Graham's Farms and six cottages. William Reed, Gilbert's son and heir, owned a farmhold called Wallassis Farm, whilst Lancelot Reed, William's brother, held five farmholds, three called Hall's Farms and two named Hallywells Farms; Katherine Grey, widow of Arthur Grey, held two farmholds called the Tower Lands or the Tower Farms plus a cottage (Rowell's Cottage); and Margaret Bell, widow of another Arthur Gray, held for life two farmholds called the Towne Foote Farm and Thompson's Farm (NCH XI (1922), 260; Dixon 1985, II, 331).
If the twelve farmholds are equivalent to the husband lands of the late medieval period and the 16th century, the processes of amalgamation underway by this stage are very evident. Two phases can perhaps be recognised, firstly in the grouping of the farmholds into named blocks, such as Graham's Farms and then the concentration of these farmhold groups into even fewer hands. A datestone of 1687, incorporated in the early 20th century Arts and Crafts mansion, Hethpool House, suggests that a new farmhouse must have been constructed at around this time, and represents one of the few tangible pieces of evidence for the 17th century.
The form of the village in the late 18th century was depicted in detail by the survey of 1774 (NRO.859), discussed above. Hethpool is depicted as a small hamlet comprising a single row of buildings dominated by the single main farmhouse, plus the tower opposite, whilst on Armstrong's inevitably less detailed map of 1769 the settlement is shown simply as a farm. The farm buildings, north east of Hethpool House, were first constructed in the 18th century, though subsequently modified (Grundy 1988, KIR 5).
A later survey in 1822 shows the enclosed fields in the vicinity of the farm of Hethpool, the earlier arrangements having been replaced (NRO.859). The 1821 census recorded only six inhabited houses in the township. The 1st edition Ordnance Survey c. 1860 essentially depicts a substantial integrated farm complex with its buildings laid out around a square stockyard. Between the farm and the bend in the Westnewton road, there was a row of cottages. A few buildings lay opposite the farm including the remains of the tower. A reservoir south of the village fed a farm mill (see below). The 2nd and 3rd editions, of 1897 and 1920 respectively, show very little change. The buildings between the tower and the farm complex had been demolished by the time the 2nd edition appeared, as had one building just west of the farm.
(Information supplied by the North East Mills Group)
- Site Name: Hethpool Farm
- Grid Reference: NT895283
- First recorded
- Last recorded 1890s
A mill race and reservoir are shown on both 1860s and 1890s editions of the Ordnance Survey maps of the area. This mill is thought to have been for farm use only.