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Castleside

The enclosure of common land in Lanchester Parish began in 1773 and about this time a farmhouse was built a little to the north-east of the hamlet of Watergate. The first tenants name was Castle and an eminence near the farm was called Castle's Hill. The land attached to this farm was all on the north side of the Watergate Stanifordham road between the former place and the Horse and Groom Inn then known as the Lane Ends Inn. The north side was then called Castle's side and this is probably how the name was derived. Later a road was made crossing the road through the village by Act of Parliament. It started near Rowley then called Cold Rowley from the West Auckland Corbridge road and crossed a little to the east of Watergate and joined the military road again near Allansford. Houses were then built along the sides of this road and this newer part of Watergate was called Castleside because these houses were built on the land of Castle side Farm. Prior to the making of this road the old drove road crossed by the end of the Horse and Groom Inn, the road from this inn to Allansford was then abandoned and is now grown over with grass. Another theory as to how Castleside got its name is that from the eminence called Castle Hill there is an unobstructed view of the castle like ruin of Muggleswick Monastic Grange and this part of the village was called the 'Castle' side.

Castleside is a pleasantly situated village two miles south west of Consett and one mile south of the river Derwent. The old houses in the village are all-stone built it has grown rapidly since the end of the last war and is now almost joined to Consett by areas of pleasant brick built modern houses. The village church is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist and there are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist Chapels. Infant and Upper Standard Schools. Three inns, the Fleece, The Smelters Arms and the Horse and Groom also a Workmans Club.

(transcribed from "The Upper Derwent Valley from Bolts Law to Howens Gill in Two Volumes - Volume 2 Muggleswick and District, Castleside and District" by Frederick J Wade about 1960 - a typescript held at Durham County Library)

First edition 1:10,560 map County Series (c1861)
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