This is another piece from Highways & Byways of Northumbria, a wonderful source of historical oddities:
Haltwhistle stands so beautifully on the tyne here a broad shadow river dancing and singing over a rough bed, with a great sweep of moors billowing round it that not even the squalour attendant on coal mines has destroyed its charm.
This is from a privately printed pamphlet by Rev C. E. Adamson, rector of Houghton-le-Spring, titled “A History of the Manor and the Church of Haltwhistle”:
The Tower of Hautwysel is first mentioned in the list of towers and castles that existed in northumberland about the year 1416, and is probably the same as that described in 1542 as the inheritance of Sir William Musgrave and in measurable good reparation. It is (as it now stands) a plain building with a loop-holed turret built on corbels. The old roof, which was removed some 20 years ago, was formed of flags laid on heavy oaken beams and fastened thereto with sheep shank bones. The floor also consisted of flags laid on joists formed of the roughly squared trunks of oak trees. A singing stone staircase leads to the upper part of the tower. As Haltwhistle cannot have had a resident lord during the tenure of the Musgraves, the tower was probably the residence of he bailiffs who seem to have exercised considerable authority in the town. “
There was another pele-tower but its remains are engulfed in the Red Lion HOtel. ..
The most historic building in Haltwhistle is the church. It is said the the chancel dates from the 12th century; but it stands in the heart of he moss troopers’ county, and they have speed nothing they could plunder either sacred or profane. “
This is the inscription of the tombstone of John Ridley, “cousin” of he martyr:
TIM DID BE
THEN LORD OF THE WALTON
GON IS HE OUT OF THESE VAL OF MESERE
HIS BONS LES NDER THES STON
WE MUST BELEVE BE GODSRSE
INTO THESE WORLD BGAVE HIS SON
THEN FOR TO REDEM AL CHARENTE
SO CHRISE HAES HES SOUL WON
AL FAETHFUL PEOPLE MAY BE FAEN
WHEN DATH COMES THAT NON CAN FLE
THE BODE KEPT THE SUL IN PAEN
THROUGH CHRIST IS SET AT LEBERTE
AMONG BLESSED COMPANETO REMAEN
TO SLEP IN CHRIST NOWE IS HE GON
YET STEL BELEVES TO HAVE AGAEN
THROUGH CHRIST A IOYEFWL RESURRECTION
AL FRIENDES MA BE GLAD TO HAER
WHEN HES SOUL FROM PAEN DID GO
OUT OF THES WORLD AS DETH APPER
IN THE YEER OF OUR LORD
A : 1562
It is the mis-spellng that interests here. Although there is online dialect in Northumberland, it is spoken with accents another peculiarities that belong to separate localities. The Western Northumbrian is much softer and sweeter in speech than the Eastern, where most commonly voices are harsh and loud. … Listen to a native who he says not gate but “gay-et”’ not faith but “fay-eth”’ not death but “dath”; not here, but “hee-er”’ not remain, but “remay-en”’ not misery and liberty, but “meesery” and “leeberty”, and it becomes evident that the spelling, like early all the other spellings the time, was phonetic. It follows as a normal and indeed inevitable deduction that the manner of speaking prevalent today was also that of the generation which saw bishop Ridley burnt at the stake.
I have always found the Northumbrian accent incredibly difficult, but somehow seeing it written down makes it easier to understand. Or maybe I’m just getting used to it.