The memorial stone to Isaac Holden in the churchyard at Allendale states –
IN MEMORY OF ISAAC HOLDEN
A NATIVE OF THIS PARISH
WHO DIED NOVEMBER 12TH 1857
HE GAINED THE ESTEEM
BY HIS UNTIRING DILIGENCE
IN ORIGINATING WORKS OF CHARITY
AND PUBLIC USEFULNESS
UPWARDS OF 600 PERSONS
SUBSCRIBED TO ERECT
Isaac was born to a poor family in the West Allen valley NE of Alston. He naturally started work in the lead mining industry from a young age but at some stage in the 1830s when work was hard to come by he and his wife opened a grocery shop in Allendale and he began selling tea in this local area of the Northern Pennines. Tea was becoming popular, its price had dropped meaning the less prosperous could afford it. Methodist Chapel tea bazaars were a means of raising money. Around the same time he became devoutly religious and started fundraising for local projects. It is for his charitable deeds that he is mainly remembered.
This 37 mile long distance walk has been established to explore the scenic area of these Northern Pennines and introduce one to the rich mining and religious history still to be found in the villages. Isaac would walk these very paths, selling his tea to the local lead miners and farmers.
The Wesleyan Chapel, Allendale, 1839, Savings Bank, Allendale, 1840s, Isaac’s Well, Allendale, 1849, Hearse House, Ninebanks,1856 are some of his legacies visited en route.
It is a circular walk and thus can be started anywhere, there are sufficient accommodation opportunities in the villages to support the walker on what is described as a strenuous route. There is a website with all the information you need and downloadable directions and maps. https://isaacs-tea-trail.co.uk/ The route is marked on the OS maps. A guide book has been written by Roger Morris and is available from the Allenheads Trust Ltd.
The forecast remains fair for another week, so time to put on my boots again; follow in Isaac’s footsteps; explore this quiet region; soak up some history and maybe drink some tea.
Day 3. Ninebanks to Allendale.
Looking forward to your posts. I think I may have even seen something, maybe a booklet, in Alston about the tea trail, I have definitely heard of it anyway.
Hope you will enjoy the trail.
We have very much enjoyed the little bits we’ve done. They were selling a booklet in Alston library/
More posts to follow…
I’m in. Looking forward to hearing more.
Hopefully will not disappoint.
Wonderful walking country! I was just north of there in May…near Bellingham.
Hope you get some good weather!
A hidden gem.
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