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I'm researching the possibility that Hollymount may be a derivation of Holy Mount - it's an interesting theory.

Does anybody know the earliest record of 'Hollymount' as a place name in Bedlington - on a map or document, for instance. 1860 is the earliest I've found to date.

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On 16/01/2020 at 20:04, Canny lass said:

I'm researching the possibility that Hollymount may be a derivation of Holy Mount - it's an interesting theory.

Does anybody know the earliest record of 'Hollymount' as a place name in Bedlington - on a map or document, for instance. 1860 is the earliest I've found to date.

Michael Longridge (c1785-1858) died at Hollymount Hall in 1858. (source: six townships) The hall was said to be designed/built circa 1844 for John Birkinshaw (c1781-c1845). (source: The Lost Houses of Newcastle and Northumberland.)

Above does not take you back much further and certainly not back to Holy Mount. Good luck with the research. :thumbsup:

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Day 44 in isolation and still keeping out of mischief! Finally finding the time to summarise the work I've done on 'Hollymount'. That work's not quite fineshed. I really need one more visit to the uni library but that's out of he question due to this corona mullarkey. However, I can make a start by presenting what I've learned so far. It'll have to be done in installments, I'm afraid. The task was infinitely bigger (and much more interesting) than I envisaged.

Long post! Make a cup of tea!

Within the study of language, place-names are a science in their own right. There are people who devote their lives to the study of them. I am not one of those people. However, I have to admit that the theory, proposed by @Maggie/915 some time ago, that Hollymount may be a distortion of the expression holy mount, has tickled my imagination more than just a bit.  It’s an attractive idea given that: a) we know that the body of St. Cuthbert once rested in our town and b) the Hollymount area of Bedlington lies high on a hill/mount above the river Blyth. 

Languages are constantly changing, not least in the area of the vocabulary: words come and words go, they take on new meanings, their spelling can change and even the way they are pronounced can change. Therefore, it’s not totally unreasonable to think that holy, at some point in history, could have became holly. The two words are very similar in both form (spelling) and pronunciation (sound) so it’s not such a big step from holy to holly

First a bit of background: 

The English language we use today bears no resemblance to the original language of Britain, Celtic, which was more or less wiped out by the Romans. However, the Welsh language and some of the Cornish dialects have their roots in the Celtic language and Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic are very close relatives showing many similarities. The main reason for the lack of resemblance is the many changes brought about by the numerous invasions Britain has suffered: Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, all have had a profound effect on our language – often by forcibly introducing their own language and excluding ours. The British themselves, I might add, have given tit-for-tat in forcing English on many of their colonies. Other significant reasons for change are the introduction of Christianity by Christian missionaries and the invention of the printing press both of which have played a big part in standardizing the language. 

Scholars have classified the development of the English language (that which came after Celtic) into four main periods related to the influences and the changes that occurred (all dates are approximate):  

Old English (OE) 700 – 1100 AD (Time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions and Christianization).

 Middle English (ME) 1100 – 1450 AD (Time of the Norman invasions and Geoffrey Chaucer writing The Canterbury Tales).

 Early Modern English (EModE) 1450 – 1700AD (Time of William Shakespeare writing his plays and Caxton’s printing press arriving).

Modern English (ModE) 1700 onwards (Time of the Industrial Revolution). 

For most of us any authentic text originating before William Shakespeare’s time (1564 – 1616) is unreadable and even Shakespeare can be a bit of a struggle at times. However, after Shakespeare most of us can get some grasp of the content of old original texts because the language used begins to resemble the language we use today. That process of change is still going on and I, personally, don’t think it will be too many years before words such as fyi and imho start appearing in the English dictionary due to the influence of another ‘invasion’ - digital networking and social media.

Place names are a part of our language and as such have not been able to avoid the changes outlined above.  However, while their spelling, meaning and pronunciation may have changed their function, has not. A place name, since time immemorial, enables us to identify places, whether those places are towns, villages, counties, or a specific part of any of those: rivers, valleys, fields or forests. Today, identification is relatively easy due to the use of town-, road- and street signs. The introduction of signage has also changed the process of name-giving. Today it’s possible to name a place just about anything and we would still be able to identify that place and know where we are just by reading the signs. But, before the introduction of signs how did we do this? 

In Britain we have some very old place-names, or at least ‘parts’ of names, which give us some clues. These English names, broadly speaking, contain three almost standard elements: the natural and artificial features of the landscape, the names of people and the functions of settlements. Examples of such names today are numerous. Though not necessarily old: Beech Grove is a good example of a natural feature. Newcastle is an example of an artificial feature. Bedlington is an example of a person’s name (though discussions abound as to just whose name it is) and Newmarket exemplifies well the function of a settlement.  

What I am about to do is to look at the different periods in language development, to see if any of the changes which took place can explain a possible change from Holy Mount to Hollymount.

 

To be continued …

Edited by Canny lass

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Wow!

Canny Lass,well done! I hope you find more info,since I lived in Hollymount Square from 1947-ish..till 1967..when I personally moved away,but my Parents lived there for many years after that.

When Hollymount Hall became vacated,and derelict,us kids used to play inside the Hall,and we used to look inside all the fine wood panelling for secret passageways down to the dungeons...!!! [ the big lads used to tell us there were these passages!...]

It was a shame that we couldn't have kept these fine buildings restored..like the Old Hall up the main street also.

I look forward to part two of your epic reading!

[Aa better watch oot...ya catching me up heor noo,for lang tale telling!!]

Cheers Canny Lass,

Stay Safe and Well!

 

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HPW, I'm delighted to find someone who has visited Hollymount Hall! I never saw it myself and I can't find any photos. Can you describe anything about it for me? How big was it? Anthing near the size of Hartford hall or Dene View? On this map from 1860 it appears to have a long, tree-lined drive, leading from Front Street, which later became Hollymount Road and later Hollymount Avenue. It also seems to have had huge, well planned gardens. Were there any signs of either those left when you were a boy?

 

1860 scale 25 to 1 Holly Mount.jpg

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@Canny lass - @Ovalteeny might have download and saved some photos  and info of Hollymount Hall from the  Bedlington Facebook groups as his family lived there for a couple of years. This is the one photo of Hollymount Hall that I have downloaded.

Hollymount Hall.jpg

Hollymount Hall2.jpg

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sorry folks, but the only photo I have is of me and wor Allan on our 3 wheeler bikes with a very blurred section of the Hall in the background. We lived in Hollymount Hall for approx 4-5 years in the mid 1950's, renting a couple of rooms from the owners - Bedlington Co-op (where my Dad worked in the Abattoir). 

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14 minutes ago, Ovalteeny said:

sorry folks, but the only photo I have is of me and wor Allan on our 3 wheeler bikes with a very blurred section of the Hall in the background. We lived in Hollymount Hall for approx 4-5 years in the mid 1950's, renting a couple of rooms from the owners - Bedlington Co-op (where my Dad worked in the Abattoir). 

Cheers Ovalteeny.

In that case first bit of info found = Newspaper article posted by John Krzyznowski on the Facebook group Bygone Bedlington :-

Hollymount Hall and info.jpg

And the 2nd, again from John Krzyzanowski :-  

Hollymount Hall and info2.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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Thanks guys! It's not at all what I expected! I think I was expecting something bigger and more extravagant given the size and layout of the gardens.

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Canny Lass, i'm fairly sure it was bigger, my memory seems to think there was another wing, nearer the cut from Hollymount Square through to Haig Road. I'll ask wor Allan if he can recall anything.

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24 minutes ago, Ovalteeny said:

i'm fairly sure it was bigger, my memory seems to think there was another wing,

I think you may be right.  The photo shows a rather square sort of building with a door, the main entrance i would guess judging by the garden layout with the 'roundabout' (carriage turning point perhaps) as shown on the 1806 map. On the photo, to the right of the house you can see the remains of an adjoining wall/building and that would agree with the shape of the house on the map - where it seems to be at least double the size. Also "17 apartments" as in the newspaper cutting seems rather a lot for the house in the photo, even if they were just one room.

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Hi Folks,age changes perspective of life in general,as we all know,so to us kids growing up around the place,and playing inside the empty building,going up actually onto the roof through the open skylights,that Hall was a big place to be in!

We used to get lost in the corridors when we were exploring the rooms and passages!

I remember lying on the ground over an iron grid,in the courtyard,at one side of the building,with my older Brother,and peering into the darkness of a room below ground,and my Brother telling me that this was the place where they tied people up to die,who they had kidnapped,and that there was loads of skeletons down there!

.....it was the Wine cellar!!..[I realised as I grew older!]

There were similar ventilation grids up Bedlington main street,outside the Grapes,as well as the Monkey,next to the Whitley School,and wherever the situation of the beer cellar called for one,whether it was on the front street,or to the rear of the buildings.

I think the film "Moonfleet" inspired such imaginations in the kids in those days,as well as other films and comics of that ilk!

Canny Lass,the building sems to follow the same pattern as Spring View,which is just over the road  which takes you to Beattie Road,as you go past Hollymount Terrace,from the main road,just before you go down Bedlington Bank.

In a Mining Community,where the Miner's "houses" were as basic as possibly necessary,to just call them "Houses"..[they didn't even have ceilings,you looked up through what was the upstairs floorboards..into the bedrooms..and the floorboards weren't even butted up to each other..presumably to save the cost of one floorboard per room!!],these two Halls,..Hollymount,and Spring View, would represent grandeur on a scale which could only be imagined in the eyes of the workers![the Miners pasted newspapers to the underside of the upstairs floorboard for a few reasons! [1] To preserve the dignity of the Ladies in the Bedrooms..!..[2]..to stop dust falling down through the big gaps onto those below..[3] ..to prevent heat loss fom the living area.]..Birky,and Holmsy,and Longridgy,wouldn't have had ti dae that ti their ceilings..they had fine plasterwork and covings..!

Horses and coaches?...Servants?...wine cellars?...garden parties?....top hats?....hand crafted stone walls with lovely coping stones?..they were mini-estates !!

I remember the fine wood panelling along the corridors,which,of course,had been smashed and stolen in places,as was the floorboards in the upper rooms..we used to walk along the floor joists to get across the rooms.

I do remember distinctly when,as a kid about 10 or 11 yrs old,going down Hollymount Avenue,where we used to go to watch the Bats at night,and listen to them screeching,with my older Brother,[3 yrs older to the same day!!],to seek his friend,a lad called Micky Robinson..and I remember a blue painted outside staircase and balcony ,lit by the gas lamps we discussed earlier,and it was an eerie place..scary to a kid my age,even though I was a tough kid...[ha ha!],and wouldn't admit it to anyone!!..[years later Southfork Ranch,in "Dallas",reminded me of the Hall,cos it had a similar staircase and balcony!...wat a comparison ti mek!!]

After the place became derelict,on a windy night,we couldn't get any sleep because of the shutters on the windows banging open and shut,all night long..all these events,coupled with tales of old tramps living in there,who would steal your clothes if he caught you...made us kids very wary,and we always went hanging around in groups,using coded signals like a particular whistle for a particular response..i.e....1 whistle..RUN!  2 whistles ....get down on the ground...etc etc!!

The Colliery Managers all had mini-mansions,of pretty much the same design,look at Holmside Nursing Care Home at the Station,and the Care Home up at Netherton...you couldn't have turned a Miner's "Hovel" into a Care Home!!

I can remember,being chased off the high wall which ran down the cut to Cornwall Crescent,a few times,when the place was kept in very good repair,nice lawns,garden parties etc....Aye,they had a completely different standard of living to us kids!

That would have been before it was turned into seperate flats,maybe?

When did that happen Ovalteeny?

Heh heh!,I just realised ,I said "the high wall which ran down the cut"....and I was chased off it....I must have only been about 7-or 8 yrs old,for the wall to be "High" to me!!..looking at the pics,it seems to be aboot three or four feet high...more likely aboot four feet high..methinks!

Carry on with the good work folks!

Cheers,and Stay Safe!

Bill.

 

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Fantastic description HPW! What  playground for you boys! It must have been a canny playground for the occupants as well with its wine cellar, balcony proper ceilings and floors. I've just got to ask: Did you ever see any holly bushes in the grounds?

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21 hours ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

@Canny lass - last one from John Krzyzanowski.

Hollymount Hall and info3.jpg

 

I think John K. may have read that advert incorrectly. The date of the sale is 26 May 1875.  That's 17 years after the death of Michael Longridge in 1858.

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43 minutes ago, Canny lass said:

 

I think John K. may have read that advert incorrectly. The date of the sale is 26 May 1875.  That's 17 years after the death of Michael Longridge in 1858.

I think, but could be wrong, where John K says :- ....but this doesn't look the case,  is John saying his previous understanding of the sale was wrong.

1995246780_HollymountHallandinfo3.jpg.0c4b61885c49142239bb93fdf0171091.jpg

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I understood thet to mean he was no longer sure the house had been sold direct to Longridge by Birkenshaw.

Edited by Canny lass

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19 minutes ago, Canny lass said:

I understood thet to mean he was no longer sure the house had been sold direct to Longridge by Birkenshaw.

I should try and convince John K to join this group. He is admin of the Facebook group Bygone Bedlington and works at the Woodhorn Museum and that's where he gets all his news paper stories from. Sure I have asked him in the past to join but I think he said he didn't really have the time to comment on other groups. he does do a lot of delving into Bedlington's past and post a lot of stuff on the Facebook group.

Don't hold your breath but I will give him a nudge to join:) 

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7 minutes ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

he said he didn't really have the time to comment on other groups

I know what he means! This is one of the reasons I don't use FB, TW or the likes. I have done but couldn't find time to deal with all the requests.

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2 minutes ago, Canny lass said:

I know what he means! This is one of the reasons I don't use FB, TW or the likes. I have done but couldn't find time to deal with all the requests.

I'm only a Facebook member to see whats posted on the local groups, especially Bedlington, but I do check out a few groups = Bedlington - Cambois - past Times History and  Old photo's of holywell & seaton delaval & seghill & hartley sluice w/bay (cos I now live there) -  Friends Of Bates Colliery (just to let HPW see any new photos and stories etc that get posted) &  Barrington, Barnt' n memories and stuff!! and that's where I get most of the photos from that I add to the albums in this group.

When I had those few days away from online activity I came back to 1200 + emails:o - took some time to catch up.

I assume TW is Twitter - I don't Tweet or Instagram or anything else that is out there:D

Keeps be occupied whilst the young lady is outside gardening:thumbsup: . Gardenning  used to be one of my passions, especially Fuscias - surprised I've never posted any photos. I used to get the grand kids to stand next to them and pretend I was taking a picture of the grand bairn:innocent:

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58 minutes ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

Gardenning  used to be one of my passions, especially Fuscias -

Fuschias are a favourite of mine as well! Maybe we should ask Andy for a gardening forum!

IMG_0003.JPG

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1 hour ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

I think, but could be wrong, where John K says :- ....but this doesn't look the case,  is John saying his previous understanding of the sale was wrong.

1995246780_HollymountHallandinfo3.jpg.0c4b61885c49142239bb93fdf0171091.jpg

A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland Volume 1 mentions Birkinshaw building Hollymount Hall in 1844 and later selling it to Longridge. The book references the Memoir of J C Birkinshaw which I presume is the son of Birkinshaw ... John Cass Burkinshaw. 

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4 hours ago, Canny lass said:

Fuschias are a favourite of mine as well! Maybe we should ask Andy for a gardening forum!

IMG_0003.JPG

Magic - this one 2008 just before we moved and I stopped gardening.

Back Garden 2008.jpg

 

Fuchsia Mrs Popple.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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The history of the house and Longridge family has a few gaps. I've tried to fill a few by looking at the census records through the years:

What happened to Hollymount House and Michael Longridge? 

1851, approximately one year after the house was sold to Michael Longridge and two years before he left Bedlington Ironworks,  Hollymount is not mentioned in the census either as an address or an area of Bedlington. The 1851 census is somewhat sparse in details, in particular with addresses. However, there are two of the Longridge family living in Bedlington: 

William Smith Longridge, born 1819, occupation “Iron Master” is registered, along with many other households, at the address “Bedlington Iron Works”. He is 32 years old but appears to have his own household. He is not registered as the head of a family but as having “No family”. In his household are registered 3 other people aged between 23 and 26 years: one “house servant”, one “housemaid2 and one “dairymaid”. William’s neighbours are, on one side a “spade and shovel maker” and on the other a “clerk in the wagon works”. 

Not far from the iron works, somewhere in the east end of Bedlington, the enumerator has registered Robert ?Berwick? (almost unreadable) Longridge. Robert is a 30 year old “engine maker”, born in Bedlington and married to Elizabeth Selby Longridge, Elizabeth’s place of birth is given as “Africa. Mauritius”. They have a one year old son – Charles B Longridge – also born in Bedlington. Residing with the family are three other persons: one cook, one nurse, and one housemaid. Could this residence be Hollymount Hall?  What relation is Robert to Michael?

 Michael Longridge is not registered in Bedlington. I found him registered at 24 Westgate Street, Newcastle. His occupation is given as “Retired Iron Manufacturer”. Apart from Michael and his wife there are two of the couple’s children registered here: Mary Francis 25yo and Henry Gordon 23 yo mining engineer. Also resident is one male servant aged 22y.  Did Michael have two homes? 

1861 the census records “Holly Mount” (2 words) as “Uninhabited”.

Where are the Longridges? Michael died 1858. 

1871 “Holly Mount House” is registered, but not to a household of Longridges. The head of the household is 76 yo labourer,George Henderson who shares the address with his wife 59 yo Julia, his daughter Catherine an 18yo housekeeper, Robert Willis his 38 yo son-in-law (engineer) and John Bailey his 89 yo father-in-law, a retired miner. It seems the house has passed its golden days. 

It may or may not have anything to do with this but one James Holmes, 29 yo greengrocer (possibly the same JH noted as the occupier of Hollymount House in the sales advert of 1875) is living just across the road next door to the Black Bull with his wife and three children. Just a thought. 

1881 Hollymount (house or area unknown) is found in the enumerator’s description of the district (p2) and now, with more detail in the register, we can see that It is situated between the end of Walker Terrace and Spring View/Coach Road. However, Hollymount is not taken up as an address anywhere in the register itself, the entries proceeding direct from Coach Road to Walker Terrace suggesting that the name Hollymount house no longer exists. At the northern end of Walker Terrace, where I would have expected to find Hollymount House, I found instead two “lodging houses”. Two households possibly in the same building. The usual system of indicating this with pen-strokes is missing in this particular district of the census. The residents of the first lodging house are the keeper, his wife and one child together with 4 male lodgers while in the second lodging house we find the keeper, his wife and seventeen lodgers. The address is given as “Walker Terrace”. Has Hollymount House now become a lodging house? It must be quite large with many rooms and it’s not Spring View because that is occupied by the local curate and his housekeeping staff. 

1891 Hollymount (one word) appears in the area description but reverts to Holly Mount (two words) in the register where two households are registered. It appears, as I would have expected, between Walker Terrace and Coach Lane. (I also found a pub nearby, “The Bridge Inn”! Anybody heard of that one?)

Resident in the first household is George Heddon, the 55yo retired Inkeeper (Innkeeper at the Clayton Arms, Bedlington station 10 years earlier), his wife, son and widowed daughter with her 3yo son Gordon. In the second household we have Henry Ridley, 49 yo his wife Mary and their five children aged 12 – 22 years. 

1901 I can find no mention of Hollymount.

1911 Hollymount pops up again, this time as two buildings. a) “1block, 3 flats” housing 3 families of 3-4 people and b) “Hollymount Private House” housing 12 families of 2-7 persons. 

Well, that’s day 47 in isolation taken care of. I think I deserve a whisky!

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