The Bulmer Stone lies sadly stranded on a little shelf behind a fence since 1923.
It is a Shap granite boulder deposited at the end of the ice age and once marked the northern edge of Darlington and stood on the roadside.
The name is said to come from Willy Bulmer the borough crier who announced news from it. It was also known as the ‘Battling Stone’ by the towns weavers who once beat their flax upon it.
It is also associated with the ancient rhyme :-
In Darnton towne ther is a stane,
And most strange is yt to tell,
That yt turnes nine times round aboute
When yt hears ye clock strike twell.
William Thomas Stead was the second editor of the Northern Echo and is seen as one of the founding fathers of modern investigative journalism. He used this stone opposite the Northern Echo offices to tether his dogs and pony.
Mr Stead was heavily involved in campaigning for world peace and defending civil liberties and was killed on the maiden voyage of the Titanic on his way peace congress at Carnegie Hall.
I have previously posted about this location back in 2009 when it was completely obscured by undergrowth. At this time, all that was visible was a couple of blocks of masonry.
During late 2011 a group I am involved with began excavating the site and uncovered the sizeable pit which would have housed twin drums for the hauling engine.
The site was extensively photographed and recorded and would have made an interesting feature in the woods for those interested in local mining heritage.
Despite much local support and regular interest from passers-by, alas the council did not share our enthusiasm for the project and insisted in no uncertain terms that we back-fill the hole immediately.
So if you visit the site now, our mining heritage is once again hidden in the name of keeping the public safe. The Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society will be running a walk to the site on 19th May.
Final plaque in a series of 11, erected by Arts UK to mark the areas ironstone history.
During the 1892 Durham coal miners strike the lack of coal forced the local mines into temporary closure, leaving the workers with no income. As Coatham Reservoir had become infected with typhoid, The Cleveland Water Company used the out of work miners as cheap labour to build Marske Reservoir.
The reservoir is now private property used by a fishing club
10th in a series of 11 plaques, erected by Arts UK to mark the areas ironstone history.
In the summer of 1865 a local miner was caught returning from the first pub to be built in the area. He was threatened with the sack for breaking company rules, which forbade drinking while employed by the mine company. The pub, situated between Marske and New Marske, was never given a licence.
9th in a series of 11 plaques, erected by Arts UK to mark the areas ironstone history.
In 1944 a fragment of a crashed German bomber was taken and hidden near here by two brothers. The rumour spread that an enemy spy had removed a vital piece from the crashed aircraft. Fearing they would be shot as spies they never retrieved the fragment from its hiding place.