Category Archives: Follies & Curiosities

Marsden White Horse, South Tyneside

 

The White Horse is painted on a rock face in the Marsden Old Quarry nature reserve, off Lizard Lane, Marsden, South Shields. It appears to date back to at least 1887 (being occasionally repainted) , though its origins are confused to say the least, and it has generated a number of stories of differing likelyhood.

 

Reasons for its existence range from an illicit affair between a Viking warrior and Saxon maiden  to a Napoleonic era explanation.  View them in all their unlikely glory, plus more info and pictures at:

http://spiritofplace.weebly.com

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Source Of North Tyne River Marked

 

A  six-metre high sandstone monolith and base stone, lowered into place by RAF helicoptor,  now  mark the source of the North Tyne , at Deadwater Farm, north of Kielder village, Northumberland.

The stone  was provided by Robert Charlton of Border Stone Quarries in Haltwhistle, and the structural design work was carried out by Cundalls in Gosforth, Newcastle.

The stone was carved with inscriptions about the river source  by Gilbert Ward, of Fourstones village in Northumberland.

The stone column also pinpoints the start – or finish – of a planned national trail dedicated to those who are affected either directly or indirectly by cancer.

More details at – http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?pid=886#p886

 

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Conversation Piece, South Shields

Conversation Piece is a sculpture by Spanish artist Juan Munoz, located at Littlehaven, South Shields.

The 22 figures are around 1.5 meters tall and weigh around a quarter of a ton.

More info/pictures at:  http://spiritofplace.weebly.com

 

 

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Stone Circle, Seaham, County Durham

 

This rather nice modern circle of eight monoliths straddles a pedestrian / cycle path on a new housing estate at Seaham, County Durham.

Are they any the less for the fact that they weren’t erected thousands of years ago ?

More pictures & info at : http://spiritofplace.weebly.com

 

 

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Starlight Castle, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland

 

Starlight Castle is a folly – or rather, the ruins of a folly, situated on the slopes of the north side of Holywell Dene, near Seaton Sluice in Northumberland and built in 1750.

Only and arch and a couple of bits of wall remain, but once it looked like this…

Legend has it that it was built overnight in order to win a wager

More photos & information here – http://spiritofplace.weebly.com/starlight-castle.html

 

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Water troughs, East Rainton

 

A couple of water troughs alongside the Durham Road, between Rainton Bridge and East Rainton,  near Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne & Wear.

More photos and information at the Holy Wells & Water Lore forum –

http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=200

 

 

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Saltwell Park, Gateshead – Recycled Water Trough

Lurking in the undergrowth in Saltwell Park, Gateshead. Now a glorified flower-pot, it must once have been a working water trough. Times change, and there would be worse fates.

More photos of this and other water troughs in North East England at- http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=200

 

 

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Roadside Water Trough – West Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne

A roadside water trough, located in Forsyth Road, West Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne,  a few yards from the junction with the Great North Road.

An Ordnance Survey bench mark – a horizontal line with an arrow pointing up from below – is carved into one end of the trough.

These marks were cut by Ordnance Survey levelling staff to provide a network of points at which height has been precisely measured (to the centre of the horizontal line) above sea level.

There used to be about half a million bench marks in Great Britain but they are not needed any more, due to satellite technology,  and about half have disappeared.

More photos/info in the Water Troughs In North East England thread at the Holy Wells & Water Lore Forum  http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=200

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Colvill Fountain, West Jesmond

 

Colvill Fountain, West Jesmond

Situated at the junction of the Great North Road and  Forsyth Road, West Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

  Not working.

The fountain apparently “once rested against the wall of a building” –  no buildings in the vicinity, so was it originally located elsewhere ?  Several years ago there was talk of moving it, presumably to lean against a building again, but so far no action.

The inscription is  incomplete due to weather / human interference…

This fountain was presented to the City of Newcastle by Miss Caroline Sophia Russell Colvill in loving remembrance of her brother, the late Edwin Dodd Colvill who was for upwards (bit missing) years well and honourably known in Newcastle

(the rest is unreadable, although it appears to end with a biblical quotation, from Matthew).

From other sources it appears  it was unveiled  on 22nd August 1889.  All that seems to be known about Edwin Colvill is that he was  a coal fitter.

More photos of this fountain, and others in north-east England can be found at this thread at the Holy Wells & Water Lore Forum – http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=78

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Whitburn Drinking Fountain

Drinking fountain (not working) at Whitburn, South Tyneside.

Originally erected to commemorate Victoria, it was renovated in 2012.

 

For more information and photos  regarding this fountain, plus others in North East England, visit this thread –  http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=78

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