NT9924 : Stream beside track, North Middleton

taken 8 years ago, near to North Middleton, Northumberland, Great Britain

Stream beside track, North Middleton
Stream beside track, North Middleton
At this point, south-west of North Middleton Farm, the mystery stream which emerges from a pipe at the top of the hill NT9924 : Water outlet, west of North Middleton, after running steeply down in an open ditch, enters a concrete pipe below the grass of a pasture. Maps show that it supplies a small pond just west of the farm. The pond appears to be drained under the farm buildings to 'issues' at their north-east corner. Old maps show an original outlet north-west along the field boundary to happy Valley. I have no evidence that the pond originally provided power to a water mill or whether it was just a supply of water to the farm.
North Middleton Aqueduct

The farmer at North Middleton confirmed the interpretation discussed here NT9923 : Aqueduct, Old Middleton

The inlet, on the stream to the south, is actually higher than the outlet to the north. However, it certainly doesn't look it, a situation he describes as an optical illusion, and told me it surprised him when he first saw it. He described it as Cheviot's version of the 'Electric Brae' in Ayrshire NS2513 : The Electric Brae Experience.

The water is conveyed through the aqueduct in a pipe which in places may be quite deep below ground level, as running water cannot be heard directly above. It is undoubtedly a lot deeper where it cuts through the top of the ridge, as the water outlet on the far side is clearly lower than the top reached by the track.

The farmer told me that there are few problems apart from an occasional blockage of the grill directly where water leaves the burn in Old Middleton deserted village. Although he didn't know when it had been made, he thought it was likely to have been in the C19th, and provided a water supply to the millpond just west of North Middleton Farm. The old pond is now covered.

Large scale OS maps, from 1895 until present, show the south end of the aqueduct as an open channel leading off the main stream to a point below the low crags where the aqueduct cap stones start today. Much of its course has now been filled in but ran slightly further north to that followed by the now underground pipe. The course of the main stream appears to have been re-routed slightly south from a bend upstream, to provide a straight input into the aqueduct channel at a slightly higher level. An overflow from this new channel bent sharply north, to rejoin the former stream bed. Water flow could have been controlled at this point by a sluice gate. After 1923, this route was also altered, and the bend to rejoin the former stream bed is now further east.

Perhaps the stream had cut its own new channel in a time of flood or after the aqueduct had gone out of use. An aerial photo of Old Middleton deserted village taken by Tim Gates in 1977 clearly shows the channel at the south end from where it leaves the stream, to its dog-leg bend which takes it to the base of the crag line at the bottom of the slope. That it is a deep channel is clearly shown as it is crossed by a bridge which carries the track from the old village. The channel has been largely filled in and only traces of its former course are now visible.

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NT9924, 29 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Friday, 26 October, 2012   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 10 November, 2012
Geographical Context
Uplands  Paths  Farm, Fishery, Market Gardening  Grassland  Rivers, Streams, Drainage 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 9978 2412 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:30.6507N 2:0.3024W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 9980 2412
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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