Keys to the Past

Local History

Rushyford (County Durham)

Windlestone and Rushyford is situated on the old Great North Road and has the attractive and much patronised Eden Arms Hotel which has served travellers over many centuries. Windlestone Parish includes the hall and the park, which were in the hands of the Eden family from the time of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1920 the hall became the Wayfarers Benevolent Association Headquarters and has been used as a POW camp and a refuge centre, and is now a residential school used by Durham County Council. The park was most likely laid out in the late 18th century with the addition of terraced gardens in the 19th century. The park and gardens contain a number of water features, parkland, kitchen and formal gardens. The only notable structures are the Hall itself and the entrance lodge in the form of a Greek Temple. Other smaller garden walls and fountain sites exist but in a poor state.

The name Rushyford is comes from the Middle English words meaning ' Ford where the rushes grow' . This is probably because the village stands near Rushyford beck (Black Beck). Before the 18th century Rushyford was marked on maps as a road junction (which marked the crossing of the old road between London and Edinburgh) but eventually grew into a small village. The area is surrounded by several fields where traces of medieval ridge and furrow can still be seen.

Reference number:D6870

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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.