Dufton Village History
The origins of Dufton are not certain, but the Eden Valley in general was populated in Roman times with many small scattered settlements and farmsteads consisting of stone huts and enclosures often found on the higher land. There is an example of such a settlement at Castle Hill 1½ miles to the south of the village.
There are two possible explanations for the name of the village. It could derive from Old English meaning “dove farm or settlement”, or the first part could be a personal name Duff. The Old English suffix ‘tun’ now ‘ton’ suggests an early foundation from the late seventh century until the twelfth century. The present layout of the village suggests it was established in its present form by the medieval period.
The village has no church within its confines. The Parish Church of St Cuthbert is ¾ mile north west of the village between Dufton and Knock. Re-
In the medieval period the area was surrounded by forest used for hunting and timber. In the early part of the thirteenth century the manor belonged to the Greystokes, from whom it passed in marriage to the Dacres of Gilsland. Afterwards it was owned by Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, whose grandson Henry granted a lease of the lordship for ninety-
No medieval structures are known to survive in the village although their fabric may be incorporated into some of the seventeenth and eighteenth century remodelled buildings. The plan form of the village displays strong medieval characteristics, suggesting medieval buildings have been rebuilt or remodelled within their existing locations. Dufton Hall, which dates at least from the seventeenth century and possibly the sixteenth, is thought to have been the site of the Manor House. The other oldest surviving buildings date from the seventeenth and early eighteenth onwards.
St John Boste was born in Dufton in about c1544. He later became a Catholic Priest and was martyred when he was executed at Bryburn, Durham in 1594. He was canonized in 1970.
Although there was some lead mining activity in the North Pennines in the medieval period, it only became established as an industry in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, before declining in the nineteenth century. The Quaker owned London Lead Company controlled the mines in the Dufton area from the eighteenth century onwards. As well as developing the mines, it also developed mine workers cottages and farmsteads. The company had a smelt-
THE LONDON LEAD COMPANY
Mention must be made of this Quaker-
THE FOUNTAIN AT DUFTON
(provided about 1858 by a Mr Wallace, of the London Lead Company, which formerly worked mines in the area)
“There is a clear pool, whose waters gleam like silver. It is not tainted by the shepherds, or by their she-
Fons est inlimis, nitidis argenteus undis
Quem necque pastores nec pastae monte capellae
Inficiunt. Aliudve pecus: quem nulla volucris
Nec fera perturbat: nec lapsus ab arbore ramus
(taken, but slightly altered, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Bk.
III. This is the story of Narcissus, a handsome youth who
fell in love with his own reflection in a pool.
Unable to move from the spot, he pined away and was turned
into the flower which bears his name).