Guided walk: The Brandlings and their Legacy

On Sunday (17 September 2023) the Friends of Middleton Park will be leading a free guided walk in Middleton Park entitled ‘The Brandlings and their Legacy’.

In 1697 Ralph Brandling of Durham married Anne Leigh, the heir to the Middleton estate. On the death of Anne’s father in 1706 Ralph and Anne inherited the estate, and settled here.

Ralph came from a prominent Newcastle family with extensive mining interests, and he and his heirs brought mining men and expertise from the north east to the Middleton colliery. Men like Richard Humble and, later, John Blenkinsop who had a huge impact on Middleton Colliery and the industry of Leeds, creating the world’s first commercially successful steam railway in 1812.

The Rev Ralph Henry Brandling inherited in 1826, and his benign influence meant that in the 1842 Royal Commission into Children’s and Women’s employment in mines, Middleton Colliery was held up as an example of good employment, as women and young children were not employed and education was provided for children.

Join the Friends of Middleton Park guide at 1:30pm this Sunday at the Visitor Centre in the park, for this walk of approximately 90 minutes to two hours. Walks in the park may often include muddy or wet paths, so please wear boots or walking shoes, and appropriate clothing.

This event is part of the Heritage Open Days local history festival.


This post is based on a press release issued by the Friends of Middleton Park

Image: a drawing of ‘Salamanca’ the first locomotive to operate at Middleton Railway


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