A recent history of the R&C
Built in 1733, this coaching inn has had a rich history including being in Yorkshire originally but then County Durham since 1974 when borders were changed for administrative purposes.
It was owned from 1974 until 1989 by David and Jill Jackson and they were responsible for a number of changes including the construction of the courtyard bedrooms and the re-discovery of the stone fireplace in the bar (it was hidden by cladding!). Today, David is the Operations Director for the Robinson family of Headlam Hall who now own the R&C so he is once again actively involved!
Chris & Alison Davy were the proprietors from 1989 until 2012 during which time they significantly upgraded the property and were awarded the Good Hotel Guide 'Caesar Award' Inn of the Year and the Michelin Inn of the Year.
In November 2012 the Rose & Crown was purchased by the Robinson family who own and operate Headlam Hall. This country house hotel is located 15 miles down the dale where the family have also farmed for four generations and continue to do so today. Thomas Robinson and his wife, Cheryl, have a hands on involvement in the running of the R&C along with a great team of predominantly local staff.
The 12th century village church is called St Romald's and it is thought that the name comes from a little known Saxon Saint called St Rumwald combined with the old word for church - 'kirk' to give us 'Romaldkirk'. There used to be a railway station at the top of the village for the Tees Valley Railway that ran down the dale to Darlington and continued up to Mickleton. What was the railway line makes for a good walk today!
In the early 19th century the village had three masons, two shoe-makers, three shopkeepers, one butcher, two weavers, a blacksmith and three wheelwrights....plus a bit more I am sure!
There are six reservoirs in Teesdale providing not only a supply of water but activities such as fishing and sailing...... Cow Green, Selset, Balderhead, Grassholme, Hury and Blackton.
High Force waterfall has a drop of 70 feet making it the highest in England..... and one of the most spectacular to see, especially at times of high water! The smaller Low Force waterfall, a few miles down river, is just as worthy of a visit with the early 19th century suspension footbridge, 'Wynch Bridge' adding to the attraction.
The river Tees runs for 85 miles from source to sea and from just below Cauldron Snout it determines the traditional border between County Durham and Yorkshire (before they changed things in 1974!)
Some of the world's best grouse shooting is found in Teesdale attracting shooters from all over the world to enjoy the sport on our moors.
The area is also particularly well know for birdlife and the Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve is of international renown.
Middleton-in-Teesdale is known as the 'capital of Upper Teesdale'. It is a charming small market town with a nice collection of coffee shops and tea rooms. If you like looking at motorbikes it is a popular stop-off for the 'weekend-warriors' on sunny summer Saturdays and Sundays.
This historic market town is dominated in the centre by 16th & 17th century architecture and is also home to the unique Bowes Museum. This 'chateauesque' building was purpose built as a museum and houses some of the most impressive collections of art, ceramics, textiles, tapestries, clocks and costumes in the country. The town, known locally as 'Barny' also has the remains of a 12th century Norman castle and is famous for its collection of antique shops that tend to be gathered on 'The Bank'. TV antiques expert, David Harper, has his own shop here.....try your haggling skills against him!
Next door to the Bowes Museum you will also see the impressive Barnard Castle School, one of the best in the north of England. It has a particular heritage for rugby union and has produced ten international players including Rob Andrew, Rory Underwood, Tony Underwood and Mathew Tait.
Also worth a mention
Raby Castle located near Staindrop is one of the best examples of a medieval castle in the country and is certainly a highlight of Teesdale and well worth seeing if not visiting.
Hamsterley Forest covers 2000 hectares and is a popular centre for walking, horse riding and cycling with 33 miles of waymarked trails.
Eggleston Hall is just over the river from Romaldkirk and as well as having fantastic gardens to look around it was also the venue for the popular TV show, 'Ladette to Lady'!
And there is lots, lots more........ better book a longer stay!