The Village of Leadgate
First attested in 1590 Leadgate (Saxon Hildgaet or Swing Gate) the village consisted of little more than a house and farm in what is now the Brooms area of the village.
The Industrial Age, the changing of manual tools to tools that could be driven by power started around 1750. This quickly led to advanced quarrying and mineral mining.
As Leadgate stood on the gateway to the veins of lead it is claimed that it was a "Toll Gate" which collected tolls from the merchants who passed through with the raw mined material.
Clearly that could have been possible and, in common with all historical stories, it became common folklore.
balances the frustration
“how far we have to go” with the satisfaction of “how far we
come.” It teaches us tolerance for the human
and imperfections which are not uniquely of our
but of all time.”
– Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Leadgate like this:
"Leadgate, a village and a chapelry in Lanchester parish, Durham. The village stands near Watling Street, 1 mile NE of Carrhouse r. station and 2½ ESE of Shotley-Bridge at the boundary with Northumberland; and has a post office ‡ under Gateshead. —The chapelry was constituted in 1863. Pop., 3, 413. The inhabitants are employed chiefly in coal mining and iron working. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Durham. Value, £300. Patron, alternately the Crown and the Bishop. The church is in the French pointed style, of the 13th century. There are chapels for Wesleyans and Roman Catholics".
25 Years Later in 1894-5, The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Leadgate like this:
"Leadgate, a village and an ecclesiastical parish within the ancient parish of Lanchester, Durham. The village stands on the great North Road, on Watling Street, and is about 2 ½ miles from Consett station on the N.E.R., and 2 ¼ ESE of Shotley Bridge, the boundary line between Durham and Northumberland. In 1895 the N.E.R. constructed a line of railway, with a station at Leadgate, which begins at Consett station and crosses Annfield Plain, joining the Team Valley line at Birtley. There is a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.) The ecclesiastical parish was constituted in 1863, and includes the village and township of Iveston, the hamlet of Crookhall, and part of the townships of Greencroft and Medomsley. Population, 4724. It is governed by a local board, is well supplied with water, and its elevated position makes it very bracing and healthy. The inhabitants are employed chiefly in coal-mining and iron or steel working. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Durham; gross value, £285 with residence. Patrons, the Crown, and Bishop of Durham alternately. The church is a stone edifice in the Early English style, and was erected in 1867. There are Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, and Roman Catholic chapels".