Our History

The Brancepeth Boar

At what time the Brawn, or Boar ceased to exist as a wild animal in Britain is uncertain but it was at one time a common inhabitant of our British forests and was protected by law in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The village of Brancepeth (which may be a corruption of Brawn's Path) is said to have derived its name from a formidable Boar of vast size, which made its lair on Brandon Hill and walked the forests in ancient times and was a terror to all the inhabitants from the Wear to the Gaunless.

"He feared not ye loute with his staffe, ne yet for ye knyghte in hys mayle, he cared no more for ye monke with his boke than ye fyendis in deep Croix Dale"

According to tradition, Hodge of Ferry after carefully marking the Boar's track near Cleves Cross, dug a pitfall slightly covered with boughs and turfs and then luring on his victim bv some bait to the treacherous spot stood armed with his good sword, across the pitfall. At - length the gallant brute came trotting on his onward path and seeing the passage barred, rushed head long on the vile pitfall to meet his death.

It is generally believed that this champion of Cleves sleeps in Merrington Churchyard, beneath a coffin shaped stone, rudely sculptured with the instruments of victory - a sword and a spade on each side of a cross.

The Brandon Hill mentioned is North West of the village of Brancepeth. Ferry Wood is South East of the golf course, Cleves Cross is also South East of the golf course near Ferryhill Station. Kirk Merrington is due South and a landmark from several parts of the course.

The Stockley Beck which crosses the 9th, 10th, 18th and 2nd holes on the course is approximately the line between the Boar's lair on Brandon Hill and Cleves Cross.

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Harry Colt

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