In 1806, Sir Charles Turner of Kirkleatham had a cash flow problem and was forced to sell his Kildale and Westerdale Estates. His family had owned them since 1662 when they were brought from the Earl of Northumberland, who would have been Algernon Percy, the 10th Earl.
The Sale Advertisement exists and makes interesting reading. It completely itemises the estate, listing all the farms and acreages of their fields.
Percy Rigg Farm is listed, although it was named as Viewly Hill Farm, straddling Ernaldsti, the ancient medieval road south from Guisborough.
In 1806 it was occupied by Elizabeth Medd, a ‘Tenant at Will’, for the annual rent of £57 10s which relatively cheap probably because of the exposed location of the farm. The total acreage is middle of the range: 194 acres, 2 roods and 1 perch (1 acre = 4 roods, 1 rood = 40 perches). A ‘Tenant at Will’ is a tenant who could be evicted without notice.
There is a map too attached to the Sale Advertisement. The fields boundaries are pretty much the same today although, in 1806, fields were listed right down to Sleddale Beck on the left. Today these lower fields have reverted back to very rough moorland. This process seems to have been well underway by the time of the 1853 Ordnance Survey map, which shows them as rough land and named as “Back Fields”.
Two fields farmed by Viewly Hill which are not shown in the photograph are named as South Maud Knowl and North Maud Knowl. These extend below the Kildale road on either side of the River Leven including the old fish pond. Of course, in 1806, the railway had yet to bisect North Maud Knowl. Interestingly, these are the only Viewly Hill fields which are listed with names. An indication perhaps that the farm and fields were a recent enclosure.