Liz and I found arriving at Middle Ruddings a great pleasure. The view, the weather, the people, all made us very welcome. The hotel seems to attract folk who relax and who enjoy a good chat (and a good pint or few!).
Once the conversation has started, the most frequently asked question that Liz and I faced was not about ourselves, our background or why we had chosen to come to Braithwaite, but the origins of the name of the hotel, Middle Ruddings. Unfortunately the word Ruddings is not in the dictionary and the internet was of no help so we had to start asking the locals ourselves.
Eric Lowe was the most helpful at first (possibly because he was the easiest for us to understand at that early stage of our stay) who had a feeling that the name had something to do with a field. This was fine if not very exciting as an explanation. Then one of our regular customers, Patty started a discussion about the name and promised more information at her next visit. She had been born in Thornthwaite and knew this building as a private house and the village well.
Sure enough she produced a tithe map and description for 1841 along with many photos from a later time. The map showed three fields carefully outlined and named as the Near, Middle and Far Ruddings. The field numbered 304 is Near Ruddings (what would now be the Holiday Property Bond; field 318 is us and 319 is Far Ruddings (what would now be Bisoi etc.)
Her understanding of the name is that the fields were kept by the church for stock to be gathered to assess the tithes owed to the church. Then in 1903 a house was built on the site of the Middle Ruddings. In the bar we have a photo taken in 1910 of the house.
So this is the story we now tell...