These documents are a small selection from those recovered by the Estate Committee from storage in Cambridge in 2012. The complete archive gives an immediate and poignant insight into the history of the estate but, above all, into the energetic and driven ambition of the original covenantors to create a uniquely special environment. Early covenantors signed up to the new way of life enshrined in the Deed of Mutual Covenants even before the final conveyances to purchase the land area of the estate were completed.

The documents on this site were selected because they impart a sense of the history of the estate rather than particular detail. The complete collection will ·from time to time be put on display by the Estate Committee and then you may see and enjoy the detail it has been our pleasure to encounter in compiling the inventory -the colour and vibrancy of the. ink pen signatures and wax seals of the original covenantors can not be properly replicated on this site.They are the signatures of driven and idealistic, often comparatively young people intent on creating for themselves and their families a way of living in a tranquil rural environment far from the dirt of the cities regulated by the democratically determined collective will of the majority of their like-minded fellow covenantors. Each was willing to cede his individual financial benefit in developing his own plot to any opposing financial or environmental interest of his neighbour and the common good as perceived by his fellow covanantors and expressed and enforced through an elected Estate Committee.

We hope you enjoy this selection.

If you are interested in the history of the Painshawfield Estate you will certainly enjoy reading a copy of “Four Valuable Farms”. Details as to how to purchase copies are available elsewhere on this website.

1. April 1812. Authority to survey area


2. 3rd June 1879 Conveyance of Painshawfield and Briches Nook Estates

3. 1893. Captain Rawlinson Cuthbertson in the chain of vendors

4. 30th April 1895. G.W. Jennings advertisement for sale by auction

5. 5th to 15th May 1895 two letters and one telegram negotiating and agreeing the sale

6. 2nd June 1896. Deed of Mutual Covenants

7. 30th May 1895. Deed of Mutual Covenants

8. 17th December 1895. Conveyance G.W. Jennings to Joseph Wakinshaw

9. 19th November 1898. A typical early conveyance of property from Joseph Wakinshaw to a covenanter

10. July 19th 1919. A cause for celebration

11. 2nd August 1921. An Invitation to Hexham Rural District Council to take over the estate highways

12. 4th June 1926. Transfer of Roads

13. 7th August 1953 The Estate Committee continue to incur considerable legal expenses

14. Extract from AGM of May 1955 – Eulogy for Mr Graham

15. Notices of AGMs of 1959, 1961 and 1966









16. Mutual Covenants


The attached pages were written to accompany the Objection Form written by a Covenanter on the Estate. I have permission to share them with anyone wishing a) to explore some of the issues and b) write their own objection prior to the expected legal advice from the EC legal advisor. They are extremely detailed and are written by someone with legal knowledge, however, they provide an insight into the sort of issues that could be covered.

Please note, the deadline for submitting objections to the Estate Committee (EC) addresses is this Wednesday. This is to allow time to collate and get them to the EC solicitors and for them in turn get them to the Land Tribunal and the applicants’ solicitors. 



2 March letter to covenantors

This letter is being sent/delivered to all Covenanters today (5 March 2022)

letter to covenantors 23 march[13286]

Please find attached an update from Helen Rae, Chair of the Estate Committee.


Elizabeth Purcell Smith