Eastgate is a small hamlet three miles to the west of Stanhope with a population of about 100. It has a pub, The Cross Keys, which is a popular resting place for cyclists doing the C2C, and a country house hotel Horsley Hall which also does fine dining.
Beside the bus shelter is a Roman altar dedicated to the god Sylvanus - God of the woods and hunting. It was carved from millstone grit. It was erected by Aurelius Quernius , the Roman cavalry commander from Longovicium fort (Lanchester) to give thanks for the successful hunting down of a very large wild boar. The original altar is now in a museum in Durham. The altar shows that during Roman times Weardale must have been a favourite hunting ground for soldiers from nearby forts during their leisure time.
Hunting continued until the 16th century and the name Eastgate derives from the time when it was the eastern border of the private hunting park of the Prince Bishops of Durham. This was second in extent only to the royal hunting park of the New Forest in Hampshire.
Eastgate was the birthplace of Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge, the founder of the world's first department store, Bainbridge's Newcastle, now part of the John Lewis Partnership.
Filming has taken place in the old quarry above Eastgate for the TV series Beowulf.
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