The Allen & Surrounding Area

Draft Section – Revised Version to Follow

All along the Trail are reminders of past times, when the fells were alive with the work of the lead mines and when travel on foot was often the only way miners, Methodist Ministers and tradesmen could conduct their business. One such traveller was Isaac Holden, from a poor lead mining family in the West Allen valley. As a child Isaac worked at the washing floors on the Blackett Beaumont mines and when older as a miner. This was until a decline in the price for lead in the early 1830s resulted in the closure of the Keirsleywell mine.
About this time he underwent a powerful religious conversion, and afterwards he embarked upon a new career as a travelling tea seller. The popularity of tea expanded enormously throughout the nineteenth century, and a distribution network all the way from China brought tea to every home in the land, from the richest to the poorest. In what was an eventful time for Isaac he married Ann Teller and they opened a grocer’s shop in Allendale. With Ann running the shop, Isaac, dressed in black, became a familiar figure, in all weathers selling tea door to door to farms and outlying hamlets. Over the years his name also became increasingly associated with fund raising for good causes.