IT is a little hard to describe precisely where Eryholme is. In the Downton Abbey TV programme, for example, it was described as being the Earl of Grantham’s estate “in the north of the county on the border with Durham” to where the earl was going to retreat when he fell into financial difficulties.

The railway network, of course, tried to pin Eryholme down by giving it a station. Eryholme station was where the Richmond lined branched off the East Coast Main Line a mile south of Croft-on-Tees.

It was a station in the middle of nowhere, with no access roads, built solely so passengers could be put down and picked up, and it was nowhere near the real village of Eryholme.

The real village is a couple of miles away, down a meandering U-shaped road that takes the traveller past Eryholme’s 12th Century church and its late Victorian school and down to the River Tees where, once-upon-a-time, there were two fords which plodged their way over to Neasham on the Durham bank.

The fords are no longer passable, and the river is spanned by an elegant bridge built in 1909 by Sir Thomas Wrightson so he could get from his home of Neasham Hall to Eryholme church. Sir Thomas, of course, was head of the Stockton ironfounding and bridge-building firm of Head Wrightson so could easily knock up a river bridge if it meant keeping his feet dry on a Sunday morning.

A new book is aiming to put Eryholme firmly on the map by chronicling its history which, for such a dot of a place, is surprisingly eventful: it was sacked by Normans and Scots, devastated by famine and disease, almost abandoned in the 15th Century and later divided by faith, rebellion and civil war. Only after 1700 did it enjoy a more tranquil existence, famed until 1850 for its cattle breeding.

The book is being written by Tony Pollard, a retired professor of history at Teesside University, who has lived at Eryholme since 1972. His academic research was into the 15th Century and the Wars of the Roses, and he has published books on Richard III, Edward IV and Warwick the Kingmaker.

This, though, is a first for him, as it tackles the history of a place over almost a thousand years, from the Norman Conquest to Brexit.

The 40,000 word paperback, with more than 40 illustrations and maps, will be published in September for £14.99, but the parish council is now seeking subscribers to help cover the cost of publication. For £10, subscribers will get a copy of the book, their name entered in a list in the book, and an invitation to the book launch – and full details of how to get there.

Eryholme should, though, be easy to find as in 1775, the lady of the manor, Elizabeth Montagu, described it as a “perfect paradise”.

For further information about how to subscribe, email or write to the Eryholme Parish Clerk at Rose Cottage, Eryholme DL2 2PF.