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Bellingham Parish, 1855

Extract from: History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland...Whellan, William, & Co, 1855.

BELLINGHAM PARISH is composed chiefly of moors and sheepwalks, and was formerly a chapelry to the extensive parish of Simonburn, which was divided into six parishes by an act of the 51st of George IIII, cap. 194. It comprises the townships of Bellingham, East Charlton, West Charlton, Leemailing, Nook, and Tarretburn, whose united area is 20,211 acres. The population in 1801, was 1,079; in 1811, 1,232; in 1821, 1,396; in 1831, 1,460; in 1841, 1,730; and in 1851, 1,594 souls. In this parish there is an extensive moor, called Hareshaw Common, containing above 7,000 acres, and abounding with various kinds of game. The soil, both in the valleys and on the hillside, is very fertile, being a strong red gravel, producing abundance of corn and turnips. Coal, ironstone, and limestone are found in large quantities in this district. The common above mentioned is now crossed by three new roads, which were made in 1854. One of these roads leads from Bellingham to Woodburn, another from Bellingham to Troughend, and the third from Greenhaugh to High Green. The Hareshaw Ironworks, in this parish, were established in 1840, by Messrs Campion, Batson and Co., but in 1846, they became the property of the Union Banking Company of Newcastle, in whose possession they still remain, though they have not been working since 1848. These works contain three furnaces with which are connected an engine of 120 horsepower, and a water wheel of 70 horsepower, to furnish a blast for smelting the ironstone. There are also about 70 coke ovens for the preparation of coke for the furnaces. The ironstone bed from which this establishment is supplied is 30 feet thick, and contains 22 layers of “kidney stone”, which produces about 37½ percent of iron. A railway connects these works with the collieries in the neighbourhood, and four engines are employed in drawing the coal and ironstone to the works. There is also a large reservoir covering an area of 50 acres in which water is collected for the purpose of driving the waterwheel. It is expected that these works will shortly recommence, as a railway is about to be constructed, which will pass in their immediate vicinity. There are tileworks carried on in this parish by Mr George Dixon.

BELLINGHAM is a township and small market town, in the parish of the same name; The Duke of Northumberland is Lord of the Manor. The township comprises an area of 515 acres, and its rateable value is £1309 13s.. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 337; in 1811, 346; in 1821, 404; in 1831, 464; in 1841, 672; and in 1851, 770 souls. Two parts of the Manor of Bellingham belonged to the Archbishop of York, in the reign of Henry V. Tradition informs us that the town anciently belonged to the barons, or Lord, of Bellingham, who had a seat or castle here, on the eminence which still bears the name of Hallfield. The whole parish, together with the other estates of the Earl of Derwentwater, on the attainder of that nobleman, were given to the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital. A good stone bridge was constructed over the Hareshaw Burn at the east end of the town of Bellingham, in 1826, and the second one was erected by subscription over the north Tyne, in the vicinity of the town, in 1835. This latter bridge is of considerable magnitude, being composed of four 50 feet segmental arches of graceful rise, and forms an interesting feature in the beautiful scenery on the banks of the north Tyne, and while it is an ornament to the county, is of the greatest advantage to the district, where, previous to its erection, great inconvenience was long experienced, and many lives lost from the want of such an accommodation. The town of Bellingham is situated on the north bank of the north Tyne, about 16 miles an N.N.W. of Hexham, and 30 miles W.N.W of Newcastle. Saturday is the market day.

THE CHURCH dedicated to St Cuthbert, is a very ancient stone structure, pleasantly situated on the banks of the north Tyne. It has lately undergone considerable repairs, and very great improvements have been made through the unwearied exertions of the present incumbent. A new porch and vestry have been built, the old gallery at the west end has been pulled down, and in the vacant space thus gained, new seats have been constructed, at an expense of £70, which has been defrayed by private subscriptions. The living, a rectory not in charge, in the archdeaconry of Northumberland and Deanery of Bellingham is, in the patronage of the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital, and incumbency of the Rev. G Bellamy. The parish register commences in 1684. THE RECTORY, a neat stone edifice, was erected in 1828, by the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital. The tithes are commuted for £204 pounds.

THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH was erected by subscription in 1803, at a cost of £400, and is a substantial stone edifice, possessing sufficient accommodation for 400 persons. Attached to the church is a neat Manse, the residence of the minister, the Rev. John Young.

REED’S CHARITY SCHOOL was founded in the year 1730, by Miss Isabella Reed who left the sum of £200, with which the trustees of the charity were to purchase land, whose rent was to be devoted to the gratuitous education of 50 poor children, in reading, writing, arithmetic, and the Church of England catechism. Her brother subsequently gave the schoolhouse and the master’s residence, which were situated on the western side of the church, but in 1851, the old buildings were pulled down, and suitable buildings were erected at a cost of £305, which was obtained by private donations, and a grant from the Committee of Council on Education. The school is open to children of every denomination. The rector and churchwardens are the sole trustees, and by the division and enclosure of Hareshaw Common, will shortly acquire 10 or 15 acres of land, on which it is purposed to expand the original endowment of £200, and so be enabled to extend the charity to the education of the 50 children, as prescribed by the will of the foundress. At present only ten children are taught free, although the average attendance is 86 scholars.

THE MECHANICS INSTITUTION was established in 1846, and its library contains 554 volumes on the arts, sciences, and general literature. Mr George Turnbull, secretary.

A fair for the hiring of servants, and for the sale of cattle, sheep, and woollen cloth is held here, on the Wednesday before Good Friday, and the Saturday after the 15th of September, and statute fairs are held on the 12th of May and the 12th of November.

THE COUNTY COURT, for the recovery of debts under £50, is held here monthly. James Losh, Esq., judge; Henry Ingledew, clerk; Henry Allen, assistant clerk, and Robert Riddle, bailiff.

THE BELLINGHAM POOR LAW UNION comprehends 37 parishes and townships, including an area of 235,861 statute acres, and a population in 1851 the 6,553 souls. The parishes and townships are (Great), Bavington (Little), Bellingham, Birtley, Carrycoats, Catcherside, Charlton (East Quarter), Charlton( West Quarter), Chirdon, Coldwell, Corsenside, Crookdon, Fawns, Harle (Little), Harle (West), Hawick, Kirkharle, Kirkwhelpington, Leemailing, Nook, Otterburn, Ward, Plawshets and  Tynehead, Ramshope, Rochester Ward, Shitlington  (High Quarter), Shitlington (Low Quarter), Smalesmouth, Sweethope, Tarretburn, Tarset (West), Thockrington, Thorneyburn, Troughend Ward, Wark, Warksburn, Wellhaugh and Whelpington (West).

THE BELLINGHAM UNION WORKHOUSE was erected in 1839, at an expense of £700. It is a substantial stone edifice, possessing accommodation for about 60 persons, the number of inmates at present (1854) only amounts to 24. James Ainsley, governor; Dorothy Ainsley, matron; John Elliott, surgeon; and R.B. Hall, clerk. James Aynsley and William Kell, relieving officers.

POST OFFICE BELLINGHAM, Michael Shipley, postmaster. Letters arrive here from Hexham at 5:30 PM, and are dispatched thereto at 7:00 AM. Money orders are granted here


Armstrong William, road contractor, Snuggy Gate

Bellamy Rev. George, M. A. Rectory

Curry Thomas, manager

Murray William, watchmaker

Reed’s charity school,

Rennick Francis, manager

Ridley Thomas, road contractor, Snuggy gate

Smith Edward, Sadler, etc

Telford Robert, police constable for the Belllingham division

Young Rev. John, Manse


Burn Robert

Hixon Joseph

Boot and shoe makers

Anderson Thomas

Humble Thomas

Potts James

Shipley Michael

Smith Christopher

Turnbull James

Turnbull John, and clog

Turnbull Williams, and clog


Pearson William John


Johnson John,

Johnson John, junior


Bell John, Bellingham demesne

Breckons Robert

Pearson William John




Grocers and dealers in sundries

Bell Robert

English William

Hall Elizabeth

Lorne Sarah

Richardson A., and painter

Robson Robert

Smith Walter

Stevenson John

Turnbull George

Wilson John

Young Michael

Hotels and inns

Black Bull, Margaret Gibson

Fox and Hounds, William Turnbull

Furnace, Robert Breckons, and Posting House

Rose and Crown, Tomas Philipson

Beer Houses

Ridley James

Scott Simeon

Joiner and cabinet maker

Turnbull George, and builder

Masons and builders

Bell John and James

Lawson William and James, Haining Ridge


Elliott John

Tailors and drapers

Robson Robert

Waugh John Rutherford

Wilson John

Tile manufacturers

Dixon George

Francis Renwick, manager

CONVEYANCE -- per mail coach to Hexham, every morning (Sunday excepted) at 7:00 o'clock. It passes through Wark and Humshaugh and returns in the afternoon. Thomas Riddle and Robert and Wedderburn Breckons, proprietors.

CARRIERS to Newcastle: George Headley, on Wednesdays.


CHARLTON (EAST QUARTER) is a township and small village, the property of Henry Charlton, Esq. The manorial rights of the common are claimed by the Duke of Northumberland, and the freeholders claim those of their own property. The township contains 635 acres, and its rateable value is £665 14s.10d. Population in 1801, 139; in 1811, 137; in 1821, 143; in 1831, 151; in 1841, 173; and in 1851, 117 souls. THE VILLAGE of East Charlton is pleasantly situated on the north side of the north Tyne, 2 miles W.N.W. of Bellingham. Here is a Catholic Church, dedicated to Saint Oswald. It is a neat stone structure, in the early English style, and was erected by subscription in 1839, W.H. Charlton, Esq., being the principal contributor, and the donor of the site upon which the church and presbytery stands. Rev. Edward Hothersall, priest. St. Oswald’s Catholic school is situated near the church, it was erected by Frank Charlton, Esq., in 1839, and is principally supported by Mrs Charlton, of Hesleyside. Elizabeth Wilson, teacher.


Rev. Edward Hothersall (Catholic)

Edward Campion, auctioneer and appraiser

Catholic school, near Bellingham, Elizabeth Wilson, teacher

Christopher Dodd, shopkeeper, Charlton

Mrs. Ann Hall, Reins

Thomas Martinson, joiner and builder, Charlton, near Bellingham

John Milburn, cartwright, Riding


Thomas Lamb, Shaw

Adam Little, riding; Anthony Richardson, range

Joseph Wright, and yeoman, Charlton.




CHARLTON {WEST QUARTER) is a township of scattered houses and farmsteads, situated at the confluence of the Tarset Burn and the North Tyne, 3 miles W.N.W. of Bellingham. It comprises an area of 478 acres, its rateable value is£ 624 10s. 3d., and it contained in 1801, 123; in 1811, 155; in 1821, 187; in 1831, 188; in 1841, 176; and in 1851, 146 inhabitants. The principal proprietors are John and William Addison, Esqs, and the Duke of Northumberland is Lord of the Manor. Bearsmouth and Hareshaw Head Colleries, situated on Hareshaw Common, are carried on by Mr Joseph Armstrong, whose family have been the proprietors for the last half century. The Mr. Armstrong just mentioned, is remarkable for his great ingenuity; in 1851, he constructed a fine toned fiddle from some coal obtained in his own colliery. There was formerly a very strong castle in this Township, and from the magnitude of its ruins, which have long disappeared, it was said to have served as the abode of a giant, and it is still believed that a subterranean way passes from it under the bed of the river to the ancient fortress, called Dally Castle, which is distant about one mile to the south. TARSET HALL, the seat of Mr. John Forrest, is in each stone building, situated near the site of Tarset Castle.


Armstrong Henry, coal manager, Park Cottage

Armstrong Joseph, coal owner, Bearsmouth and Hareshaw Head Colleries

Milburn Henry, schoolmaster, Craghead

Milburn Matthew, shopkeeper, Snow Hall

Nicol Thomas, blacksmith, Reedmires

Robson John, boot and shoemaker, High Newton

Ward Adam, beerhouse, Lane Head


Weightman John, joiner, builder, and millwright, Lane Head


Craigie John, Wage Head

Dagg John, Knopping’s Holme

Forrest John, Tarset Hall

Milburn Edward, and registrar of marriages, Binner Hill

Nicol William and Adam, Low Newton

Robson Jasper, Charlton Gate



LEEMAILING is a township, the property of W.H. Charlton, Esq., and Robert Charlton, Esq. the manorial rights are possessed by these gentlemen, and by Hunter Allgood, Esq. The township contains 4,245 acres and its rateable value is £1,819. Population in 1801, 226; in 1811, 266; in 1821, 285; in 1831, 293; in 1841, 325; and in 1851, 271 souls. There are a colliery and tileworks, situated at Brier Edge, which are carried on by W.H. Charlton Esq. There is a small school at Stubby Lee, in this township, erected by subscription in 1804. HESLEYSIDE, the property and seat of W.H. Charlton Esq., is a splendid edifice, with a neat domestic Chapel attached, surrounded by beautiful pleasure grounds and gardens, which evince great taste both in design and execution. The prospect from the eminence on which the mansion stands, is beautifully diversified with sheepwalks, heath-clad hills, rocks, and woods, having the town of Bellingham, and part of the north Tyne in the foreground. The clan of Charlton, so celebrated in ancient times, was very numerous and influential in this neighbourhood. Those of the name who resided at the Bower, an old fortress, not far from Hesleyside, were noted freebooters, and many wonderful stories of their address and prowess are still current. The chief of the family was called Bowery, or rather Boorey, from his place of residence. William Charlton of Reedsmouth, a son of Mr Charlton of the Bower, had all the fierceness and implacablility of a borderer. On the 21st of February, 1709, he slew Mr H. Widdrington, of Bellingham, in a wood called Reedswood Scroggs. William Laidley, of Emplehope, who was riding past at the time, hastened to the Dodd Heaps, where there was a horse race, and alarmed the people, who captured the offender, and delivered him up to justice. He was however, pardoned by Queen Anne, and in the “rising” of 1715, joined the Earl of Derwentwater, and behaved with great spirit and bravery at Preston. LEE HALL, the property of Robert Charlton, Esq. is a neat stone edifice, pleasantly situated on the north side of the north Tyne.


Charlton William Henry Esq. Hesleyside

Dixon George, land agent, Mantle Hill

Dixon Thomas, Esq. Bellingham Eals


Parker Richard, and beerhouse, Fellend

Richardson William, Woodhead


Benson Christopher, Lee Hall


Coulson Edward, Brideford

Dixon John, and yeoman, Dunterley

Fenwick Elizabeth, Briar Edge

Maughan Forest, and corn miller, Lee Hall

Maughan Thomas, Sheeprigg

Smith John, The Green

Smith Roger, Ealingham

Thompson John, Wood Park



NOOK township, the property of W.H. Charlton, Esq. and Mr Haggerston, extends along the north bank of the north Tyne, from the west side of the Reed, two within half a mile east of Bellingham. The Duke of Northumberland is possessor of the manorial rights and privileges. It contains 1,151 acres, its rateable value is £955 16s. 4d, and the number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 81; in 1811, 126; in 1821, 113; in 1831, 99; in 1841, 137; and in 1851, 88 souls.



Anthony Benson, reed’s wood

John Garford, and road contractor, North Bridgeford

John Hedley, Rawfoot

Joshua Pearson, Hole

Robert Riddle, Blakelaw




TARRETBURN is a township, extending from three to six miles northwest of Bellingham, along the east side of the Tarretburn. The landowners are Henry Thompson, Thomas Thompson, and others. The Duke of Northumberland claims the manorial rights of the commons, and each landowner claims those of his own property. The township comprises an area of 4,828 acres, and its rateable value is £1,597 12s, 5d. The population in 1801, was 173; in 1811, 202; in 1821, 264; in 1831, 265; in 1841, 247; and in 1851, 202 souls. It contains the hamlets of Greenhaugh and Gatehouse, and a number of scattered houses, which are built in the deep and narrow glens formed by the lofty hill of this mountainous district. There is a lead mine in this township, opened in 1854, by Messrs. Thompson on the High Green estate. Coal is also found here. High Green colliery is worked by Messrs. James and Thomas Temple. Greenhaugh is a hamlet in this township, 4 miles N.N.W. of Bellingham.


Brown John, grocer, tailor and draper, Greenhaugh

Dodd William, tailor and Draper, Greenhaugh

Dodd William, butcher, Greenhaugh

Elliott John, vict Holly Bush, and blacksmith Greenhaugh

Newton Henry Horsley, gentleman, Burnbank

Renwick William, shopkeeper, Greenhaugh

Temple James and Thomas, coal owners, High Green Colliery


Charlton Matthew George, Gate Houses

Charlton Michael, and yeoman, Greenhaugh

Famelton John, Sneep

Gillespy John Gray, Gate Houses

Henderson Alexander Brown, Burnbank

Henderson John and Adam, Sunnyside

Hindmarch Edward, Hethery Hall

Mole William, Greenhaugh

Potts John, Burdenside

Potts Thomas, Burnbank

Ridley John, Gate Houses

Robson Lancelot, Burnmouth

Thompson Thomas, and yeoman, High Green



Bellingham Civil Parish Tindale Ward, 1855 Northumberland Parishes and Townships - 1855


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