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Chollerton Parish 1855

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

CHOLLERTON is a parish comprising the townships of Barrasford, Chollerton, Caldwell and Swinburn, and Gunnerton and Chipchase. It is bounded by the parishes of Bellingham, Corsenside, Wark, Simonburn, St. John Lee, and Thockrington, and comprises an area of 12,950 acres. The population in 1801, was 1,127; in 1811, 1,162; in 1821, 1,154; Iin 1831, 1,252; in 1841, 1,129; and in 1851, 1,151 souls. The greater portion of this parish is in a high state of cultivation and abounds with coal and lime. The rateable value for the parish is £9,030 10s.


BARRASFORD is a township and village, the property of the Duke of Northumberland, who is also Lord of the Manor. The Township contains 1,394 acres and the number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 169; in 1811, 181; in 1821, 193; in 1831, 232; in 1841, 209; and in 1851, 228 souls. This manor was formally the estate of Robert de Umphraville, who having been in the Scottish wars in the reign of Edward I., obtained, in 1303, a licence for a market here every Wednesday, and a fair on the 11th of November, with free warren in his lordship, but these privileges have long been disused. The village of Barrasford is pleasantly situated on the North Tyne, 7 miles north of Hexham. It is very irregularly built, and the cottages, for the most part, are covered with thatch.


Dodd John, shoe maker

Graham Thomas, shopkeeper

Graham William Thomas, butcher

MacIntyre Patrick, tailor

Prudhoe Elizabeth, innkeeper

Prudhoe William, joiner

Reed George, draper and grocer 

Rutter John, corn miller, Barrasford mill 

Urwin Thomas, blacksmith  

Walton Thomas, builder, Barrasford fell

Welton William, builder 

Welton William, tailor and draper 

Young Miss Jane, Ellwood house 


Coulson Jacob 

Forster Ralph 

Lawes William, an agent to the Duke of Northumberland 


CHOLLERTON is a township and village in the parish of the same name, containing 2, 817 acres, the property of Sir John Edward Swinburne, Bart, who is also Lord of the Manor. The population in 1801, was 181; in 1811, 219; in 1821, 149; in 1831, 187; in 1841, 155; and in 1851, 157 souls. The village of Chollerton is pleasantly situated on the eastern Bank of the North Tyne, about 5 1/4 miles north by east of Hexham. The church, dedicated St Giles, is a neat stone edifice, with a small tower, and has recently undergone considerable improvements and alterations. It has been newly pewed; a new organ and organ gallery erected; the old windows have been removed, and beautifully stained glass ones occupy their place. The living is a Vicarage, with the curacy of Chipchase, in the archdeaconry of Northumberland and Deanery of Bellingham, and is valued in the Libra Regis at £6 14s. 4 1/2d, gross income £399. The tithes are commuted for £473 2s. 10d.. Patron and incumbent, the Rev. Christopher Bird, M.A The parish register commences in 1647.

CHARITY. -- Ursula Mountney, in 1681, left a rent charge of £2 per annum to the poor of this parish.

Thomas Elliott, generally called Tommy the Tinker, died at Chollerton Edge, in this parish, in 1834, aged 87. He generally resided at Stamfordham, and in his peregrinations through life, used frequently to walk from Tweedmouth to the latter place, a distance of upwards of 60 miles in one day. He was very industrious and is said to have reaped corn regularly every harvest for 74 years. The Township of Chollerton includes the villages of Little Swinburn and Whiteside Law, the former of which is situated 1½mile north by east of Swinburne Castle.


Reverend Christopher bird, M.A, vicar of Chollerton, Vicarage


Thomas Armstrong, Beaumont House, Newton Chollerton

George Rochester, Chollerton Middle Farm

William,  Michael, and Joseph Taylor, Whiteside Law.



COLWELL AND SWINBURN form a township in this parish, the property of Thomas Riddell, Esq., who is also the possessor of the manorial rights and privileges. The Township comprises an area of 4,432 acres. The number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 407; in 1811, 387; in 1821, 403; in 1831, 411; in 1841, 393; and in 1851, 393 souls. The village of Colwell is situated near the intersection of the Watling Street by the Cambo Rd, 8 miles north by east of Hexham. Swinburn is a large estate, which forms a joint Township with Colwell, and extends upwards of three miles along the east side of the rivulet, from which the name of the estate is derived. It was anciently held by the Gunnertons, under the barony of Bywell, for the service of two knight’s fees. In the reign of Edward II, it was the seat and manor of Adam do Swinburn, on whose decease it was transferred to Sir John de Widdrington, of Widdrington Castle who married the heiress of the Swinburns, and whose family were the proprietors of this estate for many generations. It was purchased by Thomas Riddell, Esq. of Fenham, in 1695 and has since been the property of his descendants. SWINBURN CASTLE, the residence of Captain Coulson, is a beautiful stone structure, pleasantly situated in an extensive park, about 8 miles north by east of Hexham. In the vicinity of the castle is a neat Catholic Church, erected in 1842, and entirely supported by Thomas Riddell, Esq. Rev. Peter Allanson, priest.

There is a spring of excellent water on the land occupied by Mr Edward Stevenson in this Township. It is called the “bore well”, from his being discovered while “boring” for coal.


Allanson Rev. Peter, Swinburn Hermitage

Blacklock Luke, blacksmith, Colwell

Carr George and sons, builders, Colwell

Colson Captain John Blenkinsop, Swinburn Castle 

Dodd William, Shoemaker, Colwell

Dodds John, shopkeeper, Cowdon 

Jobling William, Esq., Cowden house 

Robson Roger, Cartwright, Low Well house

 Stokoe Thomas, Taylor, Colwell 

Surtees Thomas, joiner, builder, and timber merchant, Colwell

Turnbull William, shoe and clog maker, Colwell

Watson Thomas, gamekeeper, Swinburn 


Armstrong John, Little Swinburn 


Gibson John, Colwell

Herdman James, and wood agent, Swinburn 

Herdman John, and corn miller, Swinburn Mill

Hogg Francis, and vict. Tonepit House 

Hudson Edward, Low Cowdon 

Hutchinson William, and collector of property and income taxes, Swinburn Wood Hall 

Robson Joseph, Edge House  

Simpson Thomas, Short Knows, Little Swinburn 

Stephenson Edward, Colwell Well Houses

Stevenson John, Colt Crag

Stevenson Robert, Colwell

Stephenson Thomas, and yeoman, Wheat Hill

Watson William, Colwell Fell House

Watson William, Fawcit 


CARRIERS  Walter Fiddes and Hugh Moore, to Newcastle, and Thomas Taylor to Hexham, on Tuesdays from Colwell.


GUNNERTON AND CHIPCHASE form a joint township, containing 4,307 acres. The population in 1801 was 370; in 1811, 375; in 1821, 409; in 1831, 422; in 1841, 372 ; and in 1851, 373 inhabitants. The principal land owners are the Rev. C. Bird, R.W. Grey, Esq., and Thomas Riddell, Esq. Each landowner claims the manorial rights of his own property. Coal is found in great abundance in this neighbourhood, and a tile manufactory is carried on in the vicinity of Gunnerton. There is a National School in this township, about two miles north of Chollerton. It was erected by subscription, in 1831, at an expense of £240, and is a neat stone structure with teacher’s house annexed. The average attendance is about 40 pupils. The village of Gunnerton is situated about 9 miles north by West of Hexham. There was formerly a Chapel here, but not a vestige of it now remains.

CHIPCHASE is an estate, 9 ½miles north by west of Hexham, and forming a joint township with Gunnerton. It was anciently a member of the manner of Prudhoe, and in the reign of King John, was the property of Odonel de Umfraville, who gave the chapel here to the Canons of Hexham, but the manor to his son and heir, in whose family it continued for many generations. In the reign of Edward I, Chipchase was the property of Peter de Insula, and afterwards of a branch of the ancient family of the Herons, of Ford Castle, one of whom sold it to George Allgood Esq., who in his turn, disposed of it to John Reed, High Sheriff of Northumberland, in 1732. On his decease in 1754, the estate was inherited by his nephew, Christopher Soulsby, who assumed the name of Reed, and married the eldest daughter of Francis Blake, Esq., of Twizell. It afterwards came into the possession of R.W.Grey Esq., the present possessor. Chipchase Castle is a large and beautiful structure occupying an elevated situation, and surrounded by a spacious park, in the vicinity of the North Tyne. It has undergone many repairs and improvements from time to time, and very little of the old fortress of the Herons is now in existence. Chipchase Chapel was rebuilt on the lawn by the first John Reed Esq., of this place, and the vicar of Chollerton performs duty here four times a year, for which he receives £2 in lieu of tithes.

CAMP HILL in this township, in the occupancy of Mr William Bullock, is situated near Gunnerton. Here are distinct traces of two or three Roman camps or stations, and coins of various dates have often been discovered.

POST OFFICE, GUNNERTON, John Oliver, postmaster. Letters arrive here from Hexham at 6:00 PM and are dispatched thereto at 6:00 AM.


Charlton Edward, cartwright, Gunnerton

Charlton John, plasterer, Gunnerton

Charlton William, cartwright, Gunnerton

Coulson Thomas, junior, shoe and clog maker, Gunnerton

Deans George, coal owner, Black Hill

Dunn Thomas and John, tailors, Gunnerton

Dunn William, shoe and clog maker, Gunnerton

GUNNERTON COLLIERY Co. Joseph Henderson, manager

Marshall Thomas, sadler, Gunnerton

Mattinson Thomas, schoolmaster

Richardson William, sadler, Gunnerton

Walton Robert, butcher, Gunnerton

Weightman Elizabeth, shopkeeper, Gunnerton


Welton George, builder, Gunnerton


Armstrong John, Shortmoor

Armstrong Thomas, and miller, Chipchase

Benson William, Park House

Bullock William, Camp Hill

Deans Jacob and William, Black Hill

Dodd Joseph, Gunnerton

Green Joseph, Gunnerton

Kitchen Thomas, Gunnerton

Marshall Thomas, and vict. Black Horse, and blacksmith, Gunnerton

Robson Robert, Pitts Houses,

White John.


Chollerton Civil Parish Northumberland Parishes and Townships - 1855


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