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Falstone Parish, 1855

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

FALSTONE is a parish comprising the towns Plawshets and Wellhaugh. It extends eastward from the limits of Cumberland and Scotland, to the parishes of Thorneyburn and Greystead, a distance of 11 miles, and comprises an area of 57,700 acres. The population in 1801, was 437; In 1811, 429; in 1821, 501; in 1831, 521; in 1841, 560; and in 1851, 562 souls. This extensive parish is one of those into which the parish of Simonburn was divided by act of parliament in 1811. It is a moorish and mountainous district, on which great numbers of sheep are pastured; grouse, partridge, and black game are found in abundance. The North Tyne rises in this parish, and here receives a number of burns or rivulets, on whose banks this soil is in many places well cultivated. From the source of the North Tyne to Bellingham, there are numerous traces of the castramentations, or strongholds, of the ancient Britons. We may mention Bell’s Hunkin, and Ryan’s Hill, one mile above Kielder Castle; Hitchill Wood and Camp Rigg, near Keilder; Lowey Knough, and Hobb’s Knough, about a mile from the last named place; Harpney Rig, and Baresdales, on the Lewis-burn, and Hawk’s Knough. There is also one on Wellhaugh Moor, another in the wood near Eals, and a third on Knopping Holme Hill, opposite to Tasset Castle. The name of Falstone is said to be a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon word fast and, signifying a stronghold for the purpose of fastening or securing cattle, etc.

PLAWSHETS , a township containing the village of Falstone, is the property of the Duke of Northumberland, Sir J.E. Swinburne, Sir M. W.£ Ridley, John Ridley, Esq. and others. It contains 28,225 acres and its rateable value is 2,982 10. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 209; in 1811, 214; in 1821, 234; in 1831, 249; in 1841, 222; and in 1851, 229 souls. There is a colliery in this township, which is carried on by the Duke of Northumberland.

FALSTONE is a village in this township, situated 9 miles west by north of Bellingham. The parish church is a handsome stone structure with a square tower, rebuilt by subscription in 1823, and a cost, inclusive of the rectory, of about £2,000. The living, a rectory in the archdeaconry of Northumberland and Deanery of Bellingham, is of the certified value of £10 pounds, gross income £219. The tithes are commuted for £228. Patrons, the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital. Rector, the Rev. Thomas Foster, M.A. The parish register commences in 1742. Here is also a Presbyterian Church, rebuilt by subscription in 1807, at an expense of £425. It is a substantial stone edifice, and occupies a pleasant situation. The Rev. Donald McNaughton Stuart, minister. TYNEHEAD CHAPEL, in connection with the Presbyterian Church, Falstone, is a stone structure, rebuilt by the Duke of Northumberland. Divine services performed here once a month by the Rev. Mr Stewart, of Falstone. There is a school in the village, endowed with £5 per annum, by Sir J.E. Swinburne, Bart. The stone bridge was erected in 1843, at a cost of £2,222 pounds. It crosses the north Tyne by three arches, each of 40 feet span, and connects the villages of Falstone and Stannersburn.

KIELDER CASTLE, is a sporting seat of the Duke of Northumberland, occupies a romantic situation 7 miles northwest by west of Falstone, at the junction of the Kielder Burn and the North Tyne. It is quadrangular in form, with a castellated front, and commands a fine view of the river and surrounding country. The banks of the Kielder and the adjacent country were anciently clothed with thick woods, some vestiges of which still remain. About 60 years ago, an oak tree, containing 167 cubic feet of wood, was washed up near Tyne Head, and a few years afterwards the heath on a hill near Yarrow, was set fire to by the shepherds, when, after the peat moss was consumed, the remains of an ancient pine forest were discovered. This circumstance caused the place to obtain the name the Fir-tree Moss, which it retains to this day, and the country people still go to it to collect wood, etc. At the western extremity of this parish, is an extensive track of country on the borders, formerly known by the designation of “the debateable land”, but in 1552, it was divided by agreement between the proper officers of England and Scotland. KENNEL PARK is the circular tract of ground, 3 miles in diameter, situated about 3 miles west by north of Falstone.


FALSTONE SCHOOL, James Clark, teacher

Foster Rev. Thomas, M, A. Falstone Rectory

Hunter John, vict. Black Cock, Falstone

Lucas Richard, gamekeeper, Kielder Castle

Ridley John and Thomas, yeoman, Falstone

Robson Anthony, farmer, Hawkhope

Robson Thomas and John, farmers, East Kielder

Stewart Rev. Donald McNaughton, Falstone Manse

POST OFFICE, FALSTONE. John hunter, postmaster. Letters arrive here from Bellingham, at 10:00 AM, and are dispatched thereto at 12 noon.

WELLHAUGH township lies principally on the south side of the North Tyne, and contains the hamlets of Rigg End, Stannersburn, and Yarrow, with a number of scattered farmhouses and cottages. It is the property of the Duke of Northumberland, Sir J.E. Swinburne, Bart, Sir M.W. Ridley, Bart, John Ridley, Esq., and others. It comprises an area of 29,475 acres and its rateable value is £2,857 11s. 1d. Population in 1801, 228; in 1811, 215; in 1821, 267; in 1831, 272; in 1841, 338; and in 1851, 333 souls. Here is a school, which was erected by the Duke of Northumberland, in 1849. It is a neat, substantial, stone building, and is well attended. Two roads have been formed in this Township, one by the Duke of Northumberland, from Bewshaugh to the Scottish border, a distance of about 6 miles, the other by Sir J.E. Swinburne, Bart, from Smalesmouth to the border, a distance of 13 miles.

MOUNCES, where Sir J.E. Swinburne has a sporting seat, stands on the south side of the North Tyne, in this township, 3 miles west of Falstone. RIGG END is a hamlet in this township, one mile S.E. of Falstone. STANNERSBURN is another hamlet, half a mile south of the same place. YARROW is a hamlet one mile west of Falstone.


Brown Michael, wood agent, Mounces Knowe

Corbett Robson, blacksmith, Stannersburn

Crozier John, boot and shoemaker, Stannersburn

Dagg Isaac, shopkeeper, Yarrow Moo

Elliott John,  cartwright, Riggend

Hindmarsh Thomas, farm manager, Lewie

KEILDER SCHOOL, William Reed, teacher

Newton Robert, shopkeeper, Stannersburn

Waitt Thomas, shopkeeper, Stannersburn


Forster William Henry, yeoman, Riggend

Hall William, and vict. Fox and lamb, Stannersburn

Hedley James, Bewshaugh

Murray William, Smail

Oliver William, Otterstonelee

Robson William Adam, Emmethaugh

Sisterson Robert and Thomas, yeomen, Yarrow




CARRIER to Newcastle and Bewick in Scotland, Isaac Dagg, on Wednesdays.

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


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