Holystone Parish, 1848
HALLYSTONE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Rothbury, W. division of Coquetdale ward, N. division of Northumberland; containing, with the townships of Barrow, Dueshill, Harbottle, and Linshields, 443 inhabitants, of whom 125 are in the township of Hallystone, 7 miles (W. by N.) from Rothbury. The parish is almost entirely covered with heath. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Allenton in 1311. Near the church are the foundations of a priory for Benedictine nuns, founded by one of the Umfravilles, lords of Redesdale; the rectory of Allenton was appropriated to it, because, as said by Pope Gregory XI. in his letters apostolic, the endowments of the priory, being situated in the marches, were so wasted and destroyed, that the nuns could not maintain themselves. At the time of the Dissolution the priory was possessed of various houses and lands in the village of Hallystone, farms at Corsenside, Brigghouses, Woodhouses, and Risingham, in Redesdale, lands at Wreigh-Hill, a house in Alnwick, lands at Wallington, Bavington, Nun-Riding, Thockrington, and Rochester, with several houses in Newcastle; they had likewise the rectories of Alnwick, Hallystone, and Corsenside. Here are also the remains of a tower, which was a place of great security before the union of the two kingdoms. On the southern bank of the Coquet, which runs through the parish, are vestiges of an old edifice, styled Barrow Peel, and a little to the west is Ridlee Cairn Hill, both supposed to have been cemeteries of the ancient Britons. Poised on the summit of a lofty hill, near which is Harbottle Loch, is a large stone named the Drake stone. There is a fine basin of water, called Lady's Well, beautifully variegated at the bottom with green and white sand, and encircled by a wall of hewn stone. Upon the introduction of Christianity into Northumbria, it is said that about 8,000 persons were baptized at Hallystone by Paulinus.
Extract from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.