- Mitford, Northumberland
Mitford is a village in Northumberland, about 3 km west of Morpeth. It is located by the confluence of the River Font and River Wansbeck. The ruins of Mitford Castle, built in the 11th century by William Bertram, overlook the River Wandsbeck opposite the village. Mitford had a thriving market during the middle ages. The Church of St. Mary Magdalene dates from the 12th century.
Mitford is a village in the borough of Castle Morpeth in the Wansbeck parliamentary constituency, in Northumberland, England, about 2 miles west of Morpeth.
Mitford was once a far greater market place for local people. Morpeth's market soon grew in prominence and Mitford fell from grace. This historic status of the two market town led to a folk rhyme:
:::Mitforde was Mitforde when Morpeth was none,
:::and Mitforde shall be Mitforde when Morpeth is gone.
The village lies within the Longhorsley Division of Northumberland County Council, represented since May 2013 by Cllr Glen Sanderson (Conservative) (2008 - 2013 by Cllr David Towns, also Conservative) and the Wansbeck parliamentary constitency (Ian Lavery MP, Labour). The Boundary Commission unveiled proposals to transfer the village into the Hexham parliamentary constituency but the plans were abandoned when the reorganisation of constituency boundaries was halted by the government.
Mitford Castle was built in the 11th century by William Bertram but by 1323 was no longer used. Today it is in ruins, and has recently undergone a major programme of structural support works.
The ancient church of St Mary Magdalene was rebuilt in 1875, but has preserved its Norman south arcade and 13th century chancel. The church is believed to have the oldest bell in the Diocese of Newcastle cast no later than about 1150.
In Light from Heaven, the last instalment of American author Jan Karon's contemporary Christian "Mitford Years" novel series (which is set in a fictional town in western North Carolina bearing the same name), the series' setting and the Mitford of this article become "sister Ovillages."
The Mitford family held the Manor from Norman times. The ruins of their Manor House stand on the eastern side of the River Wansbeck. In about 1823 they abandoned the old Manor House for a new mansion house, Mitford Hall, which was designed by the famous Northern architect, John Dobson, and which was built on the opposite bank of the river and surrounded by woodland and a small deer park.