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Ridley Township, Haltwhistle, 1848
RIDLEY, a township, in the parish and union of Haltwhistle, W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 4 miles (E. by S.) from Haltwhistle; containing 258 inhabitants. The township is on the west of the river Allen, and south of the river South Tyne. It comprises 4202a. 1r. 1p., of which a small portion is arable and wood, and a considerable breadth wild moor; the soil is clay on the higher grounds, and gravel or sand in the vicinity of the Tyne, and the open land is occasionally interspersed with woody ravines, from which streams descend into the river. The Newcastle and Carlisle railway runs for about half a mile through the north-east corner of the township. Ridley Hall is mentioned in old documents as the property of the Ridleys of Willimoteswick, in the reigns of Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I.; in the latter part of the 17th century it had passed into the hands of the family of Lowes, by whom the present mansion was built, towards the close of the last century, and considerable additions were made to it by the late John Davidson, Esq., whose grandmother was named Lowes. It is charmingly situated on ground retiring irregularly from the Tyne; soft green slopes, and a rich garniture of groves, environ it on three sides, and on the south it has a broad and flat lawn, and the deep and thickly-wooded chasm of the Allen full in front. William's-Wyke Castle, which also belonged to the family of the martyred Bishop Ridley, until the year 1652, when the estate was seized by the commonwealth, is now a possession of Sir Edward Blackett's; it stands upon a rather steep eminence, overlooking the lands that intervene between it and the Tyne. The rectorial tithes, belonging to Sir Edward, have been commuted for £43, and the vicarial for £100. In the chapel-yard of Beltingham, in the township, are several fine yewtrees of great age; and near Allen's-Green are some petrifying springs which leave an incrustation upon any vegetable substance brought in contact with them.—See Beltingham.
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