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Stamfordham Parish, 1855

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

STAMFORDHAM parish comprises the townships of Bitchfield, Black-Heddon, Cheeseburn Grange, Fenwick, Hawkwell, Heugh, Ingoe, Kearsley, Matfen (East), Matfen (West), Nesbit, Ouston, Ryal, and Wallridge. It is bounded on the north by Bolam, on the west by St. John Lee and Halton, on the south by Corbridge and Ovingham, and on the east by Heddon-on-the- Wall and Newburn. It is about five and a half miles long, by four and a half broad, and contains an area of 18,089 acres . Population in 1801, 1,652; in 1811, 1,813; in 1821, 1,827; in 1831, 1,736; in 1841,  1,777; and in 1851, 1,781 souls. This parish comprises the finest part of Tindale Ward ; it is well wooded, and some of the lands are occasionally enriched by the overflowing of the river Pont, which rises a little to the south of St. Oswald's, in the parish of St. John Lee, and after passing through Ponteland, to the west of the marshy lake called Prestwick Carr, it empties itself into the Cat-raw, which proceeds in a north-easterly direction to Stannington Vale, and then assumes the name of the "Blyth" river, under which name the united streams flow to the sea at Blyth.


BITCHFIELD is a township, situated three and a half miles north- east of Stamfordham . It contains 717 acres of land, its rateable value is £750, and the number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 28 ; in 1811 , 49 ; in 1821 , 39 ; in 1831 , 40 ; in 1841 , 36 ; and in 1851 , 33 souls . This township is the property of Sir C. M. L. Monck, Bart. , who is also lord of the manor.

DIRECTORY.-William and Christopher Graham, farmers, West Bitchfield ; and John Ridley, farmer, East Bitchfield.


BLACK HEDDON is a township and hamlet, the property of Sir C. M. L. Monck, Bart. , and James Hepple, Esq. , of Black Heddon House. Sir John Swinburne is lord of the manor. The township comprises an area of 1,619 acres, and its rateable value is £1,336 10s. Population in 1801 , 36 ; in 1811 , 64 ; in 1821 , 63 ; in 1831 , 64 ; in 1841 , 73 ; and in 1851 , 54 souls. THE HAMLET of Black Heddon is situated three miles north of Stamfordham.

DIRECTORY. -James Hepple, Esq. , Black Heddon House ; William Law, farmer, Black Heddon ; Edward Robson, shopkeeper ; and Thomas Southern, farmer, Bygate.


CHEESEBURN GRANGE is a township, one mile E.S.E. of Stamfordham, the property of Edward Riddell, Esq. , J.P., who is also lord of the manor. It contains 695 acres , and the rateable value is £674 16s. The population in 1801 , was 93 ; in 1811 , 103 ; in 1821 , 101 ; in 1881, 71 ; in 1841 , 56 ; and in 1851 , 64 souls. This manor was formerly the property of Hexham Priory, but after the dissolution of the religious houses, it passed to Gawen Swinburne, Esq. , and we find Sir Thomas Widdrington proprietor in 1639. This Sir Thomas was: e founder of Stamfordham School, for some time Recorder of York, and subsequently Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, Speaker to the house of Parliament, and Lord Chief- Baron of the Exchequer. He was also the author of a History of York. He left four daughters, and this estate passed in the female line to the family of the present proprietor.

CHEESEBURN GRANGE HALL, the seat of Edward Riddell, Esq. , J.P., is a substantial stone mansion, attached to which there is a nent Catholic Chapel, capable of accommodating about 100 persons. Over the altar is a fine painting of "The Descent from the Cross. " Rev. Thomas Gillett, chaplain.

DIRECTORY. -Rev. Thomas Gillett ( Catholic), Street Houses ; Edward Riddell, Esq. , J.P , Cheeseburn Grange Hall ; John Hedley, farm bailiff, Leagure House ; and the farmers are David Barron , Stobhill ; John Liddell , Richmond Hill ; and John Robson, Grange Houses.


FENWICK is a township and hamlet, the property of Sir E. B. Blackett, who also possesses the manorial rights and privileges. The township comprises an area of 1,634 acres, and its rateable value is £ 1,660. The number of inhabitants in 1801 , was 83 ; in 1811 , 88 ; in 1821 , 76 ; in 1831 , 80 ; in 1841 , 66; and in 1851, 72 souls. This place was formerly the seat and property of the ancient and valiant family of the Fenwicks, who possessed it as early as the reign of Henry III. John de Fenwick, who was the proprietor in the reign of the unfortunate Richard II. , married Mary, the daughter of William de Strother, and by this means acquired the estate of Wallington, which, with this of Fenwick, continued in his family till the beginning of the reign of William III . , when they were both sold to Sir William Blackett, Bart. , in whose family it still remains . THE HAMLET of Fenwick is situated one mile and three quarters west by north of Stamfordham. FENWICK TOWER, the ancient seat of the Fenwicks, was pulled down, in 1775 , when several hundred gold nobles, of the time of Edward III. , were found in a stone chest, covered with sand, twelve inches deep, and placed over the arch of the cellar door, which was immediately under the flags of the castle gate. They were supposed to have been concealed on an inroad of David, King of Scots, in 1360, as far as Hexham, whence he carried off the two sons of Sir John Fenwick, the owner of this castle, who did not long survive the loss. BIOGRAPHY. -Sir John Fenwick, one of the ancient and heroic family who formerly possessed this township, was a member of parliament, in 1660, and of the successive parliaments of Charles II. and James II. He was a man of considerable talent, and romantically attached to the house of Stuart. After the great fire of London, in 1666, he built the great Hall in Christ's Hospital, in which the boys dine and sup. His restless spirit had led him, in the year 1694, to assist in the concerting of plans for the restoration of James II.; but in 1696 , finding that William's government was acquainted with his proceedings, he set out for France, but was apprehended at New Romney, in Kent, and committed to the Tower on a charge of treason. He was afterwards condemned, by a law made on purpose, to stain the scaffold with his blood-made after the crime was done, for which he was accused by a guilty approver. One act of mercy was allowed to Sir John ; he was not dragged through the streets to be hanged at Tyburn, as the law required-but the king, in consideration, it is supposed, of the high rank of Lady Fenwick, (Lady Mary Howard, eldest daughter of Charles, Earl of Carlisle) , omitted all execution of the act of forfeiture, except beheading him on Tower Hill. He met his fate with great firmness and composure, in the 52nd year of his age. His body was buried near the altar of St. Martin's Church, London.

DIRECTORY. -John Smith, blacksmith ; and the farmers are Leonard Dobson ; Cuthbert Drydon, Matfen Burn Side ; William Lishman ; and George and Robinson Turnbull.


HAWKWELL is a township and village in this parish, the property of Edward Riddell, Esq. , of Cheeseburn Grange ; Mr. John Prudhoe, of Hawkwell, and others. The area of the township is 576 acres, and its rateable value £927 10s. The population in 1801 , was 125 ; in 1811, 133 ; in 1821, 136 ; in 1831 , 150 ; in 1841 , 176 ; and in 1851 , 135 souls. Edward Riddell, Esq. , J.P., is lord of the manor. This township is separated from Stamfordham by the river Pont, which frequently overflows its banks, and inundating the adjacent land causes considerable damage. THE VILLAGE of Hawkwell is situated a quarter of a mile south of Stamfordham, and consists of a farm house, a brewery, a cornmill, an inn, and several cottages . In this township there is an excellent limestone quarry, worked by Messrs. Joseph and William Jordan.


Crow G. registrar of births and deaths
Curry Edward, cooper
Handyside Dorothy, shopkeeper
Handyside Edward, brewer, Hawkwell Brewery
Handyside Henry George, farmer and woolstapler, Gilchester
Handyside Robert, cornmiller,
Hepple Mary, schoolmistress
Jordan Joseph and William, farmers
Prudhoe John, joiner and cartwright
Rutter Robert, blacksmith and innkeeper


HEUGH is a township and hamlet, the property of Sir John E. Swinburne, Bart. , and Baliol College, Oxford. The township comprises an area of 2,281 , acres, and its rateable value is £2,768. It contained in 1801 , 472 ; in 1811, 522 ; in 1821 , 512 ; in 1831 , 472 ; in 1841 , 442 ; and 1851 , 448 inhabitants. Sir John E. Swinburne is lord of the manor. THE HAMLET of Heugh consists of two farmhouses, an inn, and a few cottages.


STAMFORDHAM is a small but pleasant village in the above township, situated on the north bank of the river Pont, twelve miles W. N. W. of Newcastle, and thirteen miles E. N. E. of Hexham. It consists of one very broad street, or two rows of cottages, and possesses five or six inns. The buildings are principally two storeys high, and the space between the cottages on both sides of the village is covered with grass, and intersected by the main road. In the centre of the village is a small building called the market cross, which was erected by the lord of the manor, Sir John Swinburne, in 1736. At the east end of the village is a small lockup, for the temporary confinement of prisoners. There is a plentiful supply of excellent water from a pant, which is situated at the eastern extremity of the village. Fairs are held here on Thursday before the 26th of April, for horses, cattle, and sheep-Thursday before the 26th of August, for cattle, sheep, and lambs. Hirings take place on the last Thursday in March, for hinds-Thursday before the 12th of May, and Thursday before the 13th of November, for unmarried servants. Term days, 12th of May, and 13th of November. THE CHURCH, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, was rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in the year 1849. It is a substantial stone building, having a monument to John Swinburne, Esq. and wife, in the west end. The parish register commences in 1662. The living, a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Northumberland and deanery of Corbridge, is valued in the Liber Regis at £ 14 18s. 1d ; gross income £626. Patron, the Lord Chancellor ; vicar, the Rev. John F. Bigge, M.A.; curate, the Rev. Robert Gordon, Calthorpe, M.A. THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN Chapel, situated at the eastern extremity of the village, is an old, plain, stone building, capable of affording sitting accommodation to about 200 persons. Rev. William Fisken, minister. STAMFORDHAM SCHOOL was founded and endowed by Sir Thomas Widdrington, in 1663. Patron, R. E. D. Shafto, Esq. , M.P. , Whitworth. The following trustees were appointed in November, 1852, viz. : -Sir C. M. L. Monck, Bart. , Sir Edward Blackett, Bart. , Edward Riddell, Esq. , Rev. John F. Bigge, Rev. I. S., Priestman, and J. Hedley, Esq. The school is free to the children of the poor of Stamfordham parish. The income from the endowment, at the time of the Charity Commissioners' report, amounted to £200 per annum. The Rev. John Fox is head master. A Library and Reading Room have been lately established.

CHARITIES. Besides the school, the following bequest is the property of the poor of this parish. Henry Paston, in 1698, left a rent charge of £12 per annum, to be distributed quarterly by the vicar and churchwardens.

POST OFFICE, STAMFORDHAM, Mary Colley, Postmistress. Letters arrive, from Newcastle, at 12-30 noon, and are despatched thereto at 5 p.m.


Bigge Rev. John, F.M.A., Vicarage
Davison William, cornmiller,
Heugh Hill Forster Thomas, stonemason
Hedley Joseph, joiner
Hedley Robert, joiner
Heslop E. straw bonnet maker
Heslop R. shopkeeper
Milburn Christopher, saddler
Phillipson John, farrier
Sharp John, clockmaker
Surtees John, surgeon

Academies and Schools
Brough John Fisken Rev. William
FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, Rev. John Fox, head master

Baker and Flour Dealer
Johnson Robert

Lawson J. Heugh Marshall William, and agricultural implement maker

Boot and Shoemakers
Dunn J. English
Christopher Hall J.
Richardson J.
Thompson T.
White T.

Green William
Shaw William

Askell John, Mains Bank
Davison John, Heugh Mill
Dickinson John, Heugh
Dinnin George, Hetherslaw
Elliott T. Dyke House, Heugh
Ord Francis, Cowstand
Rochester William, Heugh
Robson T. Pens Close
Tomlin Wm. Wester-heugh
Turnbull William

Grocers and Drapers
Colley Hector Goodfellow, and spirit merchant
Elliott J.
Reay J.

Bay Horse, Jas. Rutherford Colley Hector Good- fellow, spirit merchant
Masons' Arms, H. Thompson
Plough, Michl, Urwin, Heugh
Wheat Sheaf, Seth Shaw
Swinburne Arms, John Richardson
Marshall William, beerhouse

Elliott John
Brown M.
Brown N.

CONVEYANCE. -A spring cart from the Masons' Arms Inn, to the Victoria Hotel, Newgate- street, Newcastle, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, leaving Stamfordham at seven o'clock in the morning, and returning from Newcastle at four in the afternoon.

CARRIER.-Andrew Elliott, to Newcastle, on Thursdays and Saturdays.


lNGOE is a township and village, comprising 2,165 acres, the property ofthe Duke of Nortbumberland, Dixon Dixou, Esq. and others, and the rateable value is £1,423 14s. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 20l; in 1811,232; in 1821, 239; in 1831, 242; 1841, 231 ; and in 1851, 228 souls. THE VILLAGE of Ingoe occupies an elevated situation, and consists of a farm house, with a number of cottages. Here is a Primitive Methodist Chapel, erected in 1848. There is also a school which is endowed with eleven gnineas per annum, by the Duke of Northumberland, and other landowners in the neighbourhood. The school-house was erected by subscription in 1851.


Askell.John, boot and shoemaker
Brodie John, shopkeeper
Douglas Moses, schoolmaster
Murray John, tailor
Prondlock George, joiner
Robson Matthew, innkeeper
Robinson Robert, boot and shoemaker
Robson Wiliiam, blacksmith
Erown Joseph and William
Charlton Thomas
Charlton William, Linnp Hill
Harrison John, Muckle Ridge
Harrison Jobn, Ingoe Low Hall
Harrison George, Fens
Harrison Joseph, Moralees
Proudlock Thomas
Robson Joseph and Thomas
Russell George, and coalowner
Wilkinson James, Tongues
Wilkinson William, Birney




KEARSLEY is a township, situated four miles north-west by west of Stamfordham. It contains 605 acres, and its rateable value is £368, and £12 tithes. Population in 1801, 17; in 1811, 17; in 1821, 11; in 1831, 16 in 1841. 11; and in 1851, 13 souls. It is the property of John, George, and Thomas Hedley, to whom the manorial rights and privileges also belong. Thomas Hedley is the principal resident in the township.


MATFEN (EAST) is a township and small village, the property of Sir Edward. Blackett, Bart., Sir John Clayton, Mr. John Ord, of Corne Side, West Matfen, and others. Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., and W. B. Beaumont, Esq., M.P., are the lords of the manor. The township comprises an area of 2,06'7 acres, and its rateable value is £1,881. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 143; in 1811, 149; in 1821, 152; in 1831, 130; in 1841, 110; and in 1851, 164 souls. Here is an extensive brick and tile manufactory, conducted. by Mr. William Nicholson. THE VILLAGE of East Matfen is situated two and a quarter miles south-west by west of Stamfordham, and from the foundations of buildings -still visible, must at one time, have been a place or some consequence. WALL HOUES is a hamlet in this township, four miles south-west of Stamfordham, upon the site of the Roman Wall.


Baty William, slater, Matfen Burnside
Cant John, shoemaker
Hall J. publican, Wall Houses
Harrell James, blacksmith, Wall Houses
Nicholson William, brick and tile manufacturer, East Matfen Brick and Tile Works



Angus Silas
Bowman Henry, Butcher-hill
Brewis Geo. and Jas. Matfen Moor Houses
Dodd John, Wall Houses
Handyside William, Matfen Moor Houses, East Farm
Hudson George
Rowell John Ridley
John Thompson John, Wall Houses

CARRIER. Thomas Cook, from Bell Rink, to Newcastle, on Thursdays.


MATFEN (WEST) is a township and well built village, the property of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., Mr. John Ord, of Corne Side, and others. The township contains 1,905 acres, and its population in J 801, was 224; in 1811, 256; in 1821, 307; in 1831, 319; in 1841, 429; and in 1851, 412 souls. The manor of West Matfen, belonged to Philip de Ulcote, in the reigns of John and Henry III., and was held by grand sergeantry, by the service of keeping the pleas of the crown. This Philip de Ulcote was ,joined in commission with Hugh de Baliol to hold the castle and town of Berwick-upon-Tweed against the confederate barons, in 1216, and was High Sheriff of Northumberland, from 1215 to 1220. He died in 1234, and was succeeded in this and his other estates by his five sisters. West Matfen was afterwards the property of the Felton family, one of whom, Sir William, was High Sheriff of Northumberland, from 1312 to 1315, and from 1339 to 1344, and in 1340 was representative for the county in parliament. It was subsequently transferred by marriage to the Hastings family, with whom it remained till 1568, when we find it the property of Sir Ralph Lawson, but it soon after4 wards passed into the Fenwick family, by whom it was alienated, about 1680, to John Douglas, Esq., on whose decease it was inherited by his eldest son, Oley Douglas, whose only daughter married Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., and by that means brought the estate into the possession of the Blacketts. The baronetage of this family was created in 1673, in the person of Sir William Blackett, a rich merchant of Newcastle, and representative of that town in parliament. Sir Edward, the second baronet, who was several times M.P. for Northumberland and Ripon, died in 1718, and was succeeded by his son Edward, who, dying without issue, in 1756, the family honours and estates devolved upon his nephew, Sir Edward, the fourth baronet, on whose demise, in 1804, Sir William Blackett succeeded to the estate, which is now possessed by Sir Edward Blackett., Bart., who was born in 1805.

THE VILLAGE of West Matfen is situated three miles west of Stamfordham. THE CHURCH, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected in 1842 at the sole charge of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., and is a handsome edifice, possessing free sittings for about 300 persons. Matfen was erected into a "District Parish" which embraces the townships of West Matfen, East Matfen, Ryall, Kearsley, and part of Ingoe, in February, 1846. The living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., and is endowed with tithes, twenty acres of land, and a handsome parsonage house and garden. Twelve acres of the land were given by Sir Edward Blackett, Bart.~ and the remainder was purchased by a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty. The Rev. I. S. Priestman, is incumbent.

MATFEN HALL, the residence of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., is a splendid mansion, situated on a gentle elevation, on the north side of the river Pont. In the gardens adjoining the hall, are a variety of "Roman Remains,” and other curiosities, principally found at Halton Chesters. Near the farm house called Matfen Low Hall, was a circular mount, composed of earth and numerous masses of stone, which have been used in the erection of an adjoining farmstead. Amongst them were discovered two Cist-vaens, or stone coffins, consisting of four flags set edgeways, with a bottom stone and cover. When these were opened, the only vestige of mortality found within them was a little white dust. It was generally considered by antiquarians to have been a Celtic tumulus.

POST OFFICE, MATFEN, Joseph Richardson, postmaster. Letters arrive, from Gateshead, via Corbridge, at 1-30 p.m., and are despatched thereto, at 4.30 p.m.


Blackett Sir Edward, Bart., Matfen Hall
Dodd John, shopkeeper
Dobson John, butcher
Forster George, bailiff
Green William, surgeon
Priestman, Rev. I. S. incumbent, Parsonage
Richardson Joseph, agent
Sample William, land agent

Urwin Thomas, and agricultural implement maker

Boot and Shoemakers
Dawson John
Dobson Thomas
Rochester Joseph

Hedley John, yeoman, Delight
Ord Jno. yeoman, Corne Side
Robson John and Thomas, Matfen
Rowell Edward, Dewlaw
Sample William, Matfen
Scott Forster, Low Hall Urwin Thomas, Matfen

Black Bull, Humphrey Milburn
Crown and Thistle, Leonard and Thomas Dobson

Joiners and Cartwrights
Robson John and Thomas 

Jordon William
Soulsby J.



NESBIT is a township, situated two miles south of Stamfordham, and the property of Edward Riddell, Esq., of Cheeseburn Grange, who is also lord of the manor. It contains 843 acres, and its rateable value is £662. The number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 4l; in 1811, 42; in 1821, 38; in 1831, 37; in 1841, 35 ; and in 1851, 36 souls.

DIRECTORY. The farmers are Joseph and George Barron, Dodley ; Elizabeth Potts, Nesbit Hill Head; John Charlton Ridley, Nesbit; John Ruther- ford, Birks ; Henry Stobart, Cold Side; and Thomas Stobart, Cold Side.


OUSTON township is one mile and a half south-west of Stamfordham. It comprises an area of 511 acres, its rateable value is £378, and the population in 1801, was 37; in 1811, 24; in 1821, 32; in 1831, 19; in 1841, 21; and in 1851, 24 souls. Edward Riddell, Esq., of Cheeseburn Grange, is lord of the manor and owner of the soil.

DIRECTORY. The farmers are Matthew Barron and William White.


RYALL is a chapelry, township, and small village, in the above-named parish, the property of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., Mr. Peter Annandale, J.. Hedley and Brothers, and the Rev. J. F . Bigge. Each landowner claims the manorial rights of his own property. The township comprises an area of 2,189 acres. The number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 128; in 1811, 129; in 18Ql, 118; in 1831, 89; in 1841, 87; and in 1851, 88 souls. THE VILLAG.E of Ryall consists of two good farm houses, an inn_, and a few cottages, which are chiefly inhabited by agricultural labourers. Here is an old ruinous chapel, situated in a grave yard. It was formerly a Chapel of Ease under the parish church of Stamfordham, but since the erection of Trinity Church at West Matfen, in 1842, this chapel has become disused, the township of Ryall being included in the district attached to that church.

DIRECTORY. Robert Hall, innkeeper; William Jobson, blacksmith ; William Rochester,. shoemaker ; and the farmers are James and Alexander Armstrong, Fair Spring; John Reed, South Farm; and Edward Wales, East Farm.


WALLRIDGE is a township, four miles N.N.W. of Stamfordham, the property of Sir Charles M.L. Monck, Bart. It contains 191 acres, and it's population in 1801 was 4; in 1811, 5; in 1821, 3; in 1831, 7; in 1841, 4; and in 1851, 10 souls. It consists of one farm, which is occupied by Forster Charlton, farmer.

Stamfordham Civil Parish Northumberland Parishes and Townships - 1855 Stamfordham Parish, 1848


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