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Warden Parish, 1855

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

WARDEN is a parish, with no dependent townships, but it formally included the present parochial chapelries of Haydon Bridge and Newbrough, with their respective townships. It comprises an area of 3,122 acres, and its rateable value is £4,455 10s. The population in 1801, was 349; in 1811, 396; in 1821, 498; in 1831, 540; in 1841, 532; and in 1851, 646 souls. The soil in this neighbourhood is generally fertile, and the scenery diversified and beautiful. Coal and limestone are found here in considerable quantities, and at Fourstones there are collieries and limekilns, which are extensively worked by Mr William Benson, of Allerwash House. At West Boat there is an elegant suspension bridge, which was erected in 1826, at a cost of £5,000. The principal land owners of this parish are Nathaniel Clayton, Esq., John Errington Esq.,, and the Duke of Northumberland, each of whom claims the manorial rights of his own property. Warden was formerly the lordship of Anthony, Lord Lucy, of Cockermouth, for which, in the reign of Edward II, he obtained a grant of the liberty of free warren, with other manors in this county. He died in 1344, leaving the Manor to Thomas, Lord Lucy, and whose family it continued for many generations.

THE VILLAGE of Warden occupies a delightful situation, near the junction of the North and South Tyne, 2 miles N.N.W of Hexham, and is remarkable as being a favourite retreat of Saint John, of Beverly, 12 centuries ago. From the neighbourhood of the church a variety of beautiful and picturesque views of the Vale of the North Tyne may be obtained, and the rural seats which have been erected at the most commanding points, add much to the enjoyment of the surrounding scenery. THE CHURCH, dedicated to Saint Michael, is a cruciform stone structure of considerable antiquity, in the early English style of architecture, and was almost entirely rebuilt in 1765. It possesses several mural tablets to the memory of different individuals, and three excellent stained glass windows, on one of which the principal events in the life of our Blessed Saviour are represented. In the churchyard there is an ancient Roman altar bearing a figure supposed to represent victory, and a small stone coffin, which is said to have been found during the repairs of the church at the period above mentioned. The living is a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Northumberland and deanery of Hexham, valued in the Liber Regis at £8 16s. 3d.; gross income £565. Patron W.B. Beaumont, Esq.; incumbent, the Rev. Christopher Bird, M.A., vicar of Chollerton; Rev. Christopher bird, jun, B.A., curate. The parish register commences in 1695,. The primitive Methodists have a small Chapel here which was built in 1851. THE SCHOOL was erected by subscription in 1820, and is conducted by Mr J.G. Wylie.

HIGH WARDEN is a hamlet in this parish, Situated About Half A Mile North Of The Church. On The Eminence Called Castle Hill Is An Ancient Fort, Including An Area Of More Than Two Acres, And Was Formally Surrounded By A Rampart Of Unhewn Stone, Which Was Further Strengthened By Ramparts Of Earth, With Their Corresponding Ditches. The Entrance To This Fortification Appears To Have Been On The East, And The Approach To It Was Flanked By Stone Ramparts. The Remains Of Buildings May Yet Be Distinctly Traced Within The Lines Where Several Hand-Mills, Or Querns, Have Been Discovered. This Camp Commands An Extensive View Of The North And South Tyne, And All The Principal Villages And Buildings Of Both These Rivers May Be Distinctly Perceived. Behind The Vicarage House At Warden Are The Traces Of Another Military Station, Called Also The Castle Hill.

FOURSTONES Is another hamlet, 2 Miles Northwest Of Warden, Where There Is A Station On The Newcastle And Carlisle Railway. The Name Of This Place Is Said To Have Been Derived “From Its Being Bounded By Four Stones, Supposed To Have Been Formed To Hold Holy Water”. But Other Accounts Say That These Stones Were Roman Altars, And That There Is A Story Current In The Neighbourhood That One Of Them Was Called The “Fairy Stone”, Because Of The Rebellion Of 1715, The Focus Of This Altar Was Formed Into A Square Recess, With A Cover, To Receive The Correspondence Of The Rebel Chiefs, And That A Little Boy Clad In Green Came In The Twilight Of Every Evening To Carry Away The Letters Left In It For Lord Derwentwater, and deposit his answers, which were spirited away in a similar manner by the agency of some of his friends.

CHARITIES: the poor of this parish possessed 2 bequests, one of which was left in 1680, by Ursula Mountney, and consists of a rent charge of £3 per annum; The other was bequeathed by some unknown person, and amounts to £1 yearly.


Barbara Sarah, shopkeeper, Fourstones

Benson William, coal owner, lime burner, and drain tile manufacturer, Fourstones

Bird Rev Christopher jun, B.A. vicarage

Corbett Joseph, blacksmith & shopkeeper, Fourstones

Davidson Thomas, beerhouse keeper and butcher

Elliott Robert, Tailor, Fourstones Park

English John, corn miller

Errington John, Esq., magistrate, High Warden

Ferguson John, shopkeeper, Fourstones

Fordyce Thomas, paper manufacturer

Heads John, Vict, Victoria, Fourstones

Leadbitter Nicholas, Esq.

Nelson & Co. quarry owners, Prudham Quarry, Thomas McDonald, manager

RAILWAY STATION, Fourstones, Francis Ferguson, station master

Ridley John Esq., Walwick Hall 

Robson Robert, shoemaker Fourstones

Short Joseph, blacksmith, Walwick

Turnbull John, shopkeeper and shoemaker

Wylie Jonathan, Cockerill, schoolmaster


Bell John, Walwick

Colbeck Christopher, Walwick Grange

Cutter Paul

Errington John, Park Shields

Heslop Anne, High Warden

Heslop William, Fourstones

Hutchinson Edward

Stevenson Marshall, Fourstones

Thompson John 


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


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