Coquetdale Ward - East Division

Brinkburn Parochial Chapelry


brinkburn is a parochial chapelry in the eastern division of Coquetdale Ward, and western division of Morpeth Ward, comprising the townships of Brinkburn High Ward, Brinkburn Low Ward, and Brinkburn South Side, whose united area is 3,377 acres. Its population in 1801, was 260; in 1811, 209; in 1821, 277; in 1831, 235; in 1841, 208; and in 1851, 225 souls. The soil in this district is generally fertile, and limestone and coal are found in considerable quantities. Brinkburn has been separated from the parochial chapelry of Long Framlington,- with which it was returned prior to 1841.

brinkburn high ward township is the property of Major William Hodgson Cadogan, and is situated nine miles north by west of Morpeth. Its rateable value is 968 10s., and it comprises 1,846 acres. The number of inhabitants in 1801 was —; in 1811, 127; in 1821, 124; in 1831, 130; in 1841, 109; and in 1851, 111 souls. Halfway between Felton and Rothbury, on the north bank of the river Coquet, is situated Brinkburn Priory, in a position of considerable beauty. The church, which is nearly entire, is  built in the form of a Latin Cross, having two chapels on the east side of either transept, and an aisle on the north of the nave only, circular and pointed arches occur in almost equal number throughout. The latter, together with the chapels alluded to, were covered with a stone roof, which in parts is still extant. The body of the edifice appears to have had the high pitched timber roof in common use at the time. The  Priory was founded in the reign of Henry I. The style of this very secluded and little known ruin presents several anomalies to an architect, in any attempt to fix the date of its erection. Late Norman mouldings being mixed with others of apparently an earlier and later date. Of the conventual buildings, nothing now remains but some portions of the walls, which form part of a moderate sized mansion. The crypt is still in existence, and is now used as a cellar. It contains a rudely carved figure which may have been intended to express some fugitive's gratitude for the refuge, only obtainable within a sanctuary. It is probable that the crypt was formerly used as a place of shelter for the cattle, whither they might  be driven during the numerous raids which took place in this neighbourhood. The Priory was founded by William de Bertram, Baton of Mitford, and dedicated to S. S. Peter and Paul. It formed a house for Black Canons of the Order of St. Augustine, of whom ten were dispossessed at the Dissolution, when the annual revenues amounted to 68 19s. 1d., according to Dugdale; and to 77 according to Speed. The lid of the stone coffin of William de Hogeston, the last prior, is in good preservation. A few years ago a metal cup was discovered here full of nobles and other smaller gold coins, of the reigns of Edward III, and Richard II; and in 1850, during some draining operations, a large bell, which was unfortunately broken by the workmen in raising it, was found on the south, or opposite side of the river. This, there is no doubt, had been one of the bells of the church, but how it could have travelled to where it was found, on the top of a steep bank, remains a mystery.

brinkburn Low ward, an adjoining township to the above, is the property of Thomas Riddle, Esq., of Felton Park, and Robert Delisle, Esq. It contains 267 acres, and its rateable value is 698 8s. Population in 1801, —; in 1811, 44; in 1821, 55; in 1831, 69; in 1841, 57; and in 1851, 54 souls.

brinkburn south side is another township in this chapelry, though locally situated in the western division of Morpeth Ward, nine and a half miles north-west of Morpeth. It comprises an area of 965 acres, and its rateable value is 552. Population in 1801, 60; in 1811, 38; in 1821, 25; in 1831, 43; in 1841, 55; and in 1851, 54 souls. This township contains three farms, the property of Thomas Riddell, Esq., Mrs. Brewis and Sisters, Messrs. Trevelyan and Wickham, and Robert Delisle, Esq.

charity. - Joseph Rilton in 1728, gave 20 to the poor housekeepers of Brinkburn South Side. The interest of this sum, amounting to sixteen shillings per annum, is distributed in accordance with the intentions of the donor.



William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855

01 March 2008


Parish Listing

Steve Bulman