Glendale Ward - East Division

Chillingham Parish


chillingham is a small parish bounded on the north by Chatton, on the west and south by Ellingham, and on the east by Bambrough Ward. It is a fertile and well cultivated district, comprising the townships of Chillingham, Hebburn, and Newton, whose united area is 4,926 acres. The population in 1801, was 451; in 1811, 301; in 1821, 356; in 1831, 477; in 1841, 459; and in 1851, 380 souls. This decrease of population is attributed partly to the employment of fewer labourers on farms which have been laid down to pasture, and partly to the reduction of the establishment at the castle.

Chillingham is a township and village in the parish of the same name, containing in 1801, a population of 299; in 1811, of 119; in 1821, of 146; in 1831, of 199; in 1841, of 217; and in 1851, of 158 souls. It is the property of the Earl of Tankerville, and its acreage is returned with the parish. Chillingham manor was formerly held under the barony of Vesci by the Hentercombe family, and afterwards passed to the Greys of Wark, one of whom, Sir William Grey, was raised to the peerage in 1623, by the style and title of Lord Grey, of Wark. On his death, in 1674, he was succeeded by his son, who, in 1695, was created Viscount Glendale, and Earl of Tankerville. These titles became extinct in 1701, on the death of the first earl without male issue. His only daughter having married Charles Bennet, Lord Ossulston, the title and dignity of Earl Tankerville was revived in his favour in 1714. His son Charles, the next earl, was Lord-lieutenant of Northumberland, and Knight of the Order of the Thistle, but he died in 1753, and was succeeded by his son Charles, upon whose demise in 1767, the family honours and estates devolved upon his son Charles, who dying in 1822, was succeeded by his eldest son Charles Augustus Bennet, the present Earl of Tankerville, who is a privy councillor, and has been treasurer of the Queen's household. The family of Bennet, was originally of Clapcot, in Berkshire.

the village of Chillingham is situated four and a half miles east by south of Wooler. the church is dedicated to St. Peter, and the parish register commences in 1696. The living, a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Lindisfarne, and deanery of Bambrough, is valued in the Liber Regis at 4; gross income 340, Patron, the Bishop of Durham. Rev. William Dodd, vicar. In the church there is a beautiful raised tomb of alabaster, curiously ornamented, over one of the ancient family of the Greys, barons of Wark. The Parish School is a neat stone building erected in 1835, at a cost of 300. The Earl of Tankerville gives 10 per annum for the education of ten poor children, W. G. Thomson, teacher.

chillingham castle, the seat of the Earl of Tankerville, stands on a fine eminence, surrounded by trees. It is a square heavy structure of Elizabethan architecture, four stories high in the wings and three in the centre. There is here a marble chimney-piece, in sawing which, a live toad of large size was found. The nidus in which it lay has been filled up with cement, but a painting, of this wonderful phenomenon is preserved in the castle. There are here also good portraits of Bacon, Burleigh, Buckingham, King Charles I, and James II. On a rocky eminence, at the head of the park, is a circular double entrenchment called Ross Castle, which was undoubtedly a fort of the ancient Britons, for Ross, both in the old Celtic and in the Gaelic, signifies a promontory. Chillingham park contains a large herd of deer, and is celebrated for the only uncontaminated breed of wild cattle in the kingdom. This breed is called the white Scottish bison. There is a vague tradition that they were originally enclosed from the Northumbrian, or Caledonian forests, in the reign of King John, or Henry III, when the park was first surrounded; but their existence here has long been considered an interesting problem of natural history. The general opinion is that they are remnants of the ancient breed of wild oxen, which, in earlier periods, pastured over the country, particularly in its northern parts. The herd possesses all the characters of the wild species, by hiding their young, feeding by night, remaining in security by day, and changing their positions when any person approaches, even at a great distance. In some parts of the park they will, however, allow persons to come within a moderate distance, when they snuff the wind, and if alarmed retreat with great velocity, taking advantage of the irregularities of the ground, by which they are soon concealed from sight. They are described as beautifully shaped, having short legs, and a straight back, and their horns differing from those of ordinary cattle; the muzzle of the animal is brown, the ears are red, and the body is of a pure white. When any of their number become old or diseased, the rest of the herd will set upon it, and gore it to death, and in addition to all these characteristics of wild cattle, they appear to be of a species quite distinct from the English oxen.

hebburn is a township and hamlet the property of the Earl of Tankerville. The population of the township in 1801, was 121; in 1811, 84; in 1821, 93; in 1831, 137; in 1841, 108; and in 1851, 107 souls. the hamlet of Hebburn is situated one mile and a half south-east of Chillingham.

newton is a township and hamlet in Chillingham parish, and the number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 101; in 1811, 98; in 1821, 117; in 1831, 141; in 1841, 134; and in 1851, 115 souls. the hamlet of Newton is three and a quarter miles south-east of Wooler. The principal residents are William Forrest, farmer and corn miller ; Robert Morton, boot and shoemaker; Thomas Smith, farmer, and brick and tile manufacturer; and Paul Thompson, blacksmith.



William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855



09 February 2014


Parish Listing

Steve Bulman