Tindale Ward - East Division

Corbridge Parish


corbridge is a parish, comprising the townships of Aydon, Aydon Castle, Clarewood, Corbridge, Dilston, Halton, Halton Shields, Thornborough,, Whittington Great, and Whittington Little. It is about eight miles in length from north to south, but its average breadth does not exceed two and a half miles, and comprises an area of 13,130 acres. Its population in 1801, was 1,744; in 1811, 1,979; in 1821, 2,037; in 1831, 2,091; in 1841, 2,103; and in 1851, 2,163 souls. The whole of this district is in an excellent state of cultivation, and contains great quantities of lead, coal, and lime. There are also several large plantations in various parts of the parish, the property of the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital.

corbridge is a township, formerly also a borough and market town, in the parish of the same name. The principal landowners are the Duke of Northumberland, the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital, Isaac Crawhall, Esq., and Mrs. Joseph Crawhall. The Duke of Northumberland is lord of the manor. The township comprises an area of 4,499 acres, and its rateable value is £8,267 2s; 6d. The number of rateable landowners and houses is 176. The tithes were commuted in 1829, aggregate amount, £520. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 1,032, in 1811, 1,182; in 1821, 1,254; in 1831, 1,292; in 1841, 1,356; and in 1851, 1,363 souls. The. manor of Corbridge was granted by King John, to Robert, son of Roger de Clavering, Baron of Warkworth, to hold with all its regalities, in fee farm, by the annual payment of £40, with the privilege of a weekly market, and an annual fair, on the eve, day, and day after the festival of St. John the Baptist.

the town of Corbridge occupies an agreeable situation, in the immediate vicinity of the Roman station Corchester, on the north bank of the river Tyne, seventeen miles west from Newcastle, four miles east of Hexham, and 280 miles N.N.W. of London. It is well built, and several of the houses have some pretensions to architectural elegance. It has a good supply of excellent water, which is conveyed through pipes from two reservoirs in the immediate neighbourhood, and there is an excellent stone bridge of eleven arches at the entrance to the town; it was erected in 1674, and is the only bridge on the Tyne, which survived the great floods of 1771.

Corbridge has been a place of some importance from the earliest period of our history, possessing at one time no less than five churches, and returning two members to parliament. The Roman station, Corstopitum, now Corchester, is situated at a short distance west of the town, and out of its ruins the present parish church seems to have been erected. Several remains of antiquity have been dug up here, and various altars, inscriptions, coins, and other curiosities, have been discovered, some of which are now in possession of the Antiquarian Society of Newcastle. In March 1822, as Mr. Carr, of this place, was ploughing a field in front of Stagshaw House, he encountered a large, flat, square stone, which being removed, was found to cover the mouth of a cavity, about three feet long, two and a half feet wide, and four feet deep, cut in the solid rock. This rude tomb enclosed a small antique urn, composed of sand and clay, uncovered and coarsely ornamented, and containing a few ordinary sized teeth, in perfect preservation, the mouldering remains of a skull, a small heart-shaped amulet of grey slatey stone, perforated for suspension, and a tongue-shaped piece of flint, probably an arrow head. There was no inscription on the stone, no coins were found, nor anything to give a clue to its history.

After the departure of the Romans from Britain, Corbridge remained a populous place, and we find mention made of a monastery here as early as 771. John of Hexham, in his account of the events of the year 1138, says, that "on Candlemas-day, in that year, David, King of Scotland, with his son and all their forces, arrived and encamped at Corbridge, and, during their continuance there, committed the most horrid barbarities, throughout the whole neighbourhood." The town was completely destroyed by the Scots under Wallace, in 1297; it was given to the flames by the adherent of Bruce, in 1312, and in October, 1346, it was again destroyed by the Scots, previous to the battle of Neville's Cross.

the church, dedicated to St. Andrew is a very ancient structure. It seems to have been originally a large edifice, but it has undergone considerable repairs and alterations, and the interior, having been much improved, has now a very neat appearance. The living is a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Northumberland, and deanery of Corbridge, valued in the Liber Regis at £11 11s. 8d; gross income £525. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle; incumbent, the Rev. Frederick Gipps, M.A, The parish register commences in 1657. There are also places of worship here for the Wesleyan Methodists, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyan Methodist Reformers. The educational establishments of Corbridge are at present few in number; there is a Library and Newsroom, well supplied with books, and the principal newspapers and periodicals; George Lowry, Esq., treasurer, Michael Thompson, secretary, and John Daglish librarian.

A Court Leet and Baron is held at the Angel Inn, on Easter Tuesday, before Sir Walter Riddell, Bart, of Ford, steward of the lord of the manor, when persons may be proceeded against for the recovery of small debts, and other business incident to such courts, is transacted. The great fair of Stagshaw Bank, is held every Whitsuntide and Midsummer, on a large common two miles north of the town. The former is considered one of the largest sheep and cattle fairs in England.

charities.—Mrs. Ursula Mountney, in 1680, bequeathed to the poor of this parish, a rent charge of £1 per annum, and Dame Elizabeth Radcliffe, in 1688, left a rent charge of £10 yearly for the same purpose. Mrs. Ann Radcliffe, in 1699, gave a rent charge of £20 per annum, for the purpose of apprenticing the poor boys of the parish, and the Rev. Robert Troutbeck, vicar of Corbridge, in 1706, bequeathed to the poor of the parish and the chapelry of Halton, a house and a piece of land, which produced, at the time of the Charity Commissioners' report, a rent of £32 2s. 6d. per annum. Hannah Brown and Mary Robson, in 1800, left a rent charge of £4 a year to twenty poor inhabitants of Corbridge parish.

aydon is a township and village, the property of Mr. Lionel Winship, and others. The township contains 750 acres, and the rateable value is £1,125. Population in 1801, 102; in 1811, 117; in 1821, 94; in 1831, 99; in 1841, 83; and in 1851, 104 souls. the village of Aydon is situated one mile and a half north-east by east of Corbridge.

aydon castle township is situated one mile and a half north-east of Corbridge, and is the property of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart. It contains 393 acres, and the rateable value is £625 2s. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 29; in 1811, 26; in 1821, 31; in 1831, 29; in 1841, 25; and in 1851, 23 souls. The tithes are commuted for £56. Aydon was, in former times, a portion of the barony of Hugh de Baliol, and, in 1272, we find it the seat and property of Emma de Aydon, but it subsequently passed to the Kaymes of Bolam, who were, however, only part possessors, for a moiety was held by the Carnabys of Halton. It afterwards became the property of the Claverings, the Carrs, and the Collinsons, by the latter of whom it was sold to John Douglas, Esq., and afterwards passed to the Blacketts of Matfen. This township takes it name from a castle, which belonged, in the reign of Edward I, to the family of Aydon above mentioned; the ruins of the fortress stand on the west side of a deep dale. This structure is erected in the form of the letter H, with four towers, one at the end of each wing. The walls are very thick, and one of the towers is upwards of sixty feet high, so that in feudal times, it was regarded as a place of great strength. Several "Roman remains" have been discovered here, amongst which were two urns, and the effigy of a man. This township consists of only one farm, which is occupied by Robert Rowell, farmer.

clarewood is a township and hamlet, in this parish, containing 805 acres, the property of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., and of which the rateable value is £952 13s. 4d. The population of the township in 1801, was 38; in 1811, 64; in 1821, 62; in 1831, 71; in 1841, 55; and in 1851, 55 souls.

the hamlet of Clarewood is situated four and a half miles N.N.E. of Corbridge,

dilston, anciently Devilstone, is a township and village, the property of the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital. It contains 2,904 acres, and its population in 1801, was 131; in 1811, 135; in 1821, 162; in 1831, 175; in 1841, 200; and in 1851, 204 souls. The rateable value is £2,930. This place was the villa, manor, and seat of the ancient family of the Devilstones, and was afterwards successively the property of the Tindles, the Crasters, the Claxtons, and the Radcliffes. It was in the possession of Sir George Radcliffe, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and of Sir Edward Radcliffe, in 1652, whose son and heir married Mary Tudor, natural daughter of King Charles II, and was created Baron of Dilston, Viscount Langley, and Earl of Derwentwater, in 1687. He was succeeded by his son James, Earl of Derwentwater, who, having joined the fruitless rising in favour of the "Pretender," in 1715, was taken prisoner, and sentenced to death as a traitor in 1716. He was a young and accomplished nobleman, grandson of Charles II, and had lived retired in his old castle at Dilston. His countess repaired to court, and sunk with streaming eyes at the feet of George to beg a reprieve; the noblest ladies of the land were at her side, urging her request, but George was inexorable. It is no wonder a ransom of sixty thousand pounds was refused. The young earl died intrepidly, declaring himself a Catholic, and a devoted subject of James III. His princely estates were given to Greenwich Hospital. the village of Dilston is situated on the east bank of the Devil-Water, one mile south-west of Corbridge. The approach to it is very romantic; the rivulet, at its junction with the Tyne, flows out of a deep dell, which, spreading out a leafy canopy, at least a hundred feet high, shades the lower objects with a solemn gloom. Of the old baronial seat of the Devilstones, an old tower still remains, but of the mansion of the Derwentwaters, the only vestige now in existence is the chapel, which is still kept in repair, and though not now used, the reading desk and two pews still remain in it. dilston house is the residence of John Grey, Esq.

halton is a chapelry, township, and hamlet, in Corbridge parish, the property of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., who is also lord of the manor. The chapelry embraces the townships of Great Whittington, Clarewood, Halton, and Halton Shields. The township comprises an area of 798 acres, and its rateable value is £1,165. The population in 1801, was 74; in 1811, 78; in 1821, 60; in 1831, 68; in 1841, 46; and in 1851, 48 souls. The tithes amount to about £110. halton castle, in this township, is a strong oblong structure, with four turrets, and in its vicinity is a Chapel of Ease to Corbridge church, which was rebuilt in 1706, towards the expense of which John Douglas gave £146 17s. 2d., and the freeholders of Whittingham £78 1s. 1d. The living is united to that of Corbridge. the hamlet of Halton is two and a quarter miles north by east of Corbridge. The principal inhabitants are Anthony Hutchinson, farmer, Halton Red House; Mrs. Mary Hutchinson, Halton Red House; and Joseph Todd, farmer, Halton Castle.

halton shields is a township and hamlet in this parish, the property of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart. The township contains 442 acres, and its rate­able value is £572 6s. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 62; in 1811, 67; in 1821, 57; in 1831, 56; in 1841, 59; and in 1851, 64 souls. The corn tithes, in 1854, were £47, and the vicarial tithes, £14. the hamlet of Halton Shields is situated three miles N.N.E. of Corbridge, on the site of the great Roman wall, a little to the east of the station, now called Halton Chesters, but formerly Hunnum. Halton Shields consists of a farm house, and a few cottages, some of which stand upon the Roman wall just mentioned, and are chiefly inhabited by agricultural labourers. Here is a day-school, the teacher of which receives £5 a year as part support from Sir Edward Blackett, Bart.

thornborough is a township and hamlet containing 714 acres, of which the rateable value is £1,029. The population in 1801, was 84; in 1811, 81; in 1821, 74; in 1831, 81; in 1841, 60; and in 1851, 62 souls. the hamlet of Thornborough is situated one mile east of Corbridge. This township is the property of the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital, and is divided into three farms in the occupancy of Thomas Cowle; Joseph Dodd; and J. H. Wood.

whittington (great) is a township and village, the property of Rowland Errington, Esq., James Kirsop, Esq., and others. The township comprises an area of 1,477 acres, and its rateable value is £1,567 10s. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 172; in 1811, 214; in 1821, 224; in 1831, 209; in 1841, 200; and in 1851, 202 souls. the village of Whittington is four and a half miles north by east of Corbridge, and consists of some good farm houses and cottages, which are chiefly occupied by agricultural labourers. Here is a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, erected in 1835, and the Primitive Methodists meet for worship in the school-room. There is a day-school in the village, which has an endowment of £4 per annum, left by James Kirsop, Esq., of Spittal House, and for which ten scholars are to be instructed at two shillings per quarter less than the general charge. - Thomas Harrison, teacher.

whittington (little) is a township situated three miles north of Corbridge. It contains 348 acres, the property of Rowland Errington, Esq., and its rateable value is £514. Population in 1801, 20; in 1811, 15; in 1821, 19; in 1831, 11; in 1841, 19; and in 1851, 38 souls. The soil is fertile, and yields excellent crops of barley and oats, but is chiefly used as grazing land. The whole township consists of one farm, which is occupied by Mr. Robert Ord, farmer.


William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855



04 February 2015


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