Coquetdale Ward - East Division

Felton Parish


felton, a parish, partly in the east division of Coquetdale Ward, and partly in the east division of Morpeth Ward, comprises the townships of Acton and Old Felton, Bockenfield, Elyhaugh, Eshott, Felton, Greens and Glantlees, Swarland, and Thirston East and West with Shothaugh.

It is bounded by the parishes of Warkworth, Hebburn, Long Framlington, Alnwick, and Shilbottle, and comprises an area of 12,830 acres. Population in 1801, 1,393; 1811, 1,409; in 1821, 1,491; in 1831, 1,576 in 1841, 1,585; and in 1851, 1,574 souls. The soil of this parish is various but chiefly incumbent upon strong clay, and is well suited for grain crops There are some coal seams here, but they are not much worked.

acton and old felton form a joint township, extending from one to two miles north by east of Felton village, and comprise 1,244 acres, the property of Robert Delisle, Esq., Robert Adams Esq., and Sir William Davison. The rateable value is 1,570; and the number of inhabitants in 1801, was 113; in 1811, 81; in 1821, 91; in 1831, 101; in 1841, 111; and in 1851, 94 souls. Old Felton is said to be the site of a village which was destroyed by King John, in 1216. acton hall, the seat and property of Robert Adams Esq., is a neat and commodious structure, surrounded by beautiful and picturesque scenery. acton house is the seat of John Hodgson Hinde, Esq.

bockenfield is a township and hamlet in this parish, but locally situated in the eastern division of Morpeth Ward. The township contains 2,324 acres, and its rateable value is 1,800. Population in 1801, 130; in 1811 113; in 1821, 107; in 1831, 144; in 1841, 127; and in 1851, 116 souls. It is the property of Thomas Riddell, Esq., with the exception of Longdyke Farm, which belongs to the Causey Park Estate. the hamlet of Bockenfield is situated eight miles north of Morpeth, and six miles from Acklington Railway Station. There must have been a considerable village here at one period, as the vestiges of many houses still remain. The inhabitants are free of tollage at Morpeth market, and the reason given for this exemption is, that the market was first held at Bockenfield, and transferred to Morpeth on that condition.

elyhaugh township is situated two miles and half west of Felton. Its area is returned with that of Swarland, and its population in 1801, was 34; in 1811, 27; in 1821, 13; in 1831, 16; in 1841, 27; and in 1851, 15 souls. It is the property of George Tate, Esq., of East House, and is occupied by Mr. Robert Hine, farmer.

eshott is a township in this parish, but locally situated in the eastern division of Morpeth Ward, one mile and a half south by east of Felton. It comprises an area of 1,775 acres, and its rateable value is 1,745. In 1801 it contained 120; in 1811, 127; in 1821, 114; in 1831, 132; in 1841, 117; and in 1851, 135 inhabitants. Thomas Brewis, Esq., is the principal landowner. This township contains the hamlets of Eshott Brocks, Eshott East Houses, Eshott South Houses, and Eshott Hall. eshott hall, the seat and property of Thomas Brewis, Esq., is beautifully situated on an eminence, and is in the Grecian style, the interior decorations being of the most costly description. A little west of the hall is a place called the Castle Field, and to the north another place called the Camp Field, the entrenchments of which are still visible. Here is a colliery, which having been discontinued for some time, was re-opened last year by Mr. R. Cowen, of Acklington.

felton is a township and village, giving name to the parish in which it is situated, the property of Thomas Riddell, Esq., and several freeholders. The township comprises an area of 1,528 acres, and its rateable value is 2,703 12s. 6d. The number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 506; in 1811, 514; in 1821, 554; in 1831, 610; in 1841, 623; and in 1851, 708 souls. The manor of Felton, in ancient times, formed part of the barony of Mitford, and was held by the Bertram family. It afterwards became the property of the Earls of Pembroke, the Earls of Athol, the Percys, the Scropes, the Lisles, and the Widdringtons, from the latter of whom it passed, to the Riddells, the present proprietors.

the village of Felton is pleasantly situated on the north side of the Coquet, ten miles north of Morpeth. The river is here crossed by a good stone bridge of three arches, and the scenery in the neighbourhood is beautiful and romantic. In 1216 the barons of the north performed homage here to Alexander, King of Scotland, which circumstance so irritated King John that he marched an army through Northumberland and burned or destroyed everything around him. Among other places Felton was given to the flames. the church, dedicated to St. Michael, is situated west of the village, on the north side of the Coquet. The parish register commences in 1653. The living, a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Lindisfarne and deanery of Alnwick, is valued in the Liber Regis at 3 13s 4d; gross income, 282. The patronage is vested in the Crown. Vicar, Rev. Thomas Ilderton, M.A. Here is a presbyterian chapel, erected in 1820. Two annual fairs are held here on the first Mondays in May and November,, for the sale of sheep, cattle, &c.

felton park, the seat and property of Thomas Riddell, Esq., J.P., is a fine commodious mansion, situated on a gentle eminence in a spacious park, surrounded by beautiful and picturesque scenery. There is a Catholic Church attached to the hall. Rev. Samuel Day, chaplain.

charities.—Robert Haselrig bequeathed 5 yearly to the poor of Felton, half to be given at Christmas and half at Easter; and Thomas Heron, of East Thirston, left the rents of the pews, in the gallery of Felton Church, amounting at the time of the Charity Commissioners Report to 5 per annum, to the poor of this parish.

greens and glantlees form a joint township in this parish four miles north-west by north of Felton, and comprise an area of 997 acres. The population in 1801, was 34; in 1811, 58; in 1821, 76; in 1831, 56; in 1841, 79; and in 1851, 51 souls. The rateable value is 500, and Captain Widdrington of Newton Hall is the sole landowner. Coal and freestone are found here.

swarland is a township and village, the property of Sir William Davison, and Joshua Blackburn, Esq. The township contains 3,819 acres, and its rateable value is 1,629. The number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 207; in 1811, 195; in 1821, 211; in 1831, 210; in 1841, 194; and in 1851, 174 souls. The family of Hesilrigge held this estate from a period antecedent to the conquest, till the 18th century, when it became the property of Richard Grieve, Esq., and subsequently came into the possession of the present proprietors. the village of Swarland is situated two miles north-west of Felton. swarland hall, the residence of Joshua Blackburn, Esq., is a fine edifice seated in a beautiful park. In front of the hall is an elegant obelisk of white freestone, erected to the memory of Admiral Lord Nelson, by the late Alexander Davidson, Esq., who lived on terms of intimacy with the gallant admiral. This monument bears the following inscriptions:- On the body of the obelisk - england expects every man to do his duty; On the pedestal - not to commemorate the public virtue and achievements of nelson, which is the duty of england, but to the memory of private friendship. this erection is dedicated by alexander davidson.

thirston, east and west, with shothaugh, form a township the property of the Duke of Northumberland, and Thomas Riddell, Esq. The area is 1,161 acres, and the rateable value 2,167 12s. Population in 1801, 249; in 1811, 294; in 1821, 325; in 1831, 307; in 1841, 307; and in 1851, 281 souls. West Thirston forms the southern suburb of Felton, but East Thirston is more than half a mile E. S. E. of Felton Bridge, and Shothaugh is situated one mile and a half west of Felton. Here is a Presbyterian chapel, erected, in 1830, at a cost of 600, of which Alexander Davidson, Esq. gave 40, together with the site. It contains 400 sittings. Felton New School is under the patronage of the Duke of Northumberland and the neighbouring gentlemen. It was erected by subscription in 1830, and will accommodate 140 pupils.


William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855


09 March 2008


Parish Listing

Steve Bulman