Castle Ward - East Division

Gosforth Parish.


gosForth parish comprises the townships of East Brunton, West Brunton, Coxlodge, Fawdon, North Gosforth, South Gosforth, and East and West Kenton, It is bounded on the north-west by Dinnington parish, on the west by Newburn, parish, on the south by the parishes of All Saints, St. Andrew, and St. John, and on the east and north-east by Long Benton parish. It is about two miles from north to south, about three miles from east to west, and comprises an area of 6,355 statute acres. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 1,385; in 1811, 1,988; in 1821, 3,295; in 1831, 3,546; in 1841, 3,020; and in 1851, 2,319 souls. There are several excellent coalmines in this parish, in which great numbers of the inhabitants are employed.

east brunton, a township and hamlet in this parish, but locally situated in the west division of Castle Ward, is the property of Thomas Smith, Esq., R. B. Sanderson, Esq., Rev. J. Robson, and Messrs. Hutchinson. The township contains 953 acres, and its rateable value is 1,255. Population in 1801, 69; in 1811, 79; in 1821, 270; in 1831, 268; in 1841, 268; and in 1851, in consequence of the cessation of work at the collieries, it had decreased to 90 souls. East and West Brunton, Fawdon, Dinnington, Weetslade, and Wide Open, formed the manor and estate of the Hazlerigge family, and were sold in 1768, pursuant to an order of the High Court of Chancery, reserving only the coal-mines of Fawdon and Brunton, which were leased by the representatives of John du Ponthieu, Esq. The mines have not been worked for some years. The hamlet of East Brunton is situated about four miles N.N.W. from Newcastle.

west brunton is a township and hamlet in the above parish, the property of Matthew Bell, Esq. of Woolsington, and is locally situated in the west division of Castle Ward. The area of the township is 1,134 acres, and its rateable value 1,414. The population in 1801, was 101; in 1811, 138; in 1821, 126; in 1831, 118; in 1841, 109; and in 1851, 105 souls. A small portion of this township containing four houses, and eighteen persons, is said to belong to the parish of Dinnington. The hamlet of West Brunton is four miles N.N.W. of Newcastle.

coxlodge is a township and village in this parish, but locally situated in the west division of Castle Ward. The principal landowners are W. Dunn, Esq. R. Robson, Esq. and J.J. Bulman, Esq. The township contains 808 acres, and the rateable value is 3,557. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 108; in 1811, 356; in 1821, 633; in 1831, 965; in 1841, 924; and in 1851, 970 souls. Here is a colliery worked by Matthew Bell, & Co., and in which many of the inhabitants are employed. The Grand Stand on the north side of the Newcastle Race Course, is in this township. It was built in 1800, and is very well adapted for the purposes for which it was erected. the village of coxlodge is situated two and a half miles north of Newcastle. It contains several handsome stone houses, and many others are in process of erection. There is a Methodist Chapel and Sunday School here, which were erected in 1819.

causeway end is a hamlet in this township, two miles north of Newcastle.

Fawdon is a township and village in the above parish, but locally situated in the west division of Castle Ward, the property of Matthew Bell, Esq., and Mr. Charlton. The township comprises an area of 522 acres, and the rateable value is 1,320. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 26; in 1811, 100; in 1821, 747; in 1831, 707; in 1841, 544; and in 1851, in consequence of the cessation of work at the collieries, it had decreased to 254 souls. The village of Fawdon is three miles N.N.W. of Newcastle. haddrick's mill, a hamlet in this township, occupies a romantic situation in the Ouseburn Dean, two and half miles north by east of Newcastle. There are several neat cottages here, and the place is said to have acquired its name from its serving as a haunt to a band of robbers bearing the name of Haddrick, who possessed it for a considerable period. Whether this tradition be true or false, we possess, at present, no means to prove or disprove its authenticity.

gosforth (north) is a township in the parish of the same name, situated four miles north from Newcastle. It contains 1,066 acres, and its rateable value is 3,005. The population in 1801, was 133; in 1811, 127; in 1821, 141; in 1831, 145; in 1841, 132; and 1851, 123 souls. The principal landowners are Thomas Smith, Esq., and the Messrs Laycock. This township and that of South Gosforth, are locally situated in the eastern division of Castle Ward, the remainder of the parish being in the western division. North Gosforth Chapel now almost levelled with the ground, began to be disused in the early part of the eighteenth century. Its remains are situated upwards of a mile north of the present church, and consists of the church or chapel, a grave-yard, with monumental and other stones. In the summer of 1826, R.H. Brandling, Esq. caused the place to be cleared of the weeds and long deposited rubbish, by which it was covered, and brought to light many more of these mementoes. This estate from the year 1100 to 1509, was the property of the ancient family of Surtees, from whom it was transferred by marriage to the Brandlings, one of whom Charles Brandling, Esq., was High Sheriff of Northumberland, in 1781, and M.P. for Newcastle in 1784, 1790, and 1796, but he resigned his seat in 1797, and was succeeded by his son, Charles John Brandling, Esq., who subsequently represented the county in parliament from 1820, to his decease in 1826.

gosforth house is the seat and property of Thomas Smith, Esq., by whom it was purchased in 1852. It is a large and elegant freestone edifice, erected in 1760, and occupies a beautiful situation in an extensive lawn, enclosed with fine plantations. The adjoining lands have been greatly improved, and formed into pleasure grounds. At the south-east corner of the lawn there is a minature [sic] lake, covering nearly fifty acres; it is much resorted to by numerous flocks of water fowl. low gosforth house is situated about a mile south of the above, in a low, but pleasant situation. It is the residence of George Fenwick, Esq. In the Ouseburn, north of Slater's Bridge, on the south side of this township, in Long Benton parish, is a ridgy piece of land containing about seven acres, and is alternately the property of Wm. Mather, Esq., and Baliol College, Oxford.

three mile bridge is a hamlet in this township, situated three and a half miles north of Newcastle, where the Ouseburn crosses the Morpeth road, and separates the township of Coxlodge and North Gosforth, the former being on the south, and the latter on the north of the bridge and rivulet. Here is a school which was endowed with 10 per annum by the late Rev. R.H. Brandling.

gosforth (south) is a township and village in the parish of the same name, the property of William Dunn, Esq., and the Messrs. Laycock. The township contains 436 acres, and its rateable value is 2,033. The number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 63; in 1811, 136; in 1821, 174; in 1831, 237; in 1841, 224; and in 1851, 246 souls. Robert Lisle, of Gosforth, gave to his son Otwell Lisle, with Isabel his wife, in frank marriage, South Gosforth, with the advowson of the church and mill, &c. This Robert Lisle espoused the daughter of Richard Canville, with whom he received South Gosforth as a dowry. In the year 1377, the advowson of the church of South Gosforth was a subject of dispute between the King, the Bishop and Prior of Carlisle, and the Vicar of Newcastle. In 1391, the lordship of Gosforth was given to Sir Robert Lisle, by his elder brother, Thomas Lisle, and it continued in the possession of his family for many generations. By an agreement made between Humphrey Lisle, Esq., and the Vicar of Newcastle, in 1494, the latter became possessor of the advowson of the curacy of Gosforth, and it has been since retained by his successors. There is a colliery in this township, worked, at present, by the executors of the late Rev. E.H. Brandling.

the village of South Gosforth is situated two and a half miles north-east by north of Newcastle. Here it was that the English army retreated when on its way to the siege of Berwick, in 1319, and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, the leader of the armament, in contemplation of sudden death in the field, ordered the disposition of his worldly goods. the church dedicated to St. Nicholas is a small structure with an octagonal spire rising from a square tower. It was rebuilt, in 1788, and considerably enlarged in 1819. The parish register commences in 1669. The living is a curacy annexed to the vicarage of Newcastle. Rev. James A. Charlton, curate. Here is a school for the education of children of both sexes. The teachers, John Thompson and Sarah Thornton, have the school and two cottages rent free, in accordance with the will of the late Rev. E.H. Brandling.

A short notice of the winning of Gosforth Colliery in this township, and of the subsequent proceedings, may interest the reader. The colliery lies about three miles north from Newcastle, on the west bank of a romantic "dean," or little valley, through which the Ouseburn winds its way to the Tyne. The sinking was commenced in 1825, and the coal was won on Saturday, January 31st, 1829. Great expense was incurred in the undertaking, from the intersection of the great ninety fathom dyke. The High Main coal was reached at twenty-five fathoms below the surface, but near its first appearance the seam was thrown down in an inclined direction by the dyke, to the depth of 1,100 or 1,200 feet, The quality of the coal was so deteroriated [sic] by the proximity of the dyke, that it became necessary to sink the shaft perpendicularly to the depth of 181 fathoms, in order to come at the level of the lower range of the seam of coal. In this work many of the succeeding seams of coal were passed through, and found to be all more or less shattered by the dyke, and singularly placed at a higher level than the High Main which, in a geological point of view, they underlie. On reaching the requisite depth a horizontal drift, 700 yards long, was worked through the face of the dyke to the seam of coal a little above its junction with the dyke. A great portion of the excavation was made through solid rock.

So remarkable a winning deserved a celebration of its attainment. Some persons would have had the workmen out in a field and made them spectacles of inebriety to the open eye of day. But the proprietors adopted a more suitable plan, that of a grand subterranean ball, at the very place of triumph. The ball-room was situated at a depth of nearly 1,100 feet below the earth's surface, and was in the shape of the letter L, the width being fifteen feet, the base twenty-two feet, and the perpendicular height forty-eight feet. Seats were placed round the sides of the said ball-room, the floor was dried and flagged, and the whole place brilliantly illuminated with candles and lamps. The company began to assemble and descend in appropriate dresses about half-past nine in the morning, and continued to arrive till one in the afternoon. The men engaged in the work, their wives and daughters, and sweethearts, several neighbours with their wives, the proprietors and agents with their wives, and sundry friends of both sexes who had courage to avail themselves of the privilege; all these gradually found their way to the bottom of the shaft. Immediately on their arrival there, they proceeded to the extremity of the drift, to the face of the coal, where each person hewed a piece of coal as a memento of the visit, and then returned to the ball-room. As soon as a sufficient number of guests had assembled, dancing commenced, and was continued without intermission till three o'clock in the afternoon. No distinction was made among the guests, and born and bred ladies joined in a general dance with born and bred pitmen's daughters. All now returned in safety, and in nice, clean, and well-lined baskets, to the upper regions, delighted with the manner in which they had spent the day. A local band of miners' musicians was in attendance, and the pit was filled with music and merriment. The genii of the caverns were startled, and the young dandified pitmen never looked so happy, so clean, and so gay. Refreshments were not forgotten, and cold punch, malt liquor, and buiscuits of all kinds, were dispensed in abundance. It was estimated that between two-hundred and three-hundred persons were present, and nearly one half of them were females!

kenton (east and west), a township and village in the parish of Gosforth, but locally situated in the west division of Castle Ward, is the property of Lord Rokeby and E. Montague, Esq. The area of the township is 1,436 acres, and its rateable value, 3,033. Population in 1801, 885; in 1811, 1,052; in 1831, 1,204; in 1831, 1,106; in 1841, 819; and in 1851, inconsequence of the discontinuance of the colliery works it had decreased to 549 souls. In the reign of Edward II it was the property of a family who bore the local name, and in 1313, Sir John Kenton of this family was High Sheriff of Northumberland. It was subsequently possessed by the Fenwicks, from whom it was transferred to the present proprietors. There is an excellent quarry in this township from which grindstones of a superior quality are obtained. It is worked by Mr. Robert Robson of Newcastle. the village of Kenton is situated on an eminence about three miles N.N.W. of Newcastle. It contains a National School which is used as a place of worship on Sundays. This school was erected in 1845 at an expense of 470 which was principally contributed by Lord Rokeby, Matthew Bell, Esq., Mr. Wilson, and the National School Society. It possesses sufficient accommodation for 150 children.

bank top and blakelaw are hamlets in this township, the former situated three miles, and the latter two and a half miles north-west of Newcastle. kenton bar is also in this township, on the Ponteland Road, three miles north-west of Newcastle.


William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855



01 January 2012


Parish Listing

Steve Bulman