Coquetdale Ward - West Division

Holystone Parochial Chapelry


holystone is a parochial chapelry bounded on the north and east by Alwinton parish, and on the west and south by Elsdon parish. It comprises the townships of Barrow, Dueshill, Holystone, Harbottle, and Linsheeles, whose united area is 19,900 acres, and the population in 1801, was 391; in 1811, 424; in 1821, 468; in 1831, 462; in 1841, 443; and in 1851, 436, souls.

barrow is a small township situated on the south side of the Coquet, near the confluence of the Barrow-burn, three and a half miles W.N.W. of Holystone. Its area is returned with Linsheeles; the number of its inhabitants in 1801 was 19; in 1811, 19; in 1821, 17; in 1831, 14; in 1841, 22; and in 1851, 17 souls. The rateable value is 160, and the sole proprietor is Walter Selby, Esq.

dueshill township is situated one mile south by east of Holystone, and is the property of Walter Selby, Esq.,  Sir Walter Riddell, Percival Clenning1, Esq., and the trustees of the late Rev. H. Morrow, It contains 2,505 acres: its  population in 1801, was 32; in 1811, 25; in 1821, 41; in 1831, 45; in 1841, 36; and in 1851, 28 souls. The rateable value is 452. Harehaugh at the southern extremity of this township, is supposed to occupy the site of a Saxon camp.

harbottle is a township and village the property of the Duke of Northumberland, Walter Selby, Esq., Percival Clennel, Esq., A.C. Forster, Esq., and many small proprietors. The township contains 412 acres, and its rateable value, is 318 17s. The population in 1801, was 128; in 1811, 152; in 1821, 181; in 1831, 165; in 1841, 162; and in 1851, 159 souls. The tithes were commuted in 1839, aggregate amount 9 2s 9d. The manor and castle of Harbottle were given by William the Conqueror, in the tenth year of his reign, to Robert de Umfraville, Lord of Tours and Vian, by a general grant of the lordship, valley, and forest of Ridds, or Reedsdale, with all the castles, manors, woods, waters, and royal franchises, as they had been previously possessed by Mildred, the son of Akman, to hold by grand sergeantry. It continued in the possession of the Umfraville family for many generations, and we find Gilbert de Umfraville summoned to parliament from 1333 to 1381. He died in the latter year and was succeeded by his brother Thomas, and afterwards by his nephew, who left an infant son Gilbert, during whose minority the Earl of Westmoreland was made governor of Harbottle Castle. This Gilbert, who is called by some writers Earl of Kyme, being slain in the French wars, his castle and estates passed to his brother, Sir Robert Umfraville, who also dying without issue, the manor became the property of Walter de Tailbois, whose successor Sir William de Tailbois, having suffered attainder after the battle of Hexham, the estates became crown property. They were subsequently granted by Edward IV to Sir Robert Ogle, in consideration of his meritorious services to that monarch, who not only raised Sir Robert to the peerage, but made him a grant in special tail of Reedsdale Lordship and Harbottle castle. In the reign of Elizabeth, we find this manor again in the possession of the crown. It next became the property of a branch of the Widdrington family, and afterwards passed to the Gascoignes, and Clennells, with the latter of whom it still remains. Percival Clennell, Esq., is the present lord of the manor.

the village of Harbottle is situated on the south side of the river Coquet, two miles north-west of Holystone. There is a market held here on Tuesdays, and a fair for cattle, and linen, woollen, and Scotch cloth is held, on the 19th of September. Here is an English Presbyterian Chapel erected in 1756, but in consequence of its dilapidated state it is purposed by the congregation to erect a new chapel, in the Gothic style, as soon as possible. Rev. Samuel Cathcart, minister. A neat school with teacher's residence was erected here in 1834, and was endowed by the late Mr William Dixon, of Newcastle, a native of this place, with 600, the interest of which now amounts to 24 per annum. This sum the teacher receives, on condition of his teaching twelve poor children gratuitously. The school will accommodate ninety pupils. Alexander and Elizabeth Potts, teachers.

harbottle castle, the seat and property of Percival Clennell, Esq., is beautifully situated at the east end of the village, close upon the margin of the river Coquet. It is a handsome modern-built mansion, surrounded by tastefully ornamented pleasure grounds, and fine plantations. The extensive ruins of the old castle stand near the north side of the village, on a bold commanding eminence over the river Coquet. The walls of the great tower have a most singular appearance, part of them being rent asunder from their foundations and overhanging their base, while other parts have slidden in large masses half-way down the hill, and fixed themselves deeply in the earth. The Widdringtons removed a great portion of this ancient edifice, when they were erecting the present manor house, in the construction of which, a great quantity of the old materials was used. This old castle was a place of great strength in former days, and oftentimes resisted the attacks of the Scots. Margaret, daughter of Henry VII, and Queen Dowager of Scotland, resided here for some time after her marriage with the Earl of Angus.

holystone is a township and village giving name to the chapelry in which it is situated. The township contains 2,906 acres, the property of Walter Selby, Esq., Mrs. Dawson, and A.C. Forster, Esq., and its rateable value is 512. Its population in 1801, was 125; in 1811, 136; in 1821, 132; in 1831, 124; in 1841, 125; and in 1851, 135 souls.

the village of Holystone is situated six miles west by north of Rothbury. the church is a neat edifice dedicated to St. Mary. The living, a curacy in the archdeaconry of Lindisfarne and deanery of Rothbury, has been united with that of Alwinton, since 1311, when Pope Gregory XI in his letters of annexation, assigned as a cause for this junction, the fact of the property of this living being very small, and situated in marshy places. Near the church are the remains of an ancient Benedictine priory, which was founded by one of the Umfravilles, of Harbottle. At the period of the Dissolution this priory was possessed of various houses and lands in the village; of farms at Corsenside, Brigghouses, Woodhouses, and Risingham in Reedesdale; of lands at Wreighill, a house at Alnwick, lands at Wallington, Bavington, Nunriding, Thockrington, and Rochester, with several houses in Newcastle. It also possessed the livings of Alwinton, Holystone, and Corsenside, yet the yearly revenues were certified not to exceed 15 10s. 8d., according to Speed. Of the monastic buildings few vestiges now remain. Lady's Well, supposed to have belonged to the priory, is a fine basin of water, the bottom of which is variegated with a mixture of white and green sand. It was formerly enclosed with a hewn freestone wall, part of which is still standing, beautifully shaded with trees and shrubs. There is a school here in connection with the church, Henry Newton, teacher.

campville, the residence of Augustus C. Forster, Esq., is situated half a mile west of Holystone. In its vicinity are the rugged and frowning crags of Harbottle, as also the celebrated "Drake Stone," and an ancient edifice called Barrow-peel, with several other remains of antiquity.

chaRIty.—William Potts, in 1724, left thirty shillings yearly, for the education of the poor children of this township.

linshEeles is a township in this parish, situated on the south side of the Coquet, at the confluence of the Redleesburn, one mile and a half west of Alwinton. Its area, inclusive of Barrow township, is 14,077 acres, and its rateable value is 3,147. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 87; in 1811, 92; in 1821, 97; in 1831, 114; in 1841, 98; and in 1851, 97 souls. The landowners are Walter Selby, Esq., Ralph Carr, Esq., and William Trotter, Esq.

kidland lordship is an extra parochial liberty, situated two miles north by west of Alwinton, the property of Sir Thomas Legard, and comprises an area of 11,825 acres, of which the rateable value is 1,742. Population in 1801, 60; in 1811, 54; in 1821, 62; in 1831, 69; in 1841, 63; and in 1851, 61 souls. This is a mountainous district, and the Cheviot breed of sheep are found here in their greatest perfection. The principal mountains in and about this lordship are Cheviot, Cushit, Flint Crag, Hogdon Law, Maiden Cross, Milkhope, Rookland, Shillmoor, &c. The neighbourhood of Kidland Lee, on the west side of the Alwine, is the most fertile part of this district, though the great majority of the hills are covered with rich verdure. Here are the remains of some ancient British entrenchments, and in a romantic glen, near the source of the Alwine, the ruins of Memmerkirk are still visible.


William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855




1. Surely an error for Percival Clennel(l), mentioned further on in the parish description.

29 March 2008


Parish Listing

Steve Bulman