Castle Ward - East Division

Long Benton Parish

 

Long benton parish comprises the townships of Killingworth, Long Benton, Walker, and Weetslade, whose united area is 9,040 acres. Its population in 1801, was 3,355; in 1811, 4,358; in 1821, 5,547; in 1831, 6,613; in 1841, 8,711; and in 1851, 9,205 souls. The parish is bounded on the north by Earsdon, Cramlington, and Stannington, on the west by All Saints' and Gosforth parishes, on the south by the Tyne, and on the east by the parishes of Tynemouth and Wallsend. It contains extensive collieries, foundries, quarries, gunpowder-works, &c. - upwards of 1,300 persons are employed in the collieries alone. The soil in this district is very fertile, and the parish is intersected by the York, Newcastle, and Berwick Railway.

killingworth is a township and village, the property of J.K. Pugh, Esq., General Airey, Matthew Bell, Esq., and William Punshon, Esq. The area of the township is returned with that of the parish, and the rateable value is £4,676. The population was returned with the parish till 1841, when it amounted to 1,787; and in 1851, it was 1,651 souls. A portion of the village of Hazlerigge is included in this township. the village of Killingworth is beautifully situated on a commanding eminence, in the midst of a and fertile country, five and three-quarter miles north-east by north of Newcastle, and contains several good houses. It was the scene of the early labours of George Stephenson, who, for some time, was breaksman at Killingworth Colliery. It was here he made his improvements in the steam-engine, and a sun-dial, a relic of his early ingenuity, is still fixed over the door of the house he lived in while at Killingworth. To the last-day of his life he took a pride in this sun-dial, and, not long before his death, when about to survey the line of the Newcastle and Berwick Railway, he drove a professional friend out of his way to have a last look at the dial, which had now indicated many days of prosperity since he made it in adversity and obscurity.

KILLINGWORTH house 1, a fine stone edifice, occupying a beautiful situation, is the seat of Nathaniel G. Lambert, Esq.

westmoor, a hamlet in this township, is principally inhabited by colliers, and contains two chapels, belonging to the Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. The late proprietors of Killingworth Colliery, erected a school here, which is attended, at present, by about ninety children of both sexes. The colliery is very extensive, and gives employment to several hundred persons. John Bowes, Esq. and Partners are the proprietors. There is a station on the York, Newcastle, and Berwick Railway, about one mile west of Killingworth, at which trains for Newcastle and Berwick stop three times daily.

long benton is a township and village in the parish of the same name, the property of the Duke of Northumberland, Dixon Dixon, Esq., William Mather, Esq., the Master and Scholars of Baliol College, Oxford, Robert Hedley, Esq., and Messrs. Craster and Askew. The area of the township is returned with that of the parish, and the rateable value is £8,510. The number of inhabitants in 1841, was 2,451, and in 1851, 2,238 souls. The collieries here are very extensive, and one of the worked out collieries having sunk considerably in 1765, much damage was done to the houses in the neighbourhood. It was a custom at that time in working the pits, to leave as much coal as they had dug away, but the coal being in great request in the London market, they had worked the pillars away, and put wooden ones in their stead, which, not being sufficiently strong to support the great super≠incumbent weight, the whole sunk together.

the village of Long Benton is situated about three miles north-east by north from Newcastle. The bridge spanning the rivulet a short distance to the north of the church, on the road to Killingworth, was erected in 1801, at the expense of Admiral Roddam, of Roddam, which event is recorded on the key stone of the arch. the church, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, is situated in a secluded valley, a short distance north-east of the village, and was almost entirely rebuilt in 1791. It is now a neat plain edifice, containing several mural monuments, and is surrounded by a spacious churchyard. A local tradition states that the church was actually commenced at Long Benton village, but that the masonry of each day was invariably transported every night, to the site at present occupied by the sacred edifice. The only ancient part of the present structure is the chancel, which, when the church was rebuilt at the period above mentioned, was loft in its original condition, in consequence of the lessees of the great tithes being unwilling to undertake the cost of rebuilding it. The floor of the chancel was three steps lower than the nave until 1838, when it was raised to the same level as the rest of the building, at the expense of the Master and Scholars of Baliol College, Oxford. In October, 1835, while sinking a grave in the vicinity of the old chancel door, a stone coffin, of rude workmanship, was discovered, at about two feet below the surface, and in 1838, in the course of draining the churchyard, an ancient sepulchral slab of small size, hearing a cross, was found turned over on an old water channel. The cross was preserved by being inserted in the stone work on building up the chancel door, in the autumn of the same year. In the taxation of Pope Nicholas, we find this benefice returned as a rectory. In the year 1340, the church of Long Benton, together with some lands in the parish, were granted to Baliol College, Oxford, by Sir Philip Somervyll, of Wykenore, in the county of Stafford, and a severance of the great tithes was effected by an ordinance of Richard Bury, Bishop of Durham. In the chancel are several ancient grave stones. The living is now a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Northumberland and deanery of Newcastle, valued in the Liber Regis at £3. 1s. 3d.; gross income, £353. The patronage is vested in the Master and Fellows of Baliol College, Oxford. Incumbent, Rev. John Besley, D.C.L., for whom the Rev. Joseph Smithard, M.A., officiates as curate. The parish register commences in 1669.

A school-room, with a residence for the master, was built by the parishioners, on the Waste at the east end of the village of Long Benton, for which they pay a ground rent of one shilling to the lords of the manor. The rent is first entered as paid in 1814. The school cost the sum of £250. Thomas Shaw, schoolmaster and parish clerk.

charities. - Cuthbert Alder, by his will, bearing date 23rd May, 1736, devised a close of land called Dacre's Close, in the township of Murton, in the parish of Tynemouth, to the minister and churchwardens of Long Benton, in trust for the use of the poorest inhabitants of that part of the parish of Long Benton called Weetslade Quarter. The close above mentioned consists of about four acres of land, and produces an annual rent of £12, which is distributed in accordance with the intentions of the donor.

benton house is a fine mansion, the seat of Mrs. Ann Atkinson. benton lodge is a pretty ivy covered cottage, the residence of William Smith, Esq. forest hall, in this township, is a fine edifice, the seat of P.W. Wilson, Esq., and John Hodgson, Esq.

benton square is a colliery hamlet in this township, situated five and a half miles N.N.E. of Newcastle. wapping is another hamlet, of the same kind, two and a half miles north east of Newcastle.

walker is a township and village, the property of the corporation of Newcastle. The area of the township is included in the parish returns, and its rateable value is £9,650. Population in 1841, 3,470; in 1851, 3,963 souls. Here are numerous manufactories of almost every kind. The Walker Iron Works on the north bank of the Tyne are very extensive, and afford employment to several hundred persons. Alkalies and other chemicals are manufactured in considerable quantities, and iron ship building is carried on to a great extent. In fact, the whole side of the Tyne, in this township, is crowded with factories of various kinds, copperas works, saw mills, seed crushing mills, ballast wharfs, coal staiths, &c., &c. There is also an extensive colliery here worked by Messrs. Nathaniel Lambert and Co. Walker was erected into a distinct parish for ecclesiastical purposes in 1836, in conformity with the provisions of Sir Robert Peel's Act, but for every other purpose it is considered as a portion of Long Benton parish.

the village of Walker is situated three miles east by north of Newcastle. the church, (christ's church), is a neat stone edifice, erected in 1847-8, at a cost of £1,450. The "Corporate Church Building Society" gave £200, Her Majesty's Commissioners for the building of new churches £150, and the corporation of Newcastle not being able to give the ground upon which the church was to be erected, gave its value in money for the purchase of the site. It was endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The church is in the early English style of architecture, and consists of nave, chancel, north aisle, and south porch, but possesses neither tower nor spire. It contains several handsome stained glass windows, whose beauty of colour and excellence of design, command general admiration. The two windows at the west end represent our Saviour and the Blessed Virgin, that at the east, the symbolical Lamb. The window on the south side of the chancel is emblazoned with the arms of the Bell family, by whom it was presented to the church. The two western ones were the gifts of James Archbold, Esq., and Stephen Lowrey, Esq. The living, a pepetual [sic] curacy, valued at £180 per annum, is in the patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Durham, who present alternately. Rev. Christopher Thompson, incumbent. the parsonage house, a good stone building, is situated near the Church.

Here are two chapels belonging to the Wesleyan Methodists.

The New School, Walker, is a large brick structure, erected in 1852, by the Walker Iron and Alkali Companies. It possesses ample accommodation for three-hundred pupils, and is regularly attended by about two-hundred and thirty children of both sexes. James Hewitt and Ann Gaskin, teachers. There are also several private schools in this township, which are respectably conducted, and numerously attended.

walker quay is an extensive village in this township, situated on the Tyne, three and a half miles east of Newcastle.

LOW walker, formerly called Wincolmlee, is another village in this township, situated on the Tyne, three miles east of Newcastle. It contains several handsome residences, and its manufactories are both numerous and extensive. In 1774, the gunpowder magazine, duly licensed, was erected here by the corporation of Newcastle. This building was deemed requisite, in consequence of the great quantities of gunpowder brought into the Tyne for blasting and other purposes.

little benton is a small village and joint township with Walker, with which its population and acreage are returned. Its rateable value is £3,122. Here are extensive collieries carried on by the proprietors of Heaton Colliery. Eustace de Benton held this manor, under the barony of Gaugv, in the reign of Henry III. It afterwards became the property of the Scroope family, from whom it passed to the Greystocks. We find it possessed by the Fitzhughs, in the reign of Henry VI, and it subsequently passed to the Hindmarsh, and Bigge families. The present proprietors are Captain Bigge, and Captain Potts, of Benton Park. the village of Little Benton is situated about one mile south of Long Benton. There is a school at Bigg's Main, which is attended by about ninety children, and is used as a place of worship, on Sundays, by the Wesleyan Methodist Reformers.

benton house is a fine structure, the residence of Captain Potts and Edward Potts, Esq. benton white house. - This estate has been converted into a Botanical Gardens, which were first opened to the public on Whit-Monday, 1854. They are the property of a joint-stock company, whose capital is £10,000, in a thousand shares of £10 each. The grounds, which comprises thirty-one acres, are beautifully situated and tastefully laid out, and it is intended, at some future period, to add to their attractions, by making them zoological, as well as botanical gardens, for the counties of Northumberland and Durham.

weetslade is a township in this parish, situated three miles N. N. W. of Long Benton, and six miles north by east of Newcastle. The area is returned with the parish; population in 1841, 1,003; and in 1851, 1,353 souls. The rateable value of the township is £4,790, and Thomas Smith, Esq., of Gosforth House, Captain Bray, John Walker, Esq., of Seaton Burn House, J.H.H. Atkinson, Esq., John Clayton, Esq., and Messrs Rapier and Lorraine are the principal landowners. There is an extensive colliery and stone quarry in this neighbourhood, the former, worked by Messrs John Bowes, Esq. and Partners, gives employment to a considerable number of persons. A portion of the village of Hazlerigge, is included in this township, the other portion is in that of Killingworth.

seaton burn is a hamlet in Weetslade township. seaton burn house is a commodious building, the seat of John Walker, Esq. The Wesleyans have a temporary chapel here in the school of Mr. Nicholas Whitfield. SIX mile bridge is also a hamlet in this township; it is situated six miles north of Newcastle. wide open is another hamlet in this township, on the Morpeth-road, five and a quarter miles north of Newcastle.

 

 
 

 

 

 

William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855


Notes.

1. Julian Scott has family connections with Killingsworth House, which is long-demolished. He also has 2 photographs, un-labelled, but possibly of the house. Can you identify it positively? Even if not Killingsworth, it may be of another house in the area. Photo1. Photo2.


 

29 November 2009

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© Steve Bulman

steve@stevebulman.f9.co.uk