Castle Ward - West Division

Ponteland Parish


ponteland is a parish comprising the townships of Berwick Hill, Callerton (High), Callerton (Little), Coldcoats, Darras Hall, Higham Dykes, Kirkley, Milburn, Milburn Grange, and Ponteland, whose united area amounts to 10,073 acres. It is bounded on the north by Whalton and Stannington parishes, on the west by Newburn, Stamfordham, and Whalton parishes, on the south by Newburn parish, and on the east by the parish of Gosforth. The population in 1801, was 936; in 1811, 943; in 1831, 934; in 1831, 1,034; in 1841, 1,094; and in 1851, it had increased to 1,137 souls. The soil of this parish is rich and strong, yielding good wheat crops and excellent pasturage. Large quantities of lime and coal are found in this district.

berwick hill is a township and hamlet, the property of the Hon. Gilbert Stapleton. The township contains 1,604 acres, and its rateable value is £1,433. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 108; in 1811, 120; in 1821, 111; in 1831, 105; in 1841, 112; and in 1851, 96 souls. the hamlet of Berwick Hill is situated on a lofty eminence eight and a half miles N.N.W. of Newcastle.

callerton (HIGH) is a township and village, the principal proprietors of which are John Warwick, Esq., Robert Johnson, Esq., Jonathan Forster, Esq., the executors of Mrs. Ekens, and others. The area of the township is 798 acres, and the rateable value is £1,182 16s. 3d. Population in 1801,131; in 1811, 100; in 1821, 104; in 1831, 136; in 1841, 131; and in 1851, 115 souls. A small portion of the township of High Callerton here returned, containing 2 houses and 9 persons in 1851, belongs to the parish of Newburn. Lady's Land, containing eight acres, in this township, belongs to the Morpeth Free School, as also two tenements and a close in Ponteland, and a ridge of land in Prestwick township. the village of High Callerton is situated about six and a half miles north-west by west from Newcastle.

callerton (little) township is situated seven miles north-west by west of Newcastle. It comprises an area of 573 acres, and the rateable value is £330. Edward Collingwood, Esq., is the sole proprietor. Population in 1801, 22; in 1811, 27; in 1821, 21; in 1831, 36; in 1841, 34; and in 1851, 16 souls. This township is divided into two farms, and the tithes amount to £27 per annum.

coldcoats is a township comprising 1,060 acres, which is divided into four farms; West and Middle Coldcoats belonging to Nathaniel Bates, Esq., East Coldcoats to the Rev. Edward C. Ogle, and Coldcoats Moor the property of Edward Collingwood, Esq. It is situated two miles north from Ponteland, and its rateable value is £723. The tithes amount to £143 per annum. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 53; in 1811, 48; in 1821, 45; in 1831, 36; in 1841, 36; and in 1851, 40 souls

darras hall township, the property of Edward Collingwood, Esq., Mrs. Dutton, and the Rev. Mr. Ord, is situated seven miles north-west from Newcastle. Its rateable value is £281, and its area 425 statute acres. Population in 1801, 21; in 1811, 23; in 1821, 12; in 1831, 15; in 1841, 15; and in 1851, 22 souls. This township consists of one farm, occupying an elevated position, from which extensive views of the surrounding country may be obtained.

higham dykes is a township ten miles north-west of Newcastle, containing 129 acres, the property of Miss M. C. Bell. Its population in 1801, was 18; in 1811, 20; in 1821, 23; in 1831,15; in 1841, 20; and in 1851, 15 souls. Here is a neat school and teacher's house, erected in 1852, at Miss Bell's expense. This township consists of one farm, occupied by Mr. John Shanks, and higham house, a fine mansion, well sheltered by trees.

kirkley is a small township and hamlet, the property of the Rev. Edward C. Ogle. The township comprises an area of 1,816 acres, and the number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 143; in 1811, 147; in 1821, 146; in 1831, 165; in 1841, 168; and in 1851, 171 souls. The manor of Kirkley was anciently possessed by the Eure family, who held it by the service of presenting a barbed arrow at the court of the barony of Mitford, on St. John the Baptist's day. Several members of this family held important posts in the north. One of them, Sir Ralph de Eure, was Lord Warden of the East Marches in the reign of Henry VIII. The Eures possessed this estate until the reign of Charles I., when it became the property of the Ogles, in which family it still remains. The celebrated Sir Chaloner Ogle was born here. Having embraced the naval profession, he was very early advanced, by his courage and personal merit, to the command of the "Swallow" man-of-war, wherein he captured Roberts, the famous pirate, on the coast of Africa, February 5th, 1722. We subjoin the following account of this exploit from Campbell's "Naval History of King George I. :- "There was among the pirates on the coast of Africa, one Roberts, a man whose parts deserved better employment; he was an able seaman, and a good commander, and had with him two very stout ships, one commanded by himself of 40 guns, and 152 men, the other of 30 guns, and 132 men, and to complete his squadron, he soon added a third, of 24 guns, and 90 men. Captain Ogle was in the 'Swallow,' and was cruising off Cape Lopez, when he had intelligence of Roberts being not far from him, of whom he went immediately in search, and soon after discovered them in a very commodious bay, where the largest and the least ships were upon the heel scrubbing. Captain Ogle, taking in his lower tier of guns, and lying at a distance, Roberts took him for a merchantman, and immediately ordered his consort Skyrm, to slip his cable, and run out after him. Captain Ogle crowded all the sail he could, to decoy the pirate to such a distance, that his consorts might not hear the guns, and then suddenly tacked, ran out his lower tier, and gave the pirates a broadside, by which their captain, Skyrm, was killed, which so discouraged his crew that after a brisk engagement, which lasted about an hour and a half, they surrendered. Captain Ogle then returned to the bay, hoisting the king's colours under the pirates' black flag with a death's head in it. This prudent stratagem had the desired effect; for the pirates, seeing the black flag uppermost, concluded the king's ship had been taken, and came out full of joy to congratulate their consort on the victory. This joy of their was, however, of no long continuance, for Captain Ogle gave them a very warm reception; and though Roberts fought with the utmost bravery for near two hours, yet being then killed, the courage of his men immediately sunk, and both ships yielded." For this service Captain Ogle was knighted in the following year, and afterwards rose to the highest rank in his profession. He was an officer whose integrity, courage, and abilities were conspicuous in his long service of his country - upwards of fifty years. To those qualities which peculiarly adorned his profession, he added all those social virtues and goodness of heart which made his loss still more deeply regretted by those who had most known him. He died in London on the 11th of April, 1750.

the village of Kirkley is situated ten miles north-west by north of Newcastle. kirkley hall, the seat of the owner of the township, is an elegant and commodious mansion and from its eastern side many beautiful views of the surrounding country may be obtained.

benridge is a hamlet in this township, situated ten miles N.N.W. of Newcastle. benridge HOUSE is the residence of William F. Blackett, Esq., treasurer for the county of Northumberland. carter MOOR is another hamlet in this township, ten and half miles N.N.W. of Newcastle.

milburn is a township and hamlet, the property of Nathaniel Bates, Esq. of Milburn Hall. The township contains 1,216 acres, and its population in 1801, was 80; in 1811, 112; in 1821, 82; in 1831, 101; in 1841, 79; and in 1851, 92 souls. Robert de Meneville is the first proprietor of this township on record. He held it by knight's service, under the barony of Morpeth. It subsequently passed to the Bates family with whom it still remains. the hamlet of Milburn is situated ten and half miles north-west of Newcastle. milburn hall, the seat of Nathaniel Bates, Esq., is a beautiful edifice, erected in 1809, from designs by Patterson, of Edinburgh. "The rooms are all oval, and elegance and utility have been happily united, through the whole structure."

MILBURN grange is a township situated three and half miles north-west of Ponteland, and ten and half miles north-west of Newcastle. It contains 529 acres, and its rateable value is £542. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 33; in 1811, 33; in 1821, 32; in 1831, 44; in 1841, 37; and in 1851, 38 souls. Lord Decies is the proprietor of the entire township. The tithes amount to £72 per annum. Milburn Grange, or North Milburn, was held of the Mitford barony, in the reign of Henry III, by Simon de Divelston, who gave it to the abbey of Hexham, but after the suppression of the monastic institutions, it became the property of Bertram Anderson, from whom it was transferred to Edward Horsley, coming ultimately to the present proprietor. Milburn Grange consists of three farms and a few cottages, separated from Milburn by a deep narrow glen, through which runs the burn, whence the two townships derive their names.

ponteland is a township and village in the parish of the same name, the property of Edward Collingwood, Esq., Matthias Dunn, Esq., George Stephenson, Esq., Robert Bell, Esq., and Messrs. Clarke and Raine. The township comprises an area of 1,733 acres, and its rateable value is £2,697 4s. Population in 1801, 327; in 1811, 313; in 1821, 358; in 1831, 381; in 1841, 424; and in 1851, 495 souls. Ponteland was part of the ancient possessions of the barons of Mitford, and by an inquisition taken at Newcastle in the tenth year of the reign of Edward II, is noted as part of the property of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke. Admiral Robert Mitford, of Henmanby, Yorkshire, is the present lord of the manor.

the village of Ponteland is pleasantly situated on the western banks of the river Pont from which it derives its name. It was the opinion of Camden that this village occupied the site of the Pons Ælii of the Romans, but Mr. Horsley has ably proved this opinion to be erroneous. In 1244 the kingdoms of England and Scotland had nearly come to an open rupture, the King of England being at Newcastle with an army, and the King of Scotland with another, at Ponteland. A peace, however, was agreed upon, through the mediation of the Archbishop of York. Previous to the battle of Otterburn the castle and village of Ponteland were given to the flames by the Scottish army. the parish church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, is of a mixed style of architecture, the Norman, however, being most prevalent. It underwent a thorough renovation in 1810, and is now in a very fair state of preservation. In the chancel are the burial places of the Grofton's1 and Wilkie's, of Elland Hall; the Horsley's, of Milburn Grange; the Ogle's, of Kirkley; and the Carr's, of Dunstan. This church was formerly collegiate, and contained a chantry dedicated to St. Mary. The parish register commences in 1602. The living is a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Northumberland and deanery of Newcastle, valued in the Liber Regis at £13. 6s. 8d.; gross income £570. The patronage is vested in Merton College, Oxford. Vicar, the Rev. John Lightfoot, B.D., for whom the Rev. James Robson, M.A. officiates. The Scotch Presbyterians and Wesleyan Methodists have also chapels here.

ponteland charity or free school was erected and endowed pursuant to the will of Mr. Richard Coates, who, in 1719, bequeathed property worth £70 per annum to the parish of Ponteland for that purpose. The Archdeacon of Northumberland, the Vicar of Ponteland, and the lecturer of St. John's, Newcastle, are the trustees, with the right of appointing the master. The endowment at present (1854) produces £75 annually, for which forty poor children are educated and partly clothed. They are received at seven years of age and continue at school till they have attained their eleventh year. The master receives £50 per annum, and is allowed to take other scholars who pay a small fee for their education. The school was rebuilt in 1831, and now possesses sufficient accommodation for seventy pupils.

the castle ward poor-law union comprehends seventy-eight parishes and townships, including an area of 88,587 statute acres, and a population in 1851, of 13,897 souls. The parishes and townships are Belsay, Berwick Hill, Bitchfield, Black Heddon, Bolam, Bolam Vicarage, Bradford, Brenkley, Brunton (East), Brunton (West), Butterlaw, Callerton (Black), Callerton (High), Callerton (Little), Capheaton, Cheeseburn Grange, Coldcoats, Cox-lodge, Dalton, Darras Hall, Denton (East), Denton (West), Dinnington, Dissington (North), Dissington (South), Eachwick, Fawdon, Fenwick, Gallow Hill, Gosforth (North), Gosforth (South), Harlow Hill, Harnham, Hawkwell, Heddon (East), Heddon-on-the-Wall, Heddon (West), Heugh, Horton Grange, Higham Dykes, Haughton and Closehouse, Ingoe, Kearsley, Kenton (East and West), Kirkheaton, Kirkley, Mason, Maften (East), Maften (West)2, Milburn, Milburn Grange, Nesbit, Newbiggin, Newburn, Newburn Hall, Newham, Ogle, Ouston, Ponteland, Prestwick, Riplington, Rudchester, Ryall, Shaftoe (East), Shaftoe (West), Shilvington, Shortflatt, Stannington, Sugley, Throckley, Trewick, Twizell, Walbottle, Walridge, Whalton, Whoriton (East and West), Whitchester, and Woolsington.

the castle ward union workhouse is situated near the village. It is plain brick building, erected in 1848-49, by Mr. John Donkin, of Belle Villa, Ponteland, from designs furnished by Messrs. John and Benjamin Green, of Newcastle. It possesses sufficient accommodation for 100 persons. Governor, John Stephenson; matron, Margaret Stephenson; surgeon, Edward Mitchell; relieving officer, James Spraggon.

The river Pont is crossed here by a stone bridge of two very low arches, and it is not an uncommon occurrence for these arches to be blocked up in winter by large masses of ice, which causes the lower part of the village to be inundated. Similar floods occur during the summer months after heavy fall of rain.

eland green is a hamlet in this township, half a mile N.N.W. of Ponteland.

charities. - George Sharper, in 1780, left a rent charge of £1 to the poor of this parish, and in 1829, Elizabeth Alder gave to the minister and churchwardens of Ponteland, £20 on trust, to place out the same, and distribute the interest yearly amongst the poor inhabitants of the township of High Callerton.

river green is a small extra parochial liberty, situated on the south bank of the river Wansbeck, five miles west by south of Morpeth. It contains an area of 480 acres, and its rateable value is £328. The population in 1801, was 33; in 1811, 62; in 1821, 51, in 1831, 48; in 1841, 30; and in 1851, 34 souls. It is the property of John Cookson Esq., by whom it is farmed. Agricultural labourers are the only inhabitants.



William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855




1. Grofton is what the text says, but it should almost certainly be Gofton. Helen White (nee Gofton) has written to me to say that the Gofton's were land-owners here from the 17th century.

2.  Sic - should be Matfen.

11 October 2009


Parish Listing

© Steve Bulman