Glendale Ward - East Division
Wooler Town and Parish
wooler is a small parish, comprising an area of 4,852 acres. The Earl of Tankerville is the proprietor of Wooler, and lord of the manor, and the Messrs. Clarke, of Newcastle, are the owners of Fenton. The population of the parish in 1801, was 1,679; in 1811, 1,704; in 1821, 1,830; in 1831, 1,926; in 1841, 1,874; and in 1851, 1,911 souls.
the town of Wooler occupies a healthy position, on the eastern declivity of the Cheviots, forty-six miles N.N.W. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and consists of several streets, diverging from a central area used as a market place. Wooler was one of the baronies into which this country was divided at the period of the Norman Conquest. It was granted by Henry I to Robert Muschampe, and subsequently possessed many valuable members, which were held in capite of the barony by knights' service. The family of Muschampe becoming extinct, in the reign of Edward I, Wooler was transferred by marriage to the Earl of Strathern, Odinal de Ford, and Walter de Huntercombe. It subsequently became the property of the Hewells, the Scropes, the D'Arcys, and the Percies, from the latter of whom it passed to the family of the present possessor. Two stone coffins were recently discovered at Humbleton Buildings, near Wooler. They were found six feet below the summit of a round hill, and were formed of slabs of hard sandstone belonging to the district. In each coffin there was the skeleton of a human being, bent up, the knees resting upon the stomach, and the arms placed nearly round the neck. On exposure to the atmosphere these remains of mortality crumbled into dust. In January 1853, another stone coffin, containing a portion of a skull and a few fragments of bones, was discovered on the summitt of a Knoll, called the "Pipers Knoll," on the farm of Bromfield, little more than a mile east from Dunse.
the parish church, dedicated to St, Mary, is a neat and commodious edifice, erected in 1765, near the site of the old church which was destroyed by fire. It was enlarged and beautified in 1835, by which means 500 additional sittings were obtained, and in consequence of a grant from the Incorporated Society for building and repairing churches and chapels, 233 of that number are free and unappropriated for ever, in addition to 200 sittings formerly provided, the whole of which are free. Rev. John Samuel Green, M.A. vicar.
the catholic diocesan mission house, St. Ninian's, is situated at the west end of the town, but it is intended to commence immediately the erection of a new church, on the vacant ground adjoining the present chapel. Rev. James Chadwick, Edward Consitt, and Robert Suffield, priests. There is a school attached to this chapel, John McSweeney, teacher. the united presbyterian church (english) was erected in 1818, at a cost of £1,200, and is capable of accommodating 680 persons, Rev James A. Huie minister. The day school attached to this place of worship, is attended by about ninety-five scholars. William Duncan teacher. the united presbyterian chapel is a commodious edifice, containing 800 sittings, Rev. James Muirhead, minister. There is a Second United Presbyterian Chapel, capable of accommodating 400 persons. Rev. James Robinson, and the Rev. Peter Whyte, ministers. The Baptists have also a Meeting House here.
the national school was built in 1836, at a cost of £400. There is a house for the teacher, and the school is sufficiently commodious for 150 children. Joseph Young, teacher. Wooller [sic] possesses two libraries, "The Mechanics'," at Mr. William Brand's, established in 1828, contains upwards of 1,200 volumes on various subjects, and is supported by fifty-five subscribers, who pay five shillings per annum, William Brand, librarian; and "The Subscription Library," held at Mr. William Wightman's, Post Office.
the gas works were erected in 1846, at a cost £1,400, by a company of 200 shareholders, at £5 per share, and £400 additional capital. The shops were lighted on the 26th of November of the same year, and the town in February, 1847. Mr. Morton, secretary.
the glendale poor law union comprehends forty-five parishes and townships, embracing an area of 142,305 acres, and a population in 1851, of 14,348 souls. The townships and parishes are Akeld, Brandon, Branton, Branxton, Bewick New, Bewick Old, Carham, Chatton, Chillingham, Coldsmouth and Thompson's Walls, Coupland, Crookhouse, Doddington, Earle, Ewart, Fawdon Clinch and Hartside, Ford, Grey's Forest, Heathpool, Hebbum, Howtell, Humbleton, Ilderton, Ingram, Linhop and Greenshawhill, Kilham, Kirk Newton, Lanton, Lilburn East, Lilburn West, Lowick, Middleton Hall, Middleton North, Middleton South, Milfield, Nesbit, Newton West, Newtown, Paston, Reaveley, Roddam, Rosedon, Selby's Forest, Wooler, Wooperton, and Yeavering.
the union workhouse occupies a healthy situation at the west end of the town. It is a fine commodious building, erected in 1839, and will accommodate about seventy persons: there are at present fifty inmates. There is a school attached for the education of the pauper children. Governor and schoolmaster, Mr. George Paxton; matron, Margery Allan; surgeon, James Alexander; clerk, William Wightman; relieving officer and registrar, Thomas Carr.
the county court is held at the Anchor Inn every alternate month. Judge, James Losh, Esq., clerk; Henry Ingledew, Esq., assistant clerk; William Wightman, bailiff,; Robert Gardiner. The new prison is a neat stone building, erected in 1850, at a cost of £1,000, and is used for the detention of prisoners, previous to their committal to Morpeth. A court is held here once a month for general purposes. Robert Gardiner, constable.
markets and fairs. - There is a corn market every Thursday, Cattle and horse markets on the third Thursday in January, the third Thursday in February, and the third Thursday in March. There is a High and Wool Market held on the 27th of June, and a wool market on the first Thursday in July. This market is subject to alteration, in consequence of the neighbouring markets falling upon the same day. There is also a high market on the second Thursday in March. Whitsun Bank fair is held on the third Monday in July, and there are annual fairs on the 4th of May, for the hiring of servants, and the sale of horses and cattle; and on the 17th October for the hiring of servants, and the sale of sheep, horses, and cattle.
charities. - In the parliamentary returns of 1786, is is stated that Mrs. Chisholme bequeathed £100, for teaching six poor children of this parish, then vested in the Rev. Mr. Cleeve, and producing £5 per annum. This sum appears to have been lost by the insolvency of the person above named, but we are informed, by the Charity Commissioners, that the poor have not hitherto suffered loss from this circumstance, as the yearly sum of £5 was given annually to supply this loss, by the late Bishop of Durham, and the same payment has been continued by the present bishop.
William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855
18 February 2010
© Steve Bulman