1902 Encyclopedia > Northumberland

Northumberland




NORTHUMBERLAND, the northernmost county of England, is of a somewhat triangular form, roughly resembling that of England itself. It lies between 54° 47' and 55° 46' N. lat. and 1° 25' and 2° 41' W. long., and is in its extremes about 70 miles long and 53 broad. Its area is 2016 square miles, ranking it fifth among English counties. Northumberland lies entirely on the easterly slope of the country. Its boundaries are the German Ocean, Scotland, and the counties of Cumberland and Durham. In physical aspect it is a tumbled incline of fells and ridges, intersected by valleys and subsiding eastwards from the hill-borders of, Scotland and Cumberland into lessening undulations and a shelving coast. The Cheviot range (separating Northumberland from Scotland) is divided by nature into two groups. What may be called the northern Cheviots are green hills of conical and high-arched forms, finely grouped, with the peat-capped Cheviot itself (2676 feet) at their centre, deep steep glens radiating into all parts of their mass, and generally more or less of hollow and enclosed ground separating them from the slopes at their base. The southern Cheviots (south-westwards from Thirl-moor) are the highest part of the county,—moory hills, lower and more confluent, and sometimes curiously equal-topped. On the Cumberland side of the county these watershed heights sink into a monotonous rolling tract, separated only by the river Irthing from the "wastes" of Bewcastle. They again swell up in the south-west towards Killhope Law (2208 feet) and the Pennine range. Few eminences break the general incline, which stretches in a far-spread billowy sea of confluent hills that for six months of the year mingle their browns, russets, and duns in a pattern of Oriental richness, and at all times communicate a fine sense of altitude and expanse. The Simonside Hills (1447 feet) form one not very conspicuous exception. The configuration of much of these uplands has a certain linearity in its details due to groups and ranges of ridges, crags, and terrace-like tiers, picturesquely termed " edges " (escarp-ments) by the country folk, and generally facing the interior, like broad ends of wedges. The line of pillared crags and prow-like headlands between the North and South Tynes along the verge of which the Romans carried their wall is a fine specimen. Passing eastwards from the uplands we exchange the moors for enclosed grounds, " drystone " walls for hedgerows, rare sprinklings of birch for a sufficiently varied wooding, and towards the south-east we approach the smoke of the coal-field and the roar of the Tyne.

The chief rivers and valleys are the Derwent, the Irthing, the Tyne (with its North and South branches, the Allendales, and Redesdale), the Wansbeck with its twin the Font, the Coquet, the Alne, the Till with its feeders the Breamish, Glen, and College, and the Tweed. The Tyne is the "coaly Tyne" only from Wylam downwards. For 19 miles (its tidal portion) it has been dredged into a small estuary,—"a river of coal, iron, and chemicals." The rivers and streams in general are greatly diversified with numbers of rocky gorges and rich "denes." The deepest glen-scenery is at the head of the Breamish and College burns j and the North Tyne gathers its waters from surrounding moorlands into a vale of surpassing beauty.
The coast is a succession of sands, flat tidal rocks, and low cliffs. Its bays are edged by blown sandhills; its borders are severely wind-swept. Several islands lie over against it. Holy Island, the classic Lindisfarne, 1051 acres in extent, but half " links " and sandbanks, is annexed to the mainland and accessible to conveyances every tide. The Fame Islands are a group of rocky islets farther south, —the scene of many saintly austerities, and of the nobler devotion of Grace Darling.

Geology.—The core of the county, in a geological aspect, is the northern Cheviots from Redesdale head nearly to the Tweed. Its oldest rocks are gritty and slaty beds of Silurian age, about the head of the rivers Rede and Coquet and near the Breamish south of Ingram,—a part of the great Silurian mass of the southern uplands of Scot-land. Even before the times of the Old Red Sandstone these rocks had been crushed and folded, upraised into a continental land, and much wasted. The largest hollows in that ancient continent held the great lakes in which the " Old Red " was deposited. Volcanic activity near one of the lake-group (now to be known as Lake Cheviot) resulted in the felspathic porphyrites passing into the syenites and granites that form the mass of the northern Cheviots.

Round this core there now lie relays of Carboniferous strata dipping east and south, much faulted and repeated in places, but passing into Coal-measures and Magnesian Limestone in the south-eastern part of the county. The dawn of the Carboniferous ages saw the volcanic piles of the Cheviots becoming shapeless with waste. Then ensued a general settling down of the land, the gathering of a long series of deposits around its subsiding borders, the burying of Cheviot-land, and the gradual formation of the whole great succession of the Carboniferous system. The builders thereof were three. After every sufficient subsidence the limestone sea that covered Derbyshire sent incursions of marine life northwards ; the waste of the land in the north, then spread out in sheets of sand and silt; and over the mud-flats thus prepared came slow migrations of dense plant-growth. Limestones, sandstones, shales, and coals were the result; and the whole system now consists of—(1) the Carboniferous Limestone series in three divisions, first detected by the accurate eye of George Tate of Alnwick ; (2) the Millstone Grit; and (3) the Coal-measures. Lowest in Northumberland lies Tate's Tuedian group, the first envelope of sinking Cheviot-land. Some reddish shore-like conglomerates lie in places at its base, as at Roddam Dene ; its shales are often tinged with distemper greens ; its coals are scarcely worthy of the name; its limestones are thin, except near Rothbury; and its marine fossils are few and incursive. The Tuedian group is overlaid by the Carbon-aceous group; its shales are carbonaceous-grey, its coals, though mostly small, very numerous, its limestones often plant-limestones, and its calcareous matter much diffused. Upon this lies the Calcareous group; its lime occurs in well-individualized marine beds, cropping up to the surface in green-vested strips; its fossils are found in recurrent cycles, with the limestones and coals forming their extremes. These three groups now range round the northern Cheviots in curved belts broadening southwards, and occupy nearly all the rolling ground between the Tweed and the South Tyne, the sandstones forming the chief eminences. The middle division becomes thinner and more like the Coal-measures in passing northwards, and the upper division, thinning also, loses many of its limestones. The Millstone Grit is a characterless succession of grits and shales. The Coal-measures possess the same zone-like arrangement that prevails in the Limestone series, but are without limestones. They also are divided, very artificially, into three groups The lowest, from the Brockwell seam downwards, has some traces of Gannister beds, and its coal-seams are but thin. The famous Hutton collection of plants was made chiefly from the roof-shales of two seams,—the Bensham and the Low Main. The unique Atthey collection of fishes and Amphibia comes from the latter. The Coal-measures lie along the coast in a long triangle, of which the base, at the Tyne, is produced westwards on to the moors south of that river, where it is wedged against lower beds on the south by a fault. The strata within the triangle give signs of departing from the easterly dip that has brought them where they are, and along a line between its apex (near Amble) and an easterly point in its base (near Jarrow) they turn up north-eastwards, promising coal-crops under the sea.

The top of the Coal-measures is wanting. After a slight tilting of the strata and the denudation that removed it, the Permian rocks were deposited, consisting of Magnesian Limestone, a thin fish-bed below it, and yellow sands and some Red Sandstone (with plants of Coal-measure species) at the base. These rocks are now all but removed. They form Tynemouth rock, and lie notched-in against the 90-fathom dyke at Cullercoates, and again are touched (the base only) at Seaton Sluice. No higher strata have been pre-served. The chief faults of the county extend across it. Its igneous rocks, other than the Cheviot porphyrites and a few contemporaneous traps in the lowest Carboniferous, are all intrusive. An irregular sheet of basalt forced between planes of bedding (perhaps at the close of the Carbon-iferous period) forms the crag-making line of the Great Whinsill, which, with many shifts, breaks, and gaps, ex-tends from Greenhead near Gilsland to the Kyloe Hills. Numbers of basalt dykes cross the county, and were prob-ably connected with the plateau of Miocene volcanic rocks in the Hebrides. Everywhere the Glacial period has left rocks rounded and scored, and rock-fragments from far and near rubbed up into boulder-clay. The glaciers at first held with the valleys, but as the ice-inundation grew they spread out into one sheet,—the Cheviot tops, heavily ice-capped, alone rising above it. Two great currents met in con-fluence around these hills,—one from across the western watershed, the other skirting the coast from the north. Boulders from Galloway, Criffel, the English lake district, and other places adjacent, and from the Lammermuirs and Berwickshire, lie in their track. Of moraines there are only a few towards the hills. The " great submergence " has left no unequivocal signs of its presence. Glaciated shell-fragments have been detected at Tynemouth. Lami-nated brick clays occur among the boulder-clays. Sheets and mounds of gravel of the nature of kames exist here and there on the low grounds, and stretch in a chain over the low watershed between Haltwhistle and Gilsland, sparsely dotting also some more upland valleys. An upper boulder-clay, containing flints, skirts the coast.

The older valleys are all pre-Glacial, and may date from the Miocene period. They are much choked up with Glacial deposits, and lie so deep below the surface that, if they were cleared-out arms of the sea, one of them, 140 feet deep at Newcastle, would extend for miles inland. After the departure of the glaciers the streams here and there wandered into new positions, and hence arises a great variety of smooth slope and rocky gorge. In the open country atmospheric waste has hollowed out the shales at their outcrops, leaving the sandstones, &c, as protruding " edges," roughened here and there into crags. In the lower grounds, where this surface-dissection first began, the " edges" have much run together; on the heights, whose turn came last, they are often prominent and crest-like, but have glacier-rounded brows. Many old tarns are now sheeted over with peat. The sloping peat-fields are often the sites of straggling birch-woods, now buried.

Minerals, &c.—The main portion of the great northern coal-field that extends into Northumberland is an uneven triangle, with its base stretching 14 miles inland from the mouth of the Tyne, and its apex on the coast 24 miles northwards. There are eighteen or twenty seams of work-able thickness, all of them of varieties known as bituminous or " caking " coal, amounting in the aggregate to nearly 60 feet in thickness. The familiar " Wallsend" was the product of a seam now worked out (the High Main), and its name has sunk into a trade term. The Low Main or Hutton seam ranks first in thickness and value; it runs nearly through the whole length of the northern coal-field, and yields at one point or another the best description of three varieties of coal, viz., household, gas, and steam coals,—in Northum-berland chiefly steam coal. The seams below it, including five seams averaging about a yard in thickness, are still unworked at Newcastle. The best coking coals are fur-nished from the lower seams. Three little coal-basins lie against a fault on the moors south of the Tyne. In the Limestone series there also exist coal-seams of some value, worked here and there, generally singly and for land sale purposes. The Scremerston lower coals, eight of which are workable seams with an aggregate thickness of 23 feet, form a little coal-field in the Carbonaceous group in the north of the county. Numberless little seams are dug into by farmers and shepherds for their own use, chiefly in the same group in the southern half of the county.

According to the mineral statistics the output of coal from the 176 collieries worked in Northumberland in 1882 was 14,518,789 tons, as against 36,299,597 tons from the whole coal-field, and 156,499,977 tons from the United Kingdom. The net quantity of coal in Northumberland available for the future was estimated before the Coal Commission in 1870 as 2,576,000,000 tons, besides 403,000,000 tons under the sea within 2 miles of land. About 350 millions of tons have since been realized. The rate of production is increasing annually.

The "lead-measures" in Northumberland chiefly lie in South Tynedale and Allendale, and belong to the Upper Limestone series or Yoredale rocks. From these lead-mines in 1882 there were raised 6817 tons of ore, having a value of ¿£54,719. The product of the ore was 5252 tons of lead and 9547 ounces of silver. The industry has recently suffered from the effects of foreign competition.

The Cleveland ironstone and cheap foreign import have repressed iron-mining in Northumberland. An abundance of nodular calcareous ironstone in the Upper Limestone series awaits future development. For many years a shale bed at Redesdale furnished Sir W. G. Armstrong with some of his best materials, but it was abandoned in 1877.

Among other mineral products are building freestones in profusion ; millstone grits, not at all restricted to the strata bearing the name; fireclays, chiefly of value among the Coal-measures; brick clays from glacial beds; and disin-tegrated shales. The Whinsill yields hard paving-stones and kerbstones ; Newcastle grindstones, from a hard sand-stone near the town, are as familiar as "Wallsend"; and limekilns are numerous in the broad belt occupied by the upper limestones. The uplands are rich in springs issuing from the sandstones and limestones. Chalybeate springs or "red wells" abound; "sulphur wells" (sulphuretted hydrogen) are by no means rare.





Natural History.—The fauna and flora of the county have been worked out with a care and completeness chiefly due to the Naturalists' Field Clubs of Tyneside and Ber-wickshire. The catalogue of plants in Northumberland (with Durham) contains 936 species out of the 1425 of the British list, Ireland excluded. The facies of the flora is intermediate between the northern and southern types of the island. Forty-six species enter Northumberland from the south which do not reach Scotland. There is a distinct preponderance of damp-loving kinds. No plants are restricted to the county. Numerous aliens, enume-rated as 117 species, grow upon the large ballast-hills beside the Tyne and elsewhere, and there are 87 other " casual introductions." The cloudberry ripens on most of the watershed hills above 1250 feet.
The richness of bird-life in the county is accounted for by the situation of the coast in a frequented track of migration to and from the north, and by the diversity of its own phy-sical features. Of the entire catalogue of British birds, in all about 395 species, two-thirds (267) have been met in Northumberland and Durham, 91 of which are residents, 40 spring and autumn migrants that come to nest, 54 autumn and winter visitants, and 79 casual visitants. Moorfowl abound on the fells, though less numerously than of old.

Among the larger fauna of the county are the half-wild white cattle of Chillingham Park, the representatives, ac-cording to the best authorities, of the aboriginal cattle of the British forests, and degenerated descendants of the great Urus, or Bos primigenius.

Climate.—The climate is bracing and healthy. In spring east winds prevail over the whole county. The lambing season in the higher uplands is fixed for the latter half of April, and is even then often too early. In summer and autumn west winds are general. The mean temperature in the shade at Alnwick and North Shields in the winter and summer quarters of the year, dur-ing four years of observation, was as follows :—Alnwick, summer S2°-9, winter 38°'9 ; North Shields, summer 55°'l,winter 39°-0. At Greenwich during the same years it stood as—summer 59°' 9, winter 39°' 4. The rainfall gradually increases as the country rises from the coast. The average rainfall during the six years 1877-82 was :—at Tynemouth (65 feet above the sea), 27 '78 inches; in New-castle (105 feet), 30'28 inches; near Belford (240feet), 30'41 inches; near Haltwhistle (380 feet), 40'41 inches; near Bothbury (400 feet), 37'50 inches; at Allenheads (1353 feet), 47'65 inches; and at Broadstruther (1672 feet), about five miles north of the Cheviot, _60'93 inches. East winds, in summer, bring rain to the interior. The smell from the coal-field, the lighter grime of which is detected as far as Cumberland, is taken by the shepherd for a sign of wet.

Governmental and Ecclesiastical Divisions.—Northumberland comprises the nine wards (answering to hundreds and wapentakes) of Bamburgh, Glendale, Coquetdale, Morpeth, Tynedale, Castle, Norhamshire, Islandshire, and Bedlingtonshire. The last three formed detached portions of Durham until 1844. It contains 76 mother-parishes and 162 benefices, together forming (with Alston and Nenthead in Cumberland) the diocese of Newcastle, erected in 1882. There are 541 civil parishes in which poor-rate is separately levied. The county has one court of quarter-sessions, is divided into 13 petty and special sessional divisions, and for par-liamentary purposes into a northern and a southern division, each of which returns two members. Berwick-upon-Tweed (which has been joined to this county for election purposes) and Newcastle-upon-Tyne have separate courts of quarter-sessions and commissions of the peace, and, together with Morpeth and Tynemouth, the latter of which has also a commission of the peace, are municipal and parliamentary boroughs. Berwick and Newcastle each return two members, and Morpeth and Tynemouth each one.

Population and People. — The population in 1881 numbered 434,086 persons, 215,882 males and 218,204 females,—showing an increase since 1871 of 47,440 persons, and of 256,008 since the first census in 1801. The average number of persons to an acre was 0'34, and of acres to a person 2'97. The number of inhabited houses was 70,682. The population of its chief towns was as follows :—Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 145,359 (or with Gateshead upon the Durham side, 211,162); North Shields and Tynemouth, 44,118 ; Berwick-on-Tweed, 13,998 ; Alnwick, 7440 ; Morpeth, 6946 ; and Hexham, 5919. The Tyne ports are rapidly becoming one continu-ous town. Walker had a population of 9522 persons, Wallsend _6515, and Willington Quay 5105. Persons engaged as miners or in mine service numbered 21,607, of whom 20,752 were coal-miners. Persons engaged in agriculture numbered 18,901.

In physique the Northumbrian is stalwart and robust, and seldom corpulent. The people have mostly grey eyes, brown hair, and good complexions. The inhabitants of the fishing villages appear to be Scandinavian ; and parts of the county probably contain some admixture of the old Brit-Celt, and a trace of the Gipsy blood of the Faas of Yetholm. The natives have fine characteristics : they are clean, thrifty, and plodding, honest and sincere, shrewd, and very independent. Their virtues lie rather in solidity than in aspiration.

Northumbrian speech is characterized by a "rough vibration of the soft palate " or pharynx in pronouncing the letter r, well known as the burr, a peculiarity extending to the town and liberties of Berwick, and absent only in a narrow strip along the north-west. Over the southern part of the county there is the same duplication of vowel-sounds, such as " peo'l" for "pool," that is met in the English counties adjacent. Many charming Old-English forms of speech strike the ear, such as " to butch a beef," i. e., to kill a bullock, and curious inversions, such as '' they not can help." There is the Old-English distinction in the use of "thou " to familiars and " ye " to superiors.

Oionership of Land.—According to the Owners of Land Returns 1873, the distribution of land-property in Northumberland was as follows:—there were 22 proprietors of more than 10,000 acres ; of 100 and less than 1000, 507; of 10 and less than 100, 771; of 1 and less than 10, 820 ; and of less than 1, 10,036. The gross estimated rental was £2,144,743. Six proprietors held lands exceeding 20,000 acres. The duke of Northumberland, the largest land-proprietor in England, held 181,616 acres ; the earl of Tankerville, Chilling-ham Park, held 28,930; Sir John Swinburne of Capheaton, 28,057; Walter C. Selby of Biddlestone, 25,327 ; Sir W. C. Trevelyan (now Sir Charles) of Wallington, 21,342 ; and the lords of the Admiralty, who held the old Derwentwater estate, 20,642. The mansions and parks attached to these estates are all beautiful or interesting. Biddlestone is uplying, but in some respects is the original of Scott's Osbaldistone Hall.

Agriculture, &c. —More than half of the county is pastoral. South of the river Coquet there is a single broad tract of cultivation towards the coast that sends lessening strips up the valleys into the interior. Prom the Coquet northwards another breadth of enclosed ground stretches almost continuously along the base of the Cheviot hills. In the basin of the Till it becomes eminently fertile, and towards the Tweed the two breadths unite. In the porphyritic Cheviots the lower hills show a great extent of sound surface and good grass. The average hill-farms support about one sheep to two acres. A coarser pasturage covers the Carboniferous hills, and the propor-tion of stock to surface is somewhat less. Their highest fells are a rough-and-tumble of bogs, hags, and sandstone scars, with many acres dangerous to sheep and worth less than nothing to the farmer. The lower uplands are a patchwork of coarse grasses (mown by "the muirmen" into "bent-hay") and heather, or, in the popu-lar terms, heather and " white ground," for it is blanched fon. eight months in the year. Heather is the natural cover of the sandstones (which form most of the eminences) and of the sandy glacier-débris near them. The limestone crops are bright green strips or gairs. Sheets of boulder-clay are common on the eastern sides of emi-nences, in the valleys, and on the low grounds. On the uplands they grow bents ; lower down they are apt to be cold and strong, but are much relieved by patches and inworkings of gravel, especially north of the Wansbeek. The prevalent stream-alluvium is sandy loam, with a tincture of peat. The arable regions are very variable. Changes of soil are probably as numerous as fields. Fencing has now reached the watershed tracts; draining is following; but there is room to doubt whether the latter will be altogether an unmixed good. The peat mosses act retentively, like sponges, softening the air, nourishing the early-springing deer-grass and cotton-grass, and preventing precipitation of drainage on the rivers, which are now more liable to floods than formerly.

Northumberland contains 1,290,312 acres. In the Agricultural Returns for 1883 the cultivated area of the county stands as 712,615 acres, exclusive of orchards and market gardens, embracing—corn crops, 126,439 acres (wheat 19,980, barley 40,696, and oats 58,989); green crops, 55,202 acres (turnips and swedes 46,066, and potatoes 5384); clover, sanfoins, and grasses under rotation, 84,562 acres; per-manent pasture not under rotation, exclusive of heath or mountain land, 431,031 acres. Of orchards there were 184 acres; of market gardens, 659; of nursery gardens, 81; and of woods (in 1881), 39,977. Since 1866 55,626 acres have been reclaimed from mountain land. The corn area has meanwhile diminished by 27,277 acres, and turnip - culture has not increased; but the permanent pastures are more extensive by nearly one-fourth, or 101,207 acres. The turnip-culture of the northern parts of the county takes rank with the best districts in Scotland. A five- or four-course shift is the usual rotation.





By the census of live-stock (1883) the returns are as follows :— horses and ponies, 18,147, including 13,538 used for agricultural purposes ; cattle, 93,550, of which 21,930 were in milk or in calf; sheep, 880,230, including 336,702 under one year old; pigs, exclusive of those kept in towns and by cottagers, 14,883. The sheep, which are celebrated, fall into three groups. The half-breds — crosses between the Leicester (or Shropshire) and Cheviot breeds—occupy the lower enclosed grounds, the pure Cheviots are on the uplands, and the hardier blackfaced breeds lie out on the exposed heathery heights. The cattle are chiefly shorthorns and Galloways.

The size of the agricultural holdings was returned in 1875 and 1880. Holdings of 50 acres and under numbered in these years 3070 and 3329 respectively; of 100 to 300 acres, 1313 and 1273 ; of 1000 acres and upwards, 38 and 36. Leases of fourteen and nineteen years " usually without compensation clauses, and more or less restricted as to cropping," have hitherto been in fashion. In the large part of the county owned by the duke of Northumberland (nearly one-seventh of the whole) there obtains a system of yearly agreements, except in the case of hill-pastures. In the recent uncer-tain 37ears annual arrangements have been more in favour generally. Large farms have now much absorbed the smaller holdings of earlier times. In Allendale the mining population includes many small occupiers, and the commons are still unbroken. In other parts of the county the commons have mostly been divided. Between 1702 and 1877 commons to the number of 59, and with an aggregate extent of 194,917 acres, are known to have been enclosed. There is no authentic account of the unenclosed remainder.

The management of many Northumbrian farms is excellent, " far in advance of ordinary practice." Wages are high, but "the cost per acre of labour does not exceed and is often much lower than" that of districts where wages are from 25 to 40 per cent, lower. This is attributable to (1) the superior quality of the labour, both physical and moral, (2) the extensive use of women-workers (the employment of whom is not found to bo demoralizing when properly safe - guarded), and (3) more systematic and economical manage-ment" (Coleman, Report, Royal Commission, 1882).

The practice of paying wages in kind has passed greatly into disuse. Some of the shepherds still receive " stock-wages," being allowed to keep forty or fifty sheep and several cows on their employers' farms in lieu of pay. This arrangement, which makes them really copartners, has probably done much to render them the singularly fine class of men they are.

Manufactures, &c.—The manufactures of this county chiefly come from the Tyne, which is a region of ironworks, blast-furnaces, shipbuilding-yards, ropeworks, coke-ovens, alkali-works, and manu-factories of glass, pottery, and fire-bricks, from Newcastle to the sea (see NEWCASTLE). There is great activity in all trades con-cerned in pit-sinking and mine-working. In the other parts of the county there are a few small cloth-mills, a manufactory of tan-gloves at Hexham, some potteries, and numbers of small brick and tile works.

Fisheries.—The Tyne is the most productive salmon-netting river from a commercial point of view in England and Wales. The richness of its fisheries is mentioned in the time of Henry I. Ac-cording to Professor Huxley's report, the estimated catch in 1882 was 41,110 salmon and 10,336 salmon-trout. The salmon catch has doubled within the last four years, and is not known to have been exceeded except in three abnormal years, 1871-73. The fish taken by the Berwick Salmon Fishery Company in 1882 were 8808 salmon, 3104 grilse, and 12,390 trout. Bull-trout abound in the Coquet. The sea-fisheries include herrings, whitefish, and some crabs and lobsters. In 1872 the number of boats employed was 1163, chiefly cobles. Beyond Holy Island the boats and flailing are essentially Scotch.

Antiquities, &c. —The pre-Roman antiquities of Northumberland are camps, cairns, standing-stones (both monoliths and fragment-ary circles), sculptures on rock, hand-made pottery, and weapons, ornaments, &c, of stone, bronze, iron, jet, glass, and gold. The camps are entrenched enclosures rudely rounded or quadrate, with their main entrances and those of the hut-circles, or foundations of huts, always facing sunrise. They differ from the camps of the Romans in their want of symmetry, and in an absence of plan in distribution, due to the desultory clan-warfare of their inhabitants. The primitive village of Greaves Ash near the Breamish, the strong defensive earthwork at Elsdon, and the camps at Old Bewick, Lordenshaw near Bothbury, and Warden Hill near Hexham are a few instances from among the great numbers that are preserved on the eminences girdling the northern Cheviots and on the lower unfilled grounds. Traces of occupation by Bomans, Saxons, and marauders of later times sometimes mingle with the remains of the original occupants. The sculptured cups and circles, now familiar to antiquaries, were first brought into observation at Rowtin Linn near Ford in 1852. Numerous instances and varied designs have since been found, both on "fast" rock and on slabs associated with burials. The uplands are dotted with round barrows and cairns containing cists and interments, sometimes cremated, some-times inhumed, and in some instances both together. The county scarcely affords material as yet for a separation into periods of stone, bronze, and iron. The older interments are associated only with stone, but not necessarily precedent to bronze ; in the '' late Celtic" or "early iron" ages all three were in use together.

In Roman military antiquities this is the premier county of Britain. For the great wall between the Tyne and the Solway, see HADRIAN'S WALL. The Roman road from London nearly bi-sects the county, and still goes familiarly under the name of "the Watling Street." It passes numbers of quadrangular camps, three of which were permanent stations. Its eastern branch, the Devil's Causeway, leaves it near the Tyne for Berwick. In the south-west of the county lay the Maiden Way, making for Liddisdale. Coal, iron, and lead appear to have been worked by the Romans. Numer-ous heaps of heavy iron slag, mingled with charcoal, are the sites of little "bloomeries" on the uplands. They may be of different ages, from that of the Britons downwards.

Of Anglo-Saxon buildings the Danes left almost nothing. The crypt of Wilfrid's abbey of St Andrew at Hexham is one undoubted remnant; portions of several other churches are very doubtfully pre-Norman. Some thousand Saxon stycas found buried at Hex-ham, the "fridstool" there, and an ornate cross now shared be-tween Rothbury and Newcastle are the other principal vestiges of Saxon times. The Black Dyke, a bank and ditch crossing the line of the Roman wall about three miles east of the Irthing, is supposed by some antiquaries to be the continuation of the Catrail at Peel Fell; the latter was the probable boundary-fence between the Saxon Ber-nicia and the British Strathclyde.

The ecclesiastical architecture of the county suffered greatly at the hands of the Scots. Not a few of the churches were massive structures, tower-like in strength, and fit to defend on occasion. Lindisfarne Priory, the oldest monastic ruin in the county, dates from 1093. Hexham Abbey Church (early 12th century), raised over the crypt of Wilfrid's cathedral, has been termed a "text-book of Early English architecture;" it lacks the nave, destroyed by the Scots under Wallace. Of Brinkburn Priory the church remains, and has been well restored. Hulne Abbey, now surrounded by the sylvan loveliness of the Alnwick demesnes, was the first Carmelite monastery in Britain. Besides these there are fragments of New-minster Abbey (1139), Alnwick Abbey (1147), and others. An exquisitely graceful fragment of Tynemouth church is associated with some remains of the older priory. Among churches ought first to be named St Nicholas's, Newcastle (1350), the prototype of St Giles's, Edinburgh, and now the cathedral-church of the new diocese. There is a massive Norman church at Norham, and other Norman and Early English churches at Mitford, Bamburgh, Wark-worth, Alnwick (St Michael's), &c, most of them with square towers. The stone roof of the little church at Bellingham, with its heavy semicircular girders, is said to be now unique.

"It may be said of the houses of the gentry herein," writes old Fuller, " 'quot mansiones, tot munitiones,' as being all castles on-castle-like." Except a few dwellings of the 16th century in New-castle, and some mansions built after the Union, the older houses-are all castles. A survey of 1460 mentions thirty-seven castles and., seventy-eight towers in Northumberland, not probably including, all the bastle-houses or small peels of the yeomen. At the Conquest Bamburgh, the seat of the Saxon kings, was the only fortress north, of York. Norham Castle was built in 1121. None of the baronial, castles are older than the time of Henry I. A grass mound repre-sents Wark Castle. Alnwick Castle is an arnay of walls and towers, covering about five acres. The interior was restored in Italian palace style by the late Duke Algernon. Warkworth, Prudhoe,, and Dunstanburgh castles are fine groups of ruins. Dilston Castle has still its romantic memories of the earl of Derwentwater. Bel-say, Haughton, Featherstone, and Chipchase castles are joined, with modern mansions. The peel-towers of Elsdon, Whitton (Rothbury), and Embleton were used as fortified rectory-houses... Seaton Delaval was the work of Vanbrugh.

The place-names of the county may be viewed as its etymological antiquities. The Danish test-word by we find to be absent. Saxon. tons, hams, cleughs (clefts or ravines), and various patronymics are-met with in great numbers ; and the Gaelic knock (hill) and Cymric-caer, dwr (water), cefn (ridge), bryn (brow), &c., mingle with the-Saxon. Many curiosities of nomenclature exist, some strange, some expressive, e.g., Blink-bonny, Blaw-wearie, Skirl-naked.

A few gleanings of folk-lore still remain for the discriminating, collector. The virtues of certain holy wells in ailments or barren-ness and of a south-running stream in sickness, the powers of Irish men and cattle over snakes and snake-bites, and the growing, of boulders in the earth like bulbs are still latently believed in by many ; and there is a general aversion to burying on the sunless side of the churchyard, which is left to suicides and unchristened. infants.

The literary antiquities are the Border ballads. " I never heard. the old song of Percy and Douglas, that I found not my heart more moved than with a trumpet" (Sir Philip Sidney).

Bibliography.—See Hodgson's unfinished county History, 1820-40, a marvel of minute local fidelity; Hodgson Hinde's General History, added thereto, 1S58;. also Skene's Celtic Scotland, Green's Making of England, and Freeman's Norman Conquest, as more recent authorities. In antiquities : Bruce, Roman Wall, 1874, Wallet Book, 1863, Lapidarium, 1875, and Descriptive Catalogue of Antiquities aV Alnwick Castle, 1880; Hartshorne, Feudal and Military Antiq. of Northumberland, 185S ; Wilson, Churches of Lindisfarne, 1874 ; Wallis, Natural Hist, and Antiq. of Northumberland-, 1769 ; Greenwell, British Barrows, 1877; and the Archteologia /Eliana, being proceedings of the Antiquarian Society of Newcastle. In natural history : Tate and Baker, " Flora of Northumberland," &c.,, vol. vi. of Tyneside Naturalists' Transactions ; Hancock, "Birds of Northumberland," in vol. xii.; "Catalogue of the Mammalia," in vol. vi.; and much valuable matter on antiquities, natural history, &e., both in these and in the Berwickshire Naturalists' Transactions; and Storer, Wild White Cattle of Britain,. 1879. In geology: the maps of the Geological Survey (now completed), and memoirs which will accompany them; G. Tate, careful and clear-sighted, in Tate and Baker's "Flora"; Bruce's Roman Wall, 4th ed. In agriculture: Coleman's Report to the Royal Commission, 1882 ; John Gray of Dilston, "Report,' Agricultural Journal, 1841; Bailey and Culley, 1813. On dialect, &c, Murray, "Northumbrian Speech," Philological Journal, 1870-72 ; Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words and Phrases, 1846. Murray's Handbook is a very useful but not very accurate companion for the traveller in Northumberland. The library of the Lit. and Phil. Society at Newcastle is one of the best provincial libraries in the kingdom. (H. M.)




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