Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for OVINGHAM

OVINGHAM, a village and a township in Hexham district, and a parish partly also in Castle Ward district, Northumberland. The village stands on an eminence, sloping to the N bank of the river Tyne, ¼ of a mile N of Prudhoe r. station, 2 S of the Roman wall, and 10 E of Hexham; was anciently called Ofingasham; was once a market-town; is now a small but pretty place, contrasting brightly to collier villages in its vicinity, and commanding a fine near view of the verdant slopes, theruined fortress, and the wooded heights of Prudhoe; and has a post-office under Prudhoe Station, Northumberland, and fairs on 26 April and 26 Oct. The township includes the village, and comprises 523 acres. Pop. in 1851, 330; in 1861, 277. The parish contains also the townships of Wylam, Horsley, Nafferton, Spittle, Welton, Whittle, Ovington, Eltringham, Mickley, Prndhoe, Prndhoe-Castle, Dukers-Hagg, Hedley, Hedley-Woodside, Harlow-Hill, and Rouchester, the two last in Castle Ward district, all the others in Hexham district. Acres, 15, 740. Real property, £33,078, of which £3, 420 are in mines. Pop. in 1851, 3, 962; in 1861, 5,014. Houses, 940. The increase of pop. was chiefly in Mickley and Prudhoe Castle townships, and arose there from the extension of collieries. The manor belongs to the Duke of Northumberland. A priory of black canons was founded at Ovingham, by one of the Umfravilles; and was a cell to Hexham abbey. A castle was founded at Nafferton, in the time of King John, by Sir Philip D' Ulecote; was built out of materials from the Roman wall; and consists of a keep, 20 feet square, and two outer baileys. An ancient building stood in Whittle dean; is said to have been theabode of robbers, during the wars of the Roses; and has left some remains among thickets. Prndhoe Castle is a grand feature, but will be noticed in its own alphabetical place. Coal is largely worked; and there are an iron-foundry, dye-works, bleach-grounds, and a brewery. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Durham. Value, £146.* Patron, Lieut.-Col. Bigge. The church is cruciform and early English; was restored in 1857; has a fine lofty triplet E window, recently filled with stainedglass, peculiar and striking features in the transepts, and a pre-Norman low W tower, built of large stones; and contains trefoil-headed sedilia, and part of a sepulchral cross. The churchyard contains the grave of the celebrated engraver Bewick. The p. curacy of Mickleyis a separate benefice. There are two Wesleyan chapels, a United Free Methodist chapel, a national school, and charities £15. Mabel Carr, mother of George Stephenson, was a native.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village and a township"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Castle Ward RegD/PLU       Northumberland AncC
Place names: OFINGASHAM     |     OVINGHAM
Place: Ovingham

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