Elsdon  Northumberland


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Elsdon like this:

ELSDON, a village, a township, and a sub-district in Rothbury district, and a parish in Rothbury and Bellingham districts, Northumberland. The village stands on an affluent of the river Reed, near the line of projected railway northward from Scots Gap, 8 miles NNW of Scots Gap r. station, and 9 ½ SW of Rothbury; and has a post office under Newcastle-on-Tyne, and a fair on 26 Aug.; and is a polling-place. ...

Its site is supposed to have been a Roman station, probably the first of a chain of forts between Watling-street and the Devil's causeway; and a conical moated entrenchment, at a short distance to the NE, is supposed to have been a Roman watch-hill and place of sepulture. The township includes the village, and bears the name of Elsdon-ward. Acres, 6, 404. Pop., 266. Houses, 56. -The parish includes also the townships of Monkridge-ward and Woodside-ward in Rothbury district, and the townships of Rochester-ward, Otterburn-ward, and Troughend-ward in Bellingham district. Acres, 74, 917. Real property, £20, 195; of which £55 are in mines. Pop., 1, 521. Houses, 277. The property is much subdivided. The area is about 23 miles in length, and 12 in greatest breadth; comprises a long vale, flanked by heathy hills; seems to have once been almost entirely covered with forest, some small remnants of which still exist in the vale; was, not long ago, little else than a desolate series of neglected heaths and morasses; but now exhibits cheering effects of extensive reclamation, enclosing, and improvement. Limestone and ironstone, of superior quality, abound; and some good seams of coal exist. Elsdon Castle was built in the time of Henry III., by David, king of Scotland; presents, on its front, the arms of the Umfravilles; is a strong tower, with circular stair-case at one corner; was once the residence of Dr. Dutens, the editor of Leibnitz; and is now the parsonage house. The living is a rectory, united with the p. curacies of Horsley and Otterburn, in the diocese of Durham. Value, £803.* Patron, the Duke of Northumberland. The church is ancient, cruciform, and good; and, at a clearing away of earth at its north transept, a few years ago, remains of upwards of one hundred human skeletons were found there, regularly deposited in double rows. The p. curacy of Byrness is a separate benefice. There is an United Presbyterian church. Tradition speaks of a giant of the name of Ella, who lived at Elsdon, and committed great devastations. -The sub-district, in addition to the three Rothbury townships of Elsdon parish, contains Kidland, Holystone, and twelve townships of Rothbury and Alwinton. Acres, 75, 981. Pop., 1,837. Houses, 344.

Elsdon through time

Elsdon is now part of Tynedale district. Click here for graphs and data of how Tynedale has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Elsdon itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Elsdon, in Tynedale and Northumberland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 23rd October 2021

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