Harbottle  Northumberland


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

HARBOTTLE, a village and a township in Holystone chapelry, Northumberland. The village stands in a hollow, amid rugged heathy hills, 8½ miles WNW of Rothbury; and has a post office under Morpeth, an inn, a fair on 19 Sept., and an English Presbyterian church. The township comprises 412 acres. ...

Pop., 159. Houses, 33. Harbottle House, a modern mansion, the seat ofClennell, Esq., is near the village. Harbottle Castle crowns a lofty, isolated, green mound, above the river Coquet; consists now of the shattered and leaning walls of a keep; had formerly an outer bailey, with a deep fosse, crossed by a drawbridge; was built, in 1155-89, by the Umfravilles; passed to the Tailboys and the Ogles; was sacked, in 1175, by the Scots; underwent refortification, and, in 1296, resisted a siege by the Scots; was attacked and demolished, by the Scots, after the battle of Bannockburn; was afterwards rebuilt, and was generally the residence of the warden of the Middle Marches; was the place to which the widowed queen of James IV. retired, after her marriage to the Earl of Angus; and was the birthplace of her daughter, Lady Mary Douglas, afterwards Countess of Lennox. Harbottle was the birthplace also of Gen. Handyside, whose regiment is noticed in "Tristram Shandy." The Drake stone, a relic of the Druidical times, is ¼ of a mile from the village; and a Druidical rock basin is beside a neighbouring small tarn. A custom still or recently prevailed of passing sick children over the Drake stone; and may be regarded as very probably a traditional continuance of a Druidical ceremony.

Harbottle through time

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

How to reference this page:

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


Date accessed: 22nd October 2021

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