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Redesdale, Northumberland

Historical Description

Redesdale, the valley of the river Reed, in Northumberland, comprising the parishes of Elsdon and Corsenside, and extending from the boundary of Scotland at Carter Fell, 16½ miles south-eastward, and 4½ south-westward, to the North Tyne at Reedsmouth. It is mostly a narrow mountain vale, overhung hy the Cheviots; it was formerly covered with natural brushwood and forest, but is now bare of every kind of wood except a few formal modern plantations, and presents a monotonous aspect of wild moor and mountain pasture. It is traversed in the tipper and middle parts by Watling Street, in the lower part by the Wansbeck Valley railway, and gives the title of Baron to the family of Mitford. It figures prominently in the history and ballads relating to Border feuds and forays; was long held by the Umfravilles on the tenure of defending it from wolves and robbers; could once furnish 600 men for battle, and was celebrated in early times for its archers and huntsmen. Hence we read in "Rokeby"-" In Redesdale his youth had heard Each art her wily dalesmen dared, When Rooken-edge and Redswair high To bugle rung and bloodhound's cry."

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Northumberland is available to browse.


Online maps of Redesdale are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers related to Northumberland online: