Benwell

BENWELL, a district chapelry comprising the township of Benwell and part of that of Elswick, in the parish of St. John, Newcastle, union of Newcastle, W. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland; containing 2415 inhabitants, of whom 1433 are in the township of Benwell, 2½ miles (W.) from Newcastle. This place, anciently Benwall, or Bythe-Wall, the Roman wall having passed this way, is supposed to occupy the site of the Condercum of the Notitia. The township comprises by measurement 1074 acres, chiefly elevated land, rising gradually and beautifully from the Tyne; the soil is generally good, and being well cultivated produces abundant crops of corn and grass. The district abounds in coal and freestone. In the 17th century a seam of coal in the vicinity caught fire at a candle, and continued to burn for upwards of thirty years, bursting out in different places like a volcano. Various manufactories are situated on the low grounds near the Tyne. The road from Newcastle to Carlisle, and the Newcastle and Carlisle railway, pass through the township in nearly a parallel direction. The chapel, dedicated to St. James, stands conspicuously on an eminence near the centre of the district, and was erected in 1832, at an expense of £1665; it is a neat edifice in the Norman-English style, with a square tower. The patronage is vested in the Vicar of Newcastle; the net income is £150. The tithes of the township have been commuted for £89. 8. payable to the Bishop, a similar sum to the Dean and Chapter, of Carlisle, and £66. 1. 5. to the vicar, who has also a glebe of above 12 acres. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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