Bothal (St. Andrew)

BOTHAL (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Morpeth, E. division of Morpeth ward, N. division of Northumberland; containing the townships of Ashington with Sheepwash, Bothal-Demesne, Longhirst, Oldmoor, and Pegsworth; and comprising 800 inhabitants, of whom 249 are in Bothal-Demesne, 3 miles (E.) from Morpeth. The parish is bounded on the south by the river Wansbeck, and comprises, with Hebburn chapelry or parish, 15,290 acres, of which 12,050 are arable, 2720 pasture and meadow, and 520 woodland: the soil is in general of poor quality, being a stiff clay; but the country abounds in beautiful wood and rock scenery. Coal is abundant in the south-eastern part of the parish; there is an extensive quarry of freestone on the bank of the Wansbeck, and one of whinstone near Causey Park. The village is romantically situated in a small vale on the north of the river Wansbeck, and is sheltered on all sides by a range of hills, which surround it in the form of an amphitheatre. The living is a rectory, with the rectory of Sheepwash and the parochial chapelry of Hebburn annexed, valued in the king's books at £25, and in the gift of the Duke of Portland: the tithes have been commuted for £1377. 15., and there are 105 acres of glebe, with a house. The church, of which the foundation is very ancient, contains an altartomb of alabaster, with the recumbent effigies of a member of the Ogle family and his lady. There is a chaple at Hebburn, rebuilt in 1793; but the church of Sheepwash no longer exists. On the north bank of the Wansbeck, between Bothal and Morpeth, in the middle of a rich hanging wood, and surrounded by the wildest and most romantic scenery, are the remains of an oratory dedicated to the Virgin Mary. A considerable portion of the ancient baronial castle of Bothal is now in ruins; but the gateway, built in the reign of Edward III., was, a few years since, repaired and fitted up as an occasional residence for the steward.

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

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