Gateshead-Fell

GATESHEAD-FELL, an ecclesiastical parish, in the parish and union of Gateshead, locally in Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham. This place derives its name from Gateshead, and from having been a fell or common contiguous to it. The common was inclosed, and separated from the parish of St. Mary, Gateshead, by an act of parliament obtained in 1809, the award of which made the extent 631 acres, exclusively of all public and private roads, quarries, &c.: the manorial rights are in the Bishop of Durham. The surface rises from Gateshead to Beacon Hill, very steeply up the old road to Durham; and the views present some of the most extensive and beautiful scenery in the north of England, embracing the ocean to the north and east, the whole navigable course of the river Tyne, the Cheviot hills, Tynemouth Priory, Ravensworth Vale and Castle, the Cathedral of Durham, and numerous seats. The soil is in general unproductive. The grindstones from the quarries here, known as "Newcastle grindstones," have been celebrated for centuries, and are exported to all parts of the world. Coal-mines have been in operation for more than a hundred years, and still afford employment to numbers of the inhabitants. The living is a rectory not in charge, in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes have been commuted for £106, and there are 2 acres of glebe, with an excellent rectory-house, surrounded by ornamental grounds. The church is in the early English style, with a graceful spire, which is seen in every direction for 15 miles; it was consecrated 30th August, 1825, having been erected at a cost of £2742, towards which the incorporated Society contributed £350: of upwards of 1000 sittings, more than one-half are free. Besides morning and evening service at the church, evening service is performed at the hamlet of Wreckington; and there are places of worship for Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Methodists of the New Connexion. A library, newsroom, &c., have been established. William the Conqueror, in 1068, gained on the Fell a victory over Malcolm II., King of Scotland, who had invaded the kingdom in support of Edgar Atheling.

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

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