Gosforth (St. Nicholas)

GOSFORTH (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union, and partly in the E. and partly in the W. division, of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland; comprising the townships of North and South Gosforth in the former, and of East and West Brunton, Coxlodge, Fawdon, and East and West Kenton, in the latter, division; and containing 3020 inhabitants, of whom 132 are in North Gosforth, 4½ miles (N.), and 224 in South Gosforth, 2¾ miles (N. by E.), from Newcastle. The former township, which contains 737 acres, was held of the crown by the Surtees family from 1100 to 1509, when it passed by marriage to Robert Brandling, who was knighted at the battle of Musselburgh: the latter township, consisting of 420 acres, anciently belonged to the family of Lisle. The parish is of considerable extent, and rich in mineral produce; the surface, though generally level, has a gradual rise towards the north and west, and the soil is clayey. A colliery was commenced in 1825, and the coal was reached in February, 1829; nearly 450 persons are employed upon the works. Gosforth House, erected in 1760, after a design by Payne, is a large and elegant structure of white freestone, and from its situation has a commanding appearance: a fine fish-pond, covering 53 acres, is the resort of innumerable flocks of water-fowl. The living is annexed to the vicarage of St. Nicholas, Newcastle: the church, which is in South Gosforth, was rebuilt in 1798, and enlarged in 1819, and is a neat edifice, with a square tower surmounted by an octagonal spire. The tithes of North and South Gosforth have been commuted for £107 payable to the Bishop of Carlisle, £107 to the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle, and £44 to the incumbent. A chapel at North Gosforth has been demolished.

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

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