Horsley, Long (St. Helen)

HORSLEY, LONG (St. Helen), a parish, in the union of Rothbury, W. division of Morpeth ward, N. division of Northumberland, 6¾ miles (N. W. by N.) from Morpeth; containing, with the townships of Bigge's Quarter, Freeholders' Quarter, Longshaws, Riddell's Quarter, Stanton, Todburn, Wingates, and WittonShields, 922 inhabitants. The manor was at an early period the property of the Merlays; after them the Greystocks held it; and the Horsleys possessed lands here from an early period, till their heiress married into the family of Widdrington. The parish, which is about seven miles long and five broad, is bounded on the north by the river Coquet; the great sandstone stratum, called the millstone-grit, passes through it. A large portion of the soil is a clay loam, which in the neighbourhood of Horsley and of Linden is very fertile; the other parts vary much in quality, but chiefly consist of a stiff clayey soil, growing wheat and oats. Coal and limestone exist in the parish, and thriving woods decorate considerable portions of the banks of the Font and Coquet; the plantations at Linden are also luxuriant. The Roman road called Cobb's Causeway runs through. The village is of tolerable extent, and partly in each of the three quarters named Bigge's or Linden, Riddell's, and Freeholders', which see. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £17. 13. 4., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £336; impropriator, C. W. Bigge, Esq.: there are about 50 acres of glebe. The church was rebuilt in 1783, and is a neat edifice of stone, nearly half a mile from the village; the present communion table and rails were made out of an oak-tree that was found buried in a neighbouring moss a few years since. A strong ancient tower, the property of the Widdrington family, from whom it descended to the Riddells of Helton, near the western extremity of the village, has been converted into a residence for a Roman Catholic priest, and a chapel built close to it. In the parish are several chalybeate springs.

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

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