Howick (St. Mary)

HOWICK (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Alnwick, S. division of Bambrough ward, N. division of Northumberland, 5½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Alnwick; containing 242 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1620 acres, and is bounded on the east by the North Sea, the coast of which is lined with rocks of dreary and rugged aspect, with the exception of part of the shore, where is a quarry of freestone, whose eastern bank is worn by the action of the waves into caverns of romantic form. The soil is mostly a strong rich loam, on a retentive clay or marl, and the surface is generally flat. Howick Hall, the seat of Earl Grey, is a noble mansion, of stone raised from the quarry above noticed; it consists of a centre and two wings, and is pleasantly situated in an extensive park, comprehending a variety of scenery, and ornamented with thriving plantations. A fine trout stream, called Howick Bourne, over which is a bridge, skirts the lawn in front of the Hall, to the east of which is an artificial lake covering five acres, and well stored with fish. Coal has been found in the parish, and mines were formerly worked, but the produce was insufficient to remunerate the labour and expense, and they have remained undisturbed for many years. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £36. 13. 4., and in the gift of the Bishop of Durham: the tithes have been commuted for £317, and the glebe comprises 3 acres. The church, situated in the pleasuregrounds of the Hall, at a small distance from the mansion, was rebuilt in 1746, at the expense of Sir Harry Grey, Bart. A school, founded and built by the first Sir H. Grey, has been endowed by the family. On the eastern side of Howick Park are the remains of a Roman encampment, where, more than half a century since, spears, swords, coins, and gold rings were discovered; and in the vicinity have been found several large urns. Howick confers the inferior title of Viscount upon the family of Grey.

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

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