Matfen, West

MATFEN, WEST, a township, in the parish of Stamfordham, union of Castle ward, N. E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 9½ miles (N. E.) from Hexham; containing 429 inhabitants. The township comprises 2067a. 32p. of land, and has a well-built village, about two miles north of the site of the Roman wall. Matfen Hall, the beautiful seat of Sir Edward Blackett, Bart., is situated here, on a fine eminence sheltered by extensive woods. The tithes have been commuted for £28. 17. payable to the vicar, and £196. 10. to the lessees of the Bishop of Durham. A district church in the early English style was lately built by the munificence of Sir Edward Blackett: the patron of Stamfordham (the Lord Chancellor) allowed £80 per annum to be charged upon the vicarage towards the maintenance of the minister, and Sir Edward gave a parsonage for his residence. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. On opening a tumulus supposed to have been a Druidical mausoleum, coffins of four stones set edgewise, with stone bottoms and covers, were found, containing human ashes: near it was an upright stone pillar called the Stob-stone. A little to the south of the village, is a Druidical stone 3 feet high, named the Standing-stone; and there was probably a Druidical temple here. A chapel, also, seems to have existed at the place.

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

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