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RAVENSWORTH, a township, in the chapelry of Lamesley, parish and union of Chester-le-Street, Middle division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 4ΒΌ miles (S. S. W.) from Gateshead; containing 151 inhabitants, who are chiefly employed in the adjacent coal-mines. Ravensworth Castle, the magnificent seat of Lord Ravensworth, has belonged to the family of the present noble owner since the reign of James I.; it is surrounded by pleasure-grounds, and well sheltered on the north and west. The rebuilding of this princely edifice, which incorporates two of the old towers, was commenced in 1808, after a design by Nash; it is in the ancient baronial style, and constructed of excellent white freestone raised near the spot. At the distance of half a mile westward, the grounds swell into a mountainous ridge clothed with large forest-trees; and surmounted by lofty pines which skirt the horizon; the southern front overlooks the vale of Lamesley. In the avenue within the park, and close to the castle, are the remains of a cross, to which, during the prevalence of the plague at Newcastle in the year 1645, the country people brought their market goods for sale. Ravensworth gives the title of Baron to the family of Liddell.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.