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Whittingham (St. Bartholomew)

WHITTINGHAM (St. Bartholomew), a parish, in the union of Rothbury, N. division of Coquetdale ward and of the county of Northumberland; containing, with the townships of Callaley with Yetlington, Glanton, Lorbottle, Great Ryle, Little Ryle, and Shawdon, 1896 inhabitants, of whom 681 are in Whittingham township, 8½ miles (W.) from Alnwick. This parish, which is in the beautiful vale of the Aln, is about seven miles in length, and from four to five in breadth. The soil varies from a deep rich loam in the centre of the vale to a light sand on the sides and acclivities of the hills by which it is inclosed; a great portion of the land is open, but that under cultivation is fertile and productive. The vale forms a division between the sandstone rock in the south, and the porphyritic hills in the north, which compose the range of Cheviot. The whole district abounds in freestone excellent for building; there is also a limestone-quarry of moderate quality, and, to the north, whinstone in abundance. Coal of an inferior kind exists, but it has never been profitably worked. In the parish are several large family mansions, beautifully situated, which, with their groves, plantations, and extensive pleasure-grounds, give a rich appearance to the vale: Eslington House, seated on the bank of the river, is the residence of the Hon. Henry T. Liddell. The road from Newcastle to Edinburgh, by Wooler, formerly passed through the village, which is on the banks of the Aln; it now crosses the lower part of the parish by a stone bridge over the river. A fair for cattle held on August 24th, was some years ago of great resort. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 11. 3., and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle, who are the appropriators; net income, £600. The church, a handsome structure situated in the heart of the vale, has lately been enlarged, and the upper part of the tower, which, though of more modern date, had become dangerous, rebuilt. A Roman Catholic chapel is maintained by the ancient family of Clavering, and there is a place of worship for Presbyterians. In the village is a vaulted tower that often afforded refuge and defence to the inhabitants during the border warfare.

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