ANCROFT, a parochial chapelry, in the union of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Islandshire, N. division of Northumberland, 6 miles (S.) of Berwick; containing 1670 inhabitants, of whom 491 are in the township. It includes the villages of Ancroft, Cheswick, Haggerston, Scremerston, and Greenses, the first of which appears, from the numerous foundations of houses that have been discovered in the adjoining fields, to have been formerly of much greater extent than it is at present. The chapelry comprises 9622 acres, mostly arable, and is rich in mineral produce. Limestone is very abundant, and is quarried to a great extent for the supply of the neighbouring districts; freestone and coal are likewise wrought in considerable quantities. The great road from London to Edinburgh passes through. The scenery is finely diversified, and enlivened with some handsome seats, among which is Ladythorn, in the village of Cheswick, occupying an elevated situation, and commanding a view of Holy Island, the Farn Islands, the coast from Bambrough Castle to Berwick, and the Cheviot hills in the distance. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £131; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The church, a Norman structure, originally a chapel of ease to Holy Island, but now parochial, was enlarged in 1836, at an expense of £550, raised by subscription: the tower was so constructed that it served as a place of residence for the curate, and afforded him a protection from the Scottish marauders; it was until lately roofless, and an ash-tree, which had its root in the vaulted floor of the first story, spread over its battlements. There is a second incumbency at Scremerston.—See Scremerston and Haggerston.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.