"The village of Hunstanworth is twelve miles south of Hexham, twenty-five west by south of Newcastle, and eight miles south-west of Stanhope, at the western extremity of Chester Ward.
"The "Vill of Hunstanworth" extends from the foot of Boltsburn, along the south bank of the river Derwent, as far as the small stream of "Stauny Burn," which forms the boundary between it and the adjoining parish of Edmundbyers. The valley of the Derwent here is very beautiful, and no more enjoyable "outing" can be found than a drive from Shotley Bridge through Edmundbyers to Blanchland, where, after surveying the remains of the ancient abbey and monastic buildings, still remaining almost perfect, and which are extremely interesting, a walk of two miles leads the visitor through beautiful scenery up the valley of the Derwent, with steep hanging woods on each side, up to "Gibraltar," a place curiously scarped, and arranged apparently for defence, lying at the junction of the Neucton and Beldon burns.
"In the churchyard stands the remains of one of the few peel towers to be found in the county, but of which, for many years, only the lowest vaulted storey had remained, which also fell down a few years ago. The building was a rectangled oblong, standing east and west, and measuring 42 feet in length by 22 1/2 in breadth.
"The Derwent Lead Mines. - These mines were formerly worked by a London company, but had lain waste for a number of years, when in 1805 their working was recommenced by a company called the Arkendale and Derwent Company, and were extensively worked for a considerable number of years. The works, however, were finally closed in 1881, and, consequent on the decrease in population, most of the cottages are deserted, and are falling to decay."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]