"The hamlet of Fellside is about five and a half miles south-west of Newcastle, and is partly in the parish of Marley Hill.
"Gibside is situated on the river Derwent, six miles south-west of Gateshead. It is difficult to convey any adequate idea of the beautiful and magnificent scenery of this place ... The Hall is delightfully situated on the Derwent, in a retired situation, and is in that style of architecture which prevailed about the commencement of the seventeenth century.
"From an early period, coal-mining has formed a chief item of industry in this parish, and we find as early as 1333, Bishop Bury granted leases for the mines to Sir Thomas Gray and John Pulhore, rector of Whickham. The upper seams in many places have been almost entirely worked out, and disused shafts are numerous throughout the parish. There are now two collieries working, the Axwell and Swalwell.
"The village of Whickham is about 3 1/2 miles west from Gateshead, and occupies the crest of an eminence which commands a beautiful prospect of the vale of the Tyne from Newburn to Newcastle. Besides the usual village tenements, which are well built and substantial, there are many genteel residences, and in the neighbourhood are several fine mansions, situated I the midst of well-wooded grounds. Near the village is a stratum of burnt earth, consisting chiefly of clay and stone, which, tradition says, was caused by the English army setting fire to their camp, previous to their hasty retreat, when the Scottish forces crossed the Tyne from Newburn in 1640. The burning camp communicated with a seam of coal, which is said to have burnt for several years with great fury.
"Swalwell is a populous village situated in the valley near the junction of the Tyne and Derwent, about half-a-mile north of Whickham and four miles west of Gateshead."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]