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Help and advice for Berwick upon Tweed

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Berwick upon Tweed

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"BERWICK-UPON-TWEED a county, parish, seaport and borough, is pleasantly situated on the north side of the Tweed, within half a mile of its confluence with the ocean, 337 miles north by west of London, fifty four south-east of Edinburgh, and sixty four north by west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. From its position on the confines of England and Scotland, it is not considered to belong to either country, but to be a neutral town in the kingdom of Great Britain. .... The county or liberty of Berwick, forms nearly an equilateral triangle, whose sides are each about two miles in length, extending northward from the harbour's entrance to Lamberton grounds, and thence in a south-westerly direction to the Tweed, which forms the southern limit, whilst the sea and Berwickshire in Scotland, constitute respectively the northern and western boundaries. .... The parish of Berwick-upon-Tweed, comprises an area of 6,195 statute acres; its population in 1801, was 7,187; in 1811, 7,746; in 1821, 8,723; in 1831, 8,920; in 1841, 8,484; and in 1851, 10,294 souls. At the last mentioned period there were 1,384 inhabited houses, fifty-four uninhabited houses, and thirteen in the process of erection" [From History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland, Whellan, 1855].



In no particular order-
Francis M Cowe    Berwick on Tweed a short historical guide 1975 reprint 1998
Jim Walker             Berwick on Tweed a history and guide 2001
Anne Bruce           Lets explore Berwick on Tweed
Adam Munuge      Three places Two nations one town 2009
John Fuller             History of Berwick on Tweed 1973 reprint of 1799 edition
English Heritage   Red Guide series Berwick barracks and fortifications 1989 pbk 2011
John Griffiths        Old berwick 2014
Craig Armstrong   Berwick on Tweed in the Great War 2015




  • Burial Registers 1856-1994, War Graves Register 1939-1946, Graves Register 1864-1986 and Burials Grant Books 1856-1948 for Berwick Civil Cemetery are available at Northumberland Record Office and at Berwick Record Office. A computer database of burials in this cemetery is being compiled at Berwick Record Office. This is searchable by name. The database currently covers 1856-1879 but additional burials are added every week.



  • Northumberland County Record Office holds copies of Census Returns 1841 - 1891 and provides a useful User Guide
  • The 1851 Census Index (microfiche CN29, CN30 and CN37) Berwick on Tweed Part 1 (PRO piece HO107/2421 folios 243-436) (Type B) (Book) Berwick on Tweed Part 2 (PRO piece HO107/2421 folios 440-605) (Type B) (Book)
    Census 1851 Northumberland – Berwick on Tweed Part 3 and Norhamshire (PRO piece HO107/2421 folios 609-809) (Type B) (Book)
  • The 1891 Census Northumberland – Berwick upon Tweed (PRO piece RG12/4267) (Type B) (Book) (Volume 77) and Berwick upon Tweed (PRO piece RG12/4268) (Type B) (Book) (Volume 78) BOTH published by the may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.
  • A transcript of the 1891 census for this area is available from Berwick Record Office(archived copy).
  • A list of ships and crews in port during the 1881 census provided by Bob Sanders.

Church History


Church Records


Civil Registration

  • This area is within Northumberland North First Registration District.
  • Certificates of birth, death and marriage can be ordered locally from Northumberland County Council.

Description and Travel

  • Photographs of Berwick-upon-Tweed from Les Bell's Northumberland Cam website.
  • The Northumberland Communities website includes pages relating to Berwick. They provide "a range of learning resource material that reflects Northumberland's heritage, providing a base for studying the County's history. The website provides a starting point for understanding the development of communities in Northumberland. It also seeks to illustrate the range of sources for family and local history research that are available via Northumberland Archives Service."

You can see pictures of Berwick upon Tweed which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Berwick upon Tweed to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Berwick upon Tweed has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



  • LNER Wartime Evacuation Documents N.EVAC 2 and N.EVAC 3 describing the arrangements for evacuating children from Newcastle and Gateshead to rural parts of Northumberland (including Berwick upon Tweed), Co Durham, Yorkshire, Cumberland and Westmorland. The second document includes lists of schools with details of their places and times of departure and their destinations.

Medical Records

  • The article Berwick Dispensary and Infirmary, 1814-1898 by Dr G.A.C. Binnie, published in History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club Vol. XLI, part 4 (1980) pp. 243-258, outlines the origins and history of Berwick Infirmary in this time period, with old drawings, lists of staff (doctors, dentists, dispensers, nurses, secretaries, treasurers) and insights into patient life.

Military Records

Berwick Cemetery
14 August 1916  John Simpson Cockburn age 43 Sgt 12220 9th Bn Kings Own Scots Borderers son of James and Margaret Cockburn of Berwick, husband of Elizabeth Elliot Cockburn of Selkirk [grave CA U1120
10 August 1921   A  Townsley age 39 Private T/40985 Royal Army Service Corps son of R. and Jane Townsley of Aberdeen, husband of Charlotte Townsley of Berwick [grave CA C577]
29 August 1916  P Skay Sgt 14939 12th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
15 September 1917   Michael Hynes, L/Cpl 8205 Kings Own Scots Borderers [transferred to (225734) 466 Home service Employment Coy, Labour Corps], son of Margaret and the late Patrick Hynes of Duns, husband of the late Elizabeth Taigue (formerly Slattery) of Berwick [grave C.U 11]
6 October 1917   A Gladston, Private 2068 7th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, [transferred to (248321) 405th Agricultural Coy, Labour Corps] [grave B.U. 393]
31 October 1918   James Dawson, Sergeant 290260 1st/7th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, age 25 son of James and Rosanna Douglas Dawson of Berwick [grave B.A. C686]
2 Nov 1916   Archibald Gilikson, Private 3470 Royal Scots 2/10th Bn age 30 born Dumbarton, son of John and Matilda Gilikson [grave C.U 287]
20 Nov 1918   James Lyall Ainslie, Driver 284229 Royal Field Artillery 55 Reserve Btty 1st Reseve Bgde, age 20 son of Jane Anderson (formerly Ainslie) and the late William Ainslie of Berwick [grave A.A. C1133]
1 Dec 1915   Frank Weddell Smail,  Lieutenant D Coy 1/7th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, age 23 son of Henry Richardson Smail of Berwick [grave A.C 412
26 Dec 1916   T. M Johnson,  Private 3221 Cameronians 5th Bn (Scottish Rifles)   [grave B. A U664]
10 August 1941  William S Millar Cpl C/97157 Canadian Postal Corps son of William and Mary Millar of Berwick, husband of Ida Agnes Millar of Smith Falls Ontario  [grave CA 1347]
19 August 1942  William John Knapp age 28 Sgt 1375619 RAF volunteer Reserve son of William Claude and Lilian Knapp husband of Winifred Mabel of Wimbledon Surrey [grave CA 1400]
24 August 1944 Joseph Herbert Gamble age 30 Private 410047 9th Bn Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry son of George and Sophia Gamble of Crofton Yorkshire [grave CA 1349]
4 September 1939  John Joseph Walsh, Aircraftman 1st Class 233835 R.A.F. age 44, son of John and Bridget Walsh of Berwick
11 September 1945   Alexander Wright, Gunner 800720 5th Field Regiment Royal Artillery, age 38 son of Charles Sidney and Mary Wright, husband of Lily Wright of Berwick [grave C.A 1456]
12 September 1941   Margaret Henrietta Dixon, Aircraft woman !st Class Women's Auxiliary Air Force, age 19 daughter of James and Sarah C Dixon of Berwick [grave C.A Cons 1059]
21 September 1941   Dugald Brown, Private 3065250 10th Bn Royal Scots [grave C.A. 1046]
22 September 1940   Thomas Power, Private 2187524 Pioneer Corps Aux Mil [grave C.A 1453]
21 Oct 1946   James Johnson Henderson, Gunner 1742123, 614 Battery HAA Regiment Royal Artillery, age 41 son of Alexander and Ann Isabella Henderson, husband of Elizabeth E Henderson of Berwick [grave C.B. Cons 77]
18 Nov 1940   Thomas William Jameson, Private 3194189 Kings Own Scotts Borderers 6th Bn, age 25 son of James and Barbara Jameson, husband of Catharine Elizabeth Jameson of Berwick [grave C.A Cons 1120]




  • Two Centuries of Rope Making: Berwick upon Tweed, 1752-1956 by J.W. Bainbridge, published in History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club vol. 45, part 1 (1990) pp. 15-44. Full of illustrations, this article describes rope making at Berwick with information on specific roperies, ropemakers and ropery workers.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.