National Gazetteer (1868) - Carham


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"CARHAM, a parish in the western division of the ward of Glendale, in the county of Northumberland, 3 miles to the W. of Coldstream, and 4 miles to the N-E. of Kelso. It is situated on the borders of Scotland, on the S. bank of the river Tweed, and has a station on the Tweedmouth and Kelso branch of the North-Eastern railway. The parish contains the hamlets of Wark (or Werk), Learmouth, Mindrim, and several others now of little importance. Near the village, on the S. side, is Shidlaw (anciently Shield-law), a lofty hill commanding an extensive prospect. Two important battles were fought here between the Scotch and the English, one in 1048 and the other in 1378, in both of which the English were defeated with great loss, and in the latter the English general, Sir John Lilburn, was made prisoner. Wark Castle was a celebrated fortress in the border wars, and the object of frequent contention. A small, Dominican priory was early founded in this parish as a cell to the Priory of Kirkham. It was burnt about 1295 by the Scots under William Wallace. Near its site is Campfield, the spot on which the Scots on that occasion encamped. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Durham, value £330, in the patronage of the heirs of A. Compton, Esq. The church; dedicated to St. Cuthbert, was built in 1791, and repaired in 1839. It is situated in a commanding position, close to the bank of the river Tweed, and near the streamlet called the March Burn, which here falls into the Tweed, and forms, for a short distance, the line of demarcation between the two kingdoms."

"MINDRUM, a hamlet in the parish of Carham and the ward of East Glendale, county Northumberland, 9 miles W. by N. of Wooler, and 50 N. by W. of Newcastle. It is situated under the Cheviots, and at Mindrum Hill is a meet for Lord Elcho's hounds."

"OLD AND NEW LEARMOUTH, a hamlet in the parish of Carham, and the ward of East Glendale, county Northumberland, 10 miles N.W. of Wooler. It was anciently a market town, but is now an insignificant hamlet. Lord Elcho's hounds meet here.

"WARK, a township in the parish of Carham, county Northumberland, 2 miles from Coldstream, and 2¼ E. of Carham, by the Kelso and Tweedmouth branch of the North-Eastern railway, which has a station here. It is a small fishing village on the Tweed, across which is a ferry to Coldstream. There are traces of a border castle on a steep rock overlooking the Tweed; it was taken by the Scots on several occasions, but was ineffectually besieged in 1533."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]