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National Gazetteer (1868) - Earsdon

"EARSDON, a parish in the E. division of Castle ward, county Northumberland, 4 miles N.W. of North Shields. It contains the townships of Backworth, Blyth, Burradon, Earsdon, Hartley, Holywell, Newsham, Seaton-Delaval, and Seghill. The inhabitants of this district are chiefly employed in the collieries, which are extensive; there are also stone quarries. The village of Earsdon is large and well built. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Durham, value £119, in the patronage of the proprietors of land. There are also the following district churches:-Blyth, a donative curacy, value £93 in the patronage of Sir M. W. Ridley; Seaton-Delaval, a curacy, value £60, in the patronage of Lord Hastings; and Seghill, a perpetual curacy,* value £150, in the patronage of the crown and bishop alternately. The parish church, rebuilt in 1836, is dedicated to St. Alban. It is a stone edifice, erected near the site of the old one, which formed part of Tynemouth Priory. The Primitive Methodists have a chapel in the village, and there are several Dissenting places of worship in the townships. There is a National school for both sexes. The Duke of Northumberland is lord of the manor and the principal landowner."

"BACKWORTH, (or Blackworth) a township in the parish of Earsdon, eastern division of Castle ward, in the county of Northumberland, 5 miles to the N.W. of North Shields. It is a station on the Blythe and Tyne railway. Backworth was formerly a possession of the abbey of Tynemouth. It is situated on the coast, in the Great Northern coalfield. Backworth Hall is the property of the Duke of Northumberland.

"BURRADON, (or Brierdean), a township in the parish of Earsdon, Castle ward, in the county of Northumberland, 8 miles to the N.E. of Newcastle. It is situated near the coast and the Newcastle and Berwick railway. The neighbouring coal-works and quarries give employment to the workpeople.

"HARTLEY, a township in the parish of Earsdon, E. division of Castle ward, county Northumberland, 2 miles from Earsdon, and 4 N. of North Shields. It is a station on the Blyth and Tyne railway. The village is situated on the North Sea, and has a small tidal harbour. It is inhabited principally by colliers, sailors, and fishermen. The Wesleyan, New Connexion, and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel. Seaton-Sluice is a village in Hartley township, from which it is distant half a mile. Here are extensive bottle works, the property of a company. The Wesleyan Reformers have a chapel here. The township also contains Rocky Island, and belonged to the Hettons and Delavels. Hartley Main colliery until recently afforded employment to most of the inhabitants, and it was here that so many lives were lost in 1863. There are also salt and copperas works. On Bate's Island are the remains of a hermitage."

"HARTLEY PANS, a hamlet in the parish of Earsdon, county Northumberland, 4 miles S.E. of Blyth."

"HOLYWELL, (or Halliwell), a township in the parish of Earsdon, E. division of Castle ward, county Northumberland, 4 miles S. of Blyth, and 5 N.W. of North Shields. It is a station on the Blyth and Tyne railway. The village is situated on the Shields turnpike road. There are several collieries, and a medicinal spring called St. Mary's Well. The Duke of Northumberland is lord of the manor and chief landowner.

"NEWSHAM, a township in the parish of Earsdon, E. division of Castle ward, county Northumberland, 1¾ mile S.W. of Blyth. At Newsham Junction is a station on the Blyth and Tyne railway. It is situated near the shore of the German Ocean, and formerly belonged to the Delavels, Cramlingtons, and others, but is now the property of Sir M. Ridley, Bart. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the collieries. There are extensive brick and tile kilns."

"ROCKY ISLAND, in the township of Hartley, parish of Earsdon, county Northumberland, 4 miles N. of Shields, and 5 S.E. of Blyth."

"SEATON SLUICE, (or Hartley-pans), a small seaport town in the township of Hartley and the parish of Earsdon, in county Northumberland, 5 miles S.E. of Blyth, and 6 N. of North Shields. A blockhouse and battery were erected at the commencement of the present century for the defence of the port, which is subordinate to that of Newcastle. A portion of the inhabitants are employed in the coal and malt trades, and others in the glass bottle and chemical works. The Presbyterians have a place of worship. The harbour, which is partly cut out of the solid rock, was constructed at great expense by Sir Ralph Delaval, who formed an immense sluice at the mouth of the Seaton-burn rivulet, in order to cleanse the bed of the harbour, but these works have proved ineffectual to keep open the navigation.

"SEATON-DELAVAL, a township in the parish of Earsdon, E. division of Castle ward, county Northumberland, 2½ miles from Earsdon, and 3 S. of Blyth. It is a station on the Blyth and Tyne railway. The village, which is of large extent, is situated near the coast, with a harbour at Seaton Sluice. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the collieries and chemical works. The manor formerly belonged to Tynemouth Priory, and came to the Delavals in 1121, by whom a castle was built, of which little remains except the chapel of Norman architecture. In the chapel, still used for Divine service, are the effigies of a Knight Templar and his lady, also numerous escutcheons, banners, and pieces of ancient armour. The mansion, erected in 1707 from designs by Sir John Vanbrugh, was destroyed by fire in 1822. The living is a curacy in the diocese of Durham, value £60. There are a Presbyterian day school for both sexes, and a colliery school. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a place of worship."

"SEGHILL, (or Sighill or Sedgehill), a township in the parish of Earsdon, E. division of Castle ward, county Northumberland, 2½ miles from Earsdon, and 6 N.E. of Newcastle. It is a station on the Blyth and Tyne railway. The village is considerable. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the collieries. Seghill was formed into an ecclesiastical district in 1846, and includes the township of Seghill and part of the townships of Seaton Delaval and Cramlington. The manor was formerly held by Tynemouth priory, and came from the Mitfords, Allgoods, &c., to the Blakes of Twizel. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Durham, value £150, in the patronage of the crown and bishop alternately. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, has a turret containing one bell. It was built in 1848. The chancel has a stained window. There is a church school for both sexes. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a place of worship.

"SOUTH BLYTH, (or Blyth Nook), a township and small seaport, in the parish of Earsdon, extending also into the parish of Horton, eastern division of Castle ward, in the county of Northumberland, 12 miles to the N.E. of Newcastle, and 283 miles from London by road, or about 320 miles by the York and Newcastle and Great Northern railways. It is a station on the Blyth and Tyne railway. The township comprises also the lordship of Newsham. Blyth is pleasantly situated on the sea-coast at the mouth of the river Blyth, which takes its rise about 20 miles to the westward, near Throckington, and forms here an excellent and remarkably safe harbour for small vessels. The entrance to the harbour is easy in the most stormy weather. The port is subordinate to that of Newcastle, and has about 100 vessels belonging to it. The Bedlington iron-works are situated about 4 miles from the mouth of the river, and the principal business at Blyth is the export of coal and iron. The Cowper colliery, which was opened about 1790, is within a mile of Blyth. The river and port were formerly under the jurisdiction of the bishops of Durham. The river contains abundance of excellent fish. The town, formerly a poor-looking place, with narrow irregular streets, has been improved, and has now many well-built houses. It has dry and floating docks (formed in 1811), a customhouse (a branch of that of Newcastle), and two patent slips for building and launching vessels. There is a lighthouse which was erected in 1788 by Sir M. W. Ridley, who held the manor. It is a circular stone structure, 48 feet high, with a fixed light. There is another light near it called the "Basket Rock Light." Various manufactures connected with the shipping trade are carried on, and gas and waterworks have been established. A chapel of ease was built by Sir M. W. Ridley in 1751. The living is a donative curacy in the diocese of Durham, value £93, in the patronage of Sir M. W. Ridley. There are also chapels belonging to the various sections of Presbyterians, and the Wesleyan and the Primitive Methodists. A mechanics' institution has been established, and there are pleasure gardens and baths. A central hall was erected in 1857.

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