"ELSDON, an extensive parish forming the whole south division of Coquetdale Ward, is bounded on the north by Holystone chapelry, on the west by Ramshope and Scotland, on the south by Tindale Ward, and on the east by Rothbury. The parish, which is about 20 miles in length, and from six to twelve miles in breadth, comprises an area of 74,917 acres, and its population in 1801, was 1,694; in 1811, 1,821; in 1821, 1,848; in 1831, 1,724; in 1841, 1,680; and in 1851, 1,643 souls. It embraces the townships of Elsdon Ward, situated on a branch of the river Reed; and those of Monkridge Ward, Otterburn Ward, Rochester Ward, Troughend Ward, and Woodside Ward. It is an extensive vale, enclosed on the north side by an irregular ridge of hills, and on the south by a ridge much more regular. The hills on both sides are of considerable elevation, and invariably clad in heath, except a small part of those near the source of the river Reed, where they begin to participate in the nature of those in Roxburghshire. Several brooks, or burns, fall into the Reed from the hills on both sides. The parish appears to have been at one time almost an entire forest, and several remnants of it still remain on the banks of the Reed, consisting of birch, alder, and willow, with here and there a mountain ash." [From History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland, Whellan, 1855].