"Haltwhistle parish comprises the townships of Bellister, Blenkinsopp. Coanwood (East), Featherstone, Haltwhistle, Hartley Burn, Henshaw, Melkridge, Plainmellor, Ridley, Thirlwall, Thorngrafton, and Wall Town. ... The population in 1801, was 2,930; in 1821, 3,583; in 1831, 4,119; in 1841, 4,655; and in 1851, 5,379 souls. .... The South Tyne intersects this extensive parish from Featherstone Castle to the mouth of the River Allen, and is crossed by a good bridge at Haltwhistle, and another at Featherstone, about three miles above the town. The banks of the South Tyne, for an extent of 10 miles, present some of the most beautiful and picturesque scenery in this part of England." [From History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland, Whellan, 1855]



  • The history of Northumberland by J Hodgeson published in 1840 has a section on Haltwhistle (Part 2 Volume 3)
  • Haltwhistle and beyond  John Palmer 2001
  • A history of the Manor and Church of Haltwhistle 1893 (available on google books)
  • Haltwhistle Haydon Bridge and South Tynedale  Frank Graham 1977
  • Haltwhistle and South Tyneside  Tony Storey 1973
  • Cassini OS Maps landranger series 87


Nicholas Ridley c.1500-1550  Unthank Haltwhistle
Nicholas Ridley was the second son of Christopher Ridley, and first cousin of Lancelot Ridley. He grew up at Unthank Hall, Northumberland  and was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, and at Pembroke College Cambridge He was ordained as a priest c 1526, and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. He was appointed Senior Proctor of Cambridge, in 1534, and as chaplain to Thomas Cranmer in 1537. He became the King's Chaplain in 1540, and Master of Pembroke College in 1541.
Ridley was appointed Bishop of Rochester in 1547 and compiled the Book of Common Prayer with Cranmer in 1549. He became embroiled in the succession of Lady Jane Grey to the English throne on the death of King Edward Vl in 1553, and wasaccused of heresy. He was executed on 16 October 1555 in Oxford.


  • Burial Registers 1890-1994 and Grave Register 1946-1956 for Haltwhistle Civil Cemetery, and the Purchased Graves Register 1909-1976 for Blenkinsopp And Thirlwall Civil Cemetery are available at Northumberland Record Office


  • Northumberland County Record Office holds copies of Census Returns 1841 - 1891 and provides a useful User Guide
  • The 1851 Census Index (microfiche CN19) Whitfield, Kirkhaugh, Knarsdale, Lambley and Haltwhistle (PRO piece HO107/2416 folios 1-273) (Type A) (Book)
  • 1891 Census Northumberland – Henshaw, Redburn, Bardon Mill, Towhouse, Thorngrafton, Haltwhistle, Blenkinsopp, Greenhead, Thirlwall and Wall Town (PRO piece RG12/4251) (Type B) (Book) (Volume 61)  BOTH published by the https://www.ndfhs.org.uk/ may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.
  • An Index to the 1851 census for Bellingham Castle Ward Ponteland Haltwhistle and Hexham produced by P.R.G. Thirkell is available to view in the Local Studies Section of Newcastle City Library they also produce a very useful User Guide on Census Record www.newcastle.gov.uk/leisure-libraries-and-tourism/libraries/local-studies-and-family-history


Church History


Church Records


Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

  • Photographs of Haltwhistle from Les Bell's Northumberland Cam website.
  • Hadrian's Wall, near Housesteads Fort from Mirror Image.
  • A picturesque view of Greenhead supplied by Chris Kippax.
  • The Northumberland Communities website includes pages relating to Greenhead and Haltwhistle. 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 Haltwhistle which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The history of Haltwhistle Parish is included in:- Hodgson, J., History of Northumberland, Part 2, Volume 3. Newcastle, 1840. (Available on fiche from Ancestral Indexes).
  • 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 Haltwhistle), 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.


  • Haltwhistle - Maps - links and information.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NY711660 (Lat/Lon: 54.987845, -2.452784), Haltwhistle which are provided by:


Military Records

Haltwhistle Cemetery
12 Oct 1916   Thomas Dixon L/Sgt 1422 Northumberland Fusiliers, age 32 [grave C 1320]
16 Oct 1920   George Chapman Waugh  Private 200720 Northumberland Fusiliers. age 23  [grave C 1178]
13 Nov 1918   W. A.Glenwright, Private 200132 Northumberland Fusiliers, age 25 [grave C1320]
19 Nov  1918   W Batey, Cpl 200124 Northumberland Fusiliers age 28  [grave C1262]
10 September 1940  George Blenkinsop Waugh, Sapper 1914865 712 Gen Construction Coy. Royal Engineers, age 24 son of George and Elizabeth Waugh [grave SW section 2217]
17 September 1943   Robert Pearson Assistant Steward LT/LX26578 Royal Naval Patrol Service HM Trawler Wyoming, age 19 son of Robert and Jane Ann Pearson [grave SW Section 2240]  
Beltingham St Cuthbert
13 Feb 1921   Thomas Fawcett Tweeddale, Private Northumberland Fusiliers, age 29 sonof Annie and the late John Tweeddale of Bardon Mill [grave churchyard]

Names, Personal


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Haltwistle Parish was part of Haltwhistle Poor Law Union. The Union Workhouse was located in the town of Haltwhistle. Some records are held at Northumberland Record Office but these are of limited genealogical value