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National Gazetteer (1868) - Heddon on the Wall

"HEDDON-ON-THE-WALL, a parish partly in the E. division of Tynedale ward, and partly in the W. division of Castle ward, county Northumberland, 7 miles N.W. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, its post town, and 2 N. of Ryton and Wylam railway stations. The village is situated on rising ground near the river Tyne and Carlisle railway, and on the site of the great Roman wall of Severus, remains of which still exist in several places. It contains the following townships, viz: East and West Heddon, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Eachwich, Whitchester, Houghton with Close House, and also the hamlet of Frenchmen's Houses. Heddon-on-the-Wall was given by the Bolbecs to the abbey of Blanchland, and subsequently formed part of the possessions of the lords of Greystock, from whom it descended to the earls of Carlisle, by whom it was sold. Here are extensive stone quarries, from which the finest buildings in Heddon are erected. Bricks are made in the neighbourhood. The land is fertile, and the soil clay and sand, alternating with loam. The surface is generally level, with a gradual ascent from the bank of the Tyne. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Durham, value £252, in the patronage of the lord chancellor. The church, dedicated to SS. Philip and James, is an ancient stone edifice, with a tower containing one bell. Roman coins were found in the walls of the church in 1752. The register commences from 1656. The church was thoroughly restored and enlarged in 1841. The National school for both sexes was erected in 1851, and is situated near the church."

"CLOSEHOUSE, a hamlet in the parish of Heddon-on-the-Wall, in the eastern division of the ward of Tynedale, in the county of Northumberland, 7 miles W. of Newcastle upon-Tyne, its post town, and 3 N.E. of the Wylam station of the Newcastle and Carlisle railway. There are free schools, supported by Mrs. Bewick, of Close House, which is a fine building."

"EACHWICK, a township in the parish of Heddon-on-the-Wall, partly in the W. division of Castle ward, but chiefly in the E. division of Tynedale ward, county Northumberland, 9 miles to the N.W. of Newcastle. It is situated on the river Pont, and was formerly a place of importance. A few years back some ancient flint implements and a sacrificial knife were found in cutting a road through an old entrenchment near the village."

"EAST HEDDON, a township in the parish of Heddon-on-the-Wall, W. division of Castle ward, county Northumberland, 3½ miles N. of Ryton, and 8 N.W. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, its post town. It is situated N. of the Newcastle road, near the wall of Severus.

"HOUGHTON, a township in the parish of Heddon-on-the-Wall, E. division of Tynedale ward, county Northumberland, 7½ miles W. of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and 3 N.E. of Wylam railway station. It is situated near the Roman Wall, and in conjunction with Close House forms a township Here is a free school for both sexes, supported by Mrs. Bewick, who is the chief landowner, and resides at Close House."

"HOUGHTON WITH CLOSEHOUSE, a township in the parish of Heddon-on-the-Wall, E. division of Tindal ward, county Northumberland, 7½ miles N.W. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 3 N.E. of Wylam railway station. It is situated near the Roman wall, and has an old tower 100 feet by 44 feet. There is a free school for both sexes. Close House, the principal residence, is a stone mansion commanding a view of the Tyne valley."

"WEST HEDDON, a township in the parish of Heddon-on-the-Wall, county Northumberland, 1½ mile N. of Heddon-on-the-Wall, 3½ miles N. of Wylam, and 8½ N.W. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is situated on the road from Carlisle to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and near the Roman wall. Heddon House is the principal residence.

"WHITCHESTER, a township in the parish of Heddon-on-the-Wall, county Northumberland, 9 miles N.W. of Newcastle. Here was a Roman station, near which coins of Domitian, Antonine, and other emperors have been found. The demesne formerly belonged to the Turpins."

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