"ROTHBURY parish is bounded on the north by Whittingham, on the west by Elsdon, on the south by Hartburn, Nether-Witton, and Long Horsley, and on the east by Edlingham. It is about nine miles in length by the same in breadth, and comprises twenty-eight townships, whose united area is 34,798 acres. The population in 1801, was 2,236; in 1811, 2,428; in l821, 2,609; in 1831, 2,869; in 1841, 2,555; and in 1851, 2,545 souls. The soil of this parish exhibits great variety. In some parts we find rich pastures and fine cornfields, in others, sterile hills, naked rocks, and black heaths. The famous forest of Rothbury has long since disappeared, and widely scattered farm-houses and cottages occupy its site. The whole of the parish is well watered by the river Coquet, and several smaller streams. Whinstone, limestone, ironstone, and coal are found here." [From History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland, Whellan, 1855].

"ROTHBURY, a market-town and parish in the western division of COQUETDAI,E ward, county of NORTHUMBERLAND, comprising the townships of Bickerton, Caistron, Chartington, Debdon, Fallowlees, Flotterton, Hellinghill, Hepple, Hepple-Demesne, Hesley- Hurst, Lee-Ward, Mounthealy, Newtown, Paperhaugh, Raw, Rothbury, Rye-Hill, Snitter,Thropton, GreatTossen, Little Tossen, High and Low Trewhitt, Warton, Whitton, and Wreigh-Hill ...." [Samuel Lewis Topographical Dictionary of England 1831 © Mel Lockie]



  • Burial Registers 1886-1956 and Burials Grant Books 1940-1960 for Rothbury 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 
  • A Census of Rothbury compiled by the rector, Rev Levison Venables Vernon, in 1816. First published in Rothbury Parish Magazine in 1898.
  • The 1851 Census Index (microfiche CN27) Rothbury and Elsdon (PRO piece HO107/2423) (Type B) (Book) published by the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society  may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.
  • 1891 Census Rothbury, Elsdon (Monkridge, Elsdon, Woodside, Hepple, Holystone, Farnham, Wreighill, Linsheels, Linbridge, Kidland, Fairhaugh, Barrow, Alwinton, Clennell, Harbottle, Peels, Sharperton, Burradon and Biddlestone) (PRO piece RG12/4273) (Type B) (Book) (Volume 83) published by the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.
  • 1891 Census Wooler (Screnwood, Alnham, Prendwick, Unthank, Netherton, North and South Side, Great and Little Ryle, Callaley and Yetlington, Lorbottle, Whittingham, Snitter, High and Low Trewitt, Cartington, Thropton, Warton, Flotterton Mount Healey, Rothbury, Whitton, Newtown, Tosson, Bickerton, Caistron, Fallowlees, Hollinghill, Hesleyhurst Row, Brinkburn High and Low Ward, Longframlington, Todburn, Wingates, Ritton Colt Park, Ritton White House, Ewesley, Healey and Combe Hill, Nunneykirk, Coatyards, Greenleighton, Harwood Fairnley, Hartington, Hartington Hall and Rothley) (PRO piece RG12/4272) (Type B) (Book) (Volume 82) published by the Northumberland and Durham family History Society may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.

Church History


Church Records


Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Rothbury which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • A history of the village of Great Tosson from the Northumberland National Park website.
  • The history of Rothbury Parish is included in:- Northumberland County History Committee, History of Northumberland, Volume 15. Newcastle, A. Reid, 1940. (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 Rothbury), 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.


  • Rothbury - Maps - links and information.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NU035002 (Lat/Lon: 55.296098, -1.946254), Rothbury which are provided by:


Military Records

Lest We Forget
Hepple Christchurch
16 Nov 1918   Walter Scott, Private TR5/159816 Northumberland Fusiliers, age 19 [grave east section]
Thropton All Saints
5 Feb 1917   Joseph Murphy, Cpl 3381 2/7th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers age 25 son of Michael Murphy of Biddlestone Rothbury [grave 28]




Poor Houses, Poor Law

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