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SIMONBURN

Location of Simonburn
The location of the Parish of Simonburn (shown in green).

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"SIMONBURN parish comprises the chapelry of Humshaugh, and the townships of Haughton and Simonburn. It was formerly remarkable as being the largest parish in the diocese of Durham, extending from the Roman Wall to Liddesdale, in Scotland, a distance of thirty-three miles, and embracing the present parishes of Simonburn, Bellingham, Falstone, Greystead, Thorneyburn, and Wark, which, in conformity with an act of parliament, passed in 1811, were erected into distinct rectories, in 1814, upon the death of Dr. Scott, the last incumbent of the ancient parish. Several parts of this extensive district have been drained, enclosed, and brought under cultivation, yet, the greater portion is still used as sheep-walks, &c. The country here presents a very varied aspect, and some parts are highly beautiful and romantic. It abounds in coal and ironstone, and iron appears to have been extensively wrought here in ancient times. The present parish contains 13,372 acres; the number of its inhabitants in 1801, was 900; in 1811, 956; in 1821, 1,030; in 1831, 1,135; in 1841, 1,029; and in 1851, 1,080 souls. The manorial rights are vested in the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital, who are also the patrons of the different livings which have been formed out of the old parish. None but navy chaplains of ten years' service are eligible as rectors of the new parishes, and they are not allowed to hold any other preferment, though they are authorised to receive half pay, and the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital are empowered to redeem the land-tax chargeable on the rectories." [From History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland, Whellan, 1855].

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