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WHITFIELD

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

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"WHITFIELD parish is bounded on the north and west by the parish of Haltwhistle, on the south by that of Allendale and the county of Cumberland, and on the east by Allendale parish. It comprises an area of 12,125 acres, and its rateable value is £3,561 10s. The number of inhabitants in 1801, was 393; in 1811, 330; in 1821, 289; in 1831, 388; in 1841, 333; and in 1851, 340 souls. William Ord Esq., is lord of the manor and owner of the soil. This parish consists, in great measure, of uncultivated moorlands, on which numerous flocks of sheep are grazed, and is partly intersected by the streams of the East and West Allen, which unite at Cupola. Lead ore was formerly procured in considerable quantities from a mine at Limestone Cross, and smelted at Cupola. There is a spring strongly impregnated with iron, at Redmires, and the road from Alston to Haydon Bridge runs through the parish. Hodgson tells us that in 1749, scarcely more than a century ago, 'the roads through this parish were mere trackways, and the principal employment of the people was the conveyance of lead ore to the neighbouring smelt-mills, in sacks, on the backs of ponies. There was not a cart in the country. The farms were very small - seldom above twenty pounds a-year, and the dwelling-houses and farm offices upon them, of the most wretched description.' The greater portion of these have been pulled down and replaced by large and substantial farmhouses, and commodious offices, mills, &c. have been erected, and a turnpike-road made through the parish. The manor of Whitfield was granted by William, King of Scotland, to the priory of Hexham, of which it was held by a family that bore the local name, at an annual rent of 16s. 4d. It remained in the possessions of the Whitfields for many generations, but was ultimately sold by Thomas Whitfield to the Ord family, with whom it still continues." [From History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland, Whellan, 1855].

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