Belford, Northumberland Family History Guide

Belford is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Northumberland, created in 1735 from chapelry in Bamburgh Ancient Parish.

Prior to 1844 part of Belford was in Durham.

Other places in the parish include: Middleton, Elwick, East Grange, Ross, Easington Grange, Easington, and Detchant.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1688
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1760

Nonconformists include: Bible Christian Methodist, Church of Scotland/Scottish Presbyterian, and Presbyterian.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BELFORD, a small town, a township, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district, in Northumberland. The town stands on a gentle eminence, about a mile W of a station of its own name on the Northeastern railway, 15 ¼. Miles SSE of Berwick. It is neatly built; contains a church, two dissenting chapels, and a workhouse; has a head post office, a market-place, and two chief inns; and is a seat of petty sessions. The church was lately rebuilt, is in the early English style, and has a lofty tower. A weekly market is held on Wednesday; fairs, on Tuesday before Whitsunday and 23 Aug.; and races, in September. The township includes the town, and comprises 2,698 acres. Pop., 1,067. Houses, 204. The parish includes also the townships of Ross, Elwick, Easington, Easington-Grange, Middleton, and Detchant. Acres, 11,604; of which 2,224 are water. Real property, £11,901. Pop., 1,724. Houses, 329. The property is divided among five. Belford Hall is the seat of the Rev. J. D. Clark. Coal, lime, and freestone occur. Traces of an ancient chapel are on a rising-ground near the town; and remains of a very strong Danish camp, encompassed by a deep ditch, are not far distant. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Durham. Value, £147. Patron, the Rev. J. D. Clark. The subdistrict and the district are coextensive; and contain the parishes of Belford and Bambrough, the extra-parochial tracts of Monk’s-House and Fern-Islands, and part of the parish of Ellingham. Acres, 41,753. Poor-rates in 1866, £4,548. Pop. in 1861, 6,260. Houses, 1,221. Marriages in 1866, 41; births, 174, of which 17 were illegitimate; deaths, 120, of which 24 were at ages under 5 years, and 4 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,198; births, 2,007; deaths, 1,072. The places of worship in 1851 were 6 of the Church of England, with 1,920 sittings; 1 of the Church of Scotland, with 500 s.; 2 of the United Presbyterian Church, with 730 s.; 3 of the Presbyterian Church in England, with 1,027 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 70 s. The schools were 10 public day schools, with 606 scholars; 8 private day schools, with 363 s.; and 13 Sunday schools, with 678 s.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

BELFORD (St. Mary), a parish, and the head of a union, partly in Islandshire, but chiefly in the N. division of Bambrough ward, N. division of Northumberland; comprising the townships of Delchant, Easington, Easington-Grange, Elwick, Middleton, and Ross; and containing 1789 inhabitants, of whom 1157 are in the market-town of Belford, 48 miles (N. by W.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 318 (N. by W.) from London. The parish comprises about 7500 acres. The town is situated on a gentle eminence within two miles of the sea, of which, and of Holy Island, the Farne Islands, and Bambrough Castle, there is a fine view from the high ground on the north: the foundations of an ancient chapel may still be traced on Belford crag. It has a very pleasing appearance, and consists principally of two spacious streets, intersected by a few narrow lanes; the houses are irregularly built: the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. The neighbourhood abounds with diversified scenery and agreeable walks. Belford is mainly indebted for its rise to the spirited exertions of Mr. Dixon, a former proprietor of the manor, who built several houses on a larger and more convenient scale, cleared away unsightly objects, and established a woollen-manufactory, a tannery, &c.: his father had previously procured the privilege of holding a market and fairs. The parish abounds with coal, limestone, and freestone; and considerable quantities of cockles, called Budle cockles, are got upon the coast. The market is on Tuesday, and is noted for corn, much of which is sold for exportation; the fairs are on the Tuesday before Whitsuntide, and Aug. 23rd. The powers of the county debt-court of Belford, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Belford. The Newcastle and Berwick railway passes between the town and the sea-coast. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with 191 acres of land in two distant parishes; net income, £147; patron and impropriator, the Rev. J. D. Clark. The church is at the north-western extremity of the town, and has been lately rebuilt in the early English style. There are places of worship for the United Secession and Presbyterians. The poor law union of Belford comprises 34 townships, of which 33 are in the county of Northumberland, and one in the county of Durham; and contains a population of 6421. About a mile to the southwest of the town is a quadrilateral intrenchment, having an entrance on the north-east, and defended by a wide ditch and a double rampart: it is by some supposed to have been a stronghold, or place of security from the incursions of the Scots, during the border wars; by others it is thought to be of Danish origin. There are a few mineral springs.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Administration

  • County: Northumberland
  • Civil Registration District: Belford
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Durham
  • Rural Deanery: Bamburgh
  • Poor Law Union: Belford
  • Hundred: Bamburgh Ward; Islandshire
  • Province: York