Bellingham Northumberland Family History Guide

Bellingham is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Northumberland, created in 1811 from chapelry in Simonburn Ancient Parish.

Other places in the parish include: West Charlton, The Nook, Tarretburn, Nook, Leemailing, East Charlton, Charlton West Quarter, and Charlton East Quarter.

Parish church: St. Cuthbert

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1684
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1760

Nonconformists include: Roman Catholic and United Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Wark
  • Simonburn
  • Elsdon
  • Birtley
  • Corsenside
  • Greystead

Historical Descriptions


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BELLINGHAM, a town, a township, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district in Northumberland. The town stands on the left bank of the North Tyne, at the mouth of Hareshaw burn, adjacent to the Border Counties railway, 16 miles NNW of Hexham. It has a station on the railway, a post office under Hexham, a town hall, a church, a U. Presbyterian chapel, a R. Catholic chapel, and three public schools; is of small extent, but of local importance; a seat of county courts, and a polling-place; and has had much recent change in connexion with iron-works and the railway. Markets are held on Saturdays; and fairs on the Wednesday before Good Friday, and on certain Saturdays of May, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., and Nov. The church is of the 13th century; was recently restored; and has a finely groined stone roof. A fall of 30 feet, on the Hareshaw burn, is in the neighbourhood. Pop. of the township, 860. Houses, 172. The parish includes also the townships of Charlton-East Quarter, Charlton-West Quarter, Tarretburn, Nook, and Leemailing. Acres, 20,211. Real property, £5,952. Pop., 1,662. Houses, 335. The property is subdivided. The manor belonged, in the time of Richard II. and Henry IV., to the De Bellinghams; passed to the Earls of Derwentwater; went to Greenwich Hospital; and was sold to the Duke of Northumberland. The royalties were leased, in 1864, to Sir W. Armstrong, for working ore. Hesleyside, the seat of the Charlton family since the time of Edward VI., stands on a rising ground, on the right bank of the Tyne, 1¾ mile above the town. The present mansion was built about the middle of last century; and occupies the site of a previous one of elaborate character, destroyed by fire. Much of the parish is moor and sheep-walk; and many parts of it have cairns, tumuli, and Druidical stones. Game is plentiful; and coal, ironstone, and limestone are worked. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Durham. Value, £200. Patron, Greenwich Hospital.

The subdistrict comprises the parishes of Greystead, Falstone, and Thorneyburn, the townships of Bellingham, Charlton-E. Q., Charlton-W. Q., and Tarretburn in Bellingham parish, the townships of Rochester, Otterburn, and Troughend in Elsdon parish, and the extra parochial tract of Ramshope. Pop., 4,247. Houses, 716. The district includes also the subdistrict of Kirkwhelpington, containing the parishes of Corsenside, Wark, Thockrington, and Kirkharle, the parochial chapelry of Birtley, and parts of the parishes of Kirkwhelpington and Bellingham. Acres, 235,861. Poor-rates in 1866, £4,326. Pop. in 1861, 7,080. Houses, 1,308. Marriages in 1866, 42; births, 239, of which 29 were illegitimate; deaths, 126, of which 37 were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,263; births, 1,737; deaths, 969. The places of worship in 1851 were 12 of the Church of England, with 2,248 sittings; 2 of the United Presbyterian church, with 680 s.; 5 of the Presbyterian church in England, with 1,444 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 123 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 200 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 54 attendants. The schools were 15 public day schools, with 672 scholars; 8 private day schools, with 195 s.; and 15 Sunday schools, with 554 s. The workhouse is in Bellingham township.

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


Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Leemailing, a township in Bellingham parish, Northumberland, on the North Tyne river, 1 mile NW of Bellingham. Pop., 234. Houses, 48. Hesleyside here is the seat of the Charltons, and has a neat domestic chapel. Stone is largely quarried.

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



Bellingham Northumberland Universal British Directory 1791

Bellingham is thirty-two miles north-west from Newcastle, seventeen miles north from Hexham, six miles north of Simonburn, and nine miles south-west from Elsdon. Twenty-five houses were burnt down in this small place on the 25th of August, 1780. – Here is a fair annually on the 15th of September.  There is a carrier, George Brechens, to Newcastle on Thursdays. – Principal inhabitants:


Smith Rev. Mr. Curate


Rutledge James, Surgeon

Scott --, Surgeon


Charleton John, Grocer and Haberdasher

Dodds William, Victualler

Fenwick Thomas, Victualler

Turnbull Ann, Grocer and Haberdasher

Lamb Jacob, Grocer and Haberdasher

Paterson Thomas, Grocer and Haberdasher

Scott Margaret, Grocer and Haberdasher

The village of Wark is four miles south. Wark or Werke Castle, was often attacked by the Scots. Green-head, of High-green colliery, is in this manor.  The village is small, and has nothing remarkable but an exploratory mount, and a small part of the ruins, which form a rude pillar. – The principal inhabitants of Wark are Mr. Kell and David Nixon, General Merchants; and Thomas Dodds, Shoemaker.

Hazeleyside, the seat of William Charlton, Esq. is two miles west; and Reidsmouth, the seat of  -- Charlton, Esq. two miles east.

Source: Universal British Directory 1791

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