Elsdon, Northumberland Family History Guide

Elsdon is an Ancient Parish in the county of Northumberland.

Other places in the parish include: Woodside-ward, Woodside, Troughend-ward, Troughend, Rochester-ward, Rochester, Otterburn-ward, Otterburn, Monkridge-ward, Monkridge, Horsley near Otterburn, Horsley, and Elsdon Ward.

Parish church: St. Cuthbert

Parish registers begin:


  • Parish registers: 1672
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1762


  • Parish registers: 1844
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: None

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Presbyterian Church in England, and United Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Simonburn
  • Rothbury
  • Bellingham
  • Kirkwhelpington
  • Byrness
  • Corsenside
  • Hartburn
  • Alwinton with Holystone

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

ELSDON, a village, a township, and a sub-district in Rothbury district, and a parish in Rothbury and Bellingham districts, Northumberland. The village stands on an affluent of the river Reed, near the line of projected railway northward from Scots Gap, 8 miles NNW of Scots Gap r. station, and 9 ½ SW of Rothbury; and has a post office under Newcastle-on-Tyne, and a fair on 26 Aug.; and is a polling-place. Its site is supposed to have been a Roman station, probably the first of a chain of forts between Watling-street and the Devil's causeway; and a conical moated entrenchment, at a short distance to the NE, is supposed to have been a Roman watch-hill and place of sepulture. The township includes the village, and bears the name of Elsdon-ward. Acres, 6,404. Pop., 266. Houses, 56. The parish includes also the townships of Monkridge-ward and Woodside-ward in Rothbury district, and the townships of Rochester-ward, Otterburn-ward, and Troughend-ward in Bellingham district. Acres, 74,917. Real property, £20,195; of which £55 are in mines. Pop., 1,521. Houses, 277. The property is much subdivided. The area is about 23 miles in length, and 12 in greatest breadth; comprises a long vale, flanked by heathy hills; seems to have once been almost entirely covered with forest, some small remnants of which still exist in the vale; was, not long ago, little else than a desolate series of neglected heaths and morasses; but now exhibits cheering effects of extensive reclamation, enclosing, and improvement. Limestone and ironstone, of superior quality, abound; and some good seams of coal exist. Elsdon Castle was built in the time of Henry III., by David, king of Scotland; presents, on its front, the arms of the Umfravilles; is a strong tower, with circular stair-case at one corner; was once the residence of Dr. Dutens, the editor of Leibnitz; and is now the parsonage house. The living is a rectory, united with the p. curacies of Horsley and Otterburn, in the diocese of Durham. Value, £803.* Patron, the Duke of Northumberland. The church is ancient, cruciform, and good; and, at a clearing away of earth at its north transept, a few years ago, remains of upwards of one hundred human skeletons were found there, regularly deposited in double rows. The p. curacy of Byrness is a separate benefice. There is an United Presbyterian church. Tradition speaks of a giant of the name of Ella, who lived at Elsdon, and committed great devastations. -The sub-district, in addition to the three Rothbury townships of Elsdon parish, contains Kidland, Holystone, and twelve townships of Rothbury and Alwinton. Acres, 75, 981. Pop., 1,837. Houses, 344.

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

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