Heddon on the Wall, Northumberland Family History Guide

Heddon on the Wall is an Ancient Parish in the county of Northumberland.

Other places in the parish include: Whitchester, West Heddon, Houghton and Closehouse, Houghton and Close House, East Heddon, and Eachwick.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Philip and St. James

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1656
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1727

Nonconformists include: Baptist and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Ovingham
  • Stamfordham
  • Newburn
  • Ryton, Durham

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

HEDDON-ON-THE-WALL, a village, a township, and a parish in Castle Ward district, Northumberland. The village stands on the Roman wall, 2 miles N of Wylam r. station, and 7 W by N of Newcastle-on-Tyne; and has a post office under Wylam-on-Tyne, Northumberland. The fosse of the vallum cuts boldly through it, and is partly used as a pond; a fragment of the wall itself is in the near neighbourhood; and a castellum probably stood on or near the site of the village. The township extends to the Tyne, and comprises 1, 154 acres of land and 36 of water. Pop., 385. Houses, 77. The parish contains also the townships of East Heddon, West Heddon, Eachwick, Whitchester, and Houghton and Closehouse. Acres, 4, 663. Real property, £7, 274; of which £60 are in mines, £66 in quarries, and £20 in fisheries. Pop., 744. Houses, 157. The property is divided among a few. The manor was given, by the Bolbecs, to Blanchland abbey; and passed to the lords of Greystock and to the Earls of Carlisle. A large cairn, called Turpins hill, is at Whitchester; and several tumuli are in the neighbourhood. Bricks are made. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Durham. Value, £252. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church has a Norman E end; was found, in 1752, to incorporate Roman relics; and was restored and enlarged in 1851. The churchyard contains the grave of Ralph Spearman, the Monkbarns of Sir Walter Scott’s “ Antiquary.” There is a national school.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

HEDDON-ON-THE-WALL (St. Philip and St. James), a parish, in the union, and partly in the W. division, of Castle ward, but chiefly in the E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland; comprising the townships of Eachwick, Heddon-on-the-Wall, East and West Heddon, Houghton with Closehouse, and Whitchester; and containing 753 inhabitants, of whom 391 are in the township of Heddon-on-the-Wall, 7 miles (W. by N.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Heddon derived the affix to its name from its being intersected by the wall of Severus, which may be still traced in several places, and of which the fosse is visible throughout the parish. It anciently formed part of the extensive possessions of the lords Greystock, from whom it descended to the late Earl of Carlisle, who sold it. The parish is situated on the road from Newcastle to Hexham and Carlisle, and is bounded on the south by the river Tyne, here a delightful stream, and on the north by the Pont; it comprises about 4880 acres, of which 1480 are in the township, the latter in the proportion of three-fourths arable and one-fourth pasture. The soil is generally loam alternated with sand and clay, and of good quality; and the surface, though chiefly level, has a gradual ascent from the bank of the Tyne, along which the village, seated on a hill, amidst beautiful and diversified scenery, commands a fine view to Gateshead. Heddon land-sale colliery, which was opened a century ago, produces excellent household and steam coal, wrought at the same time with a valuable clay; the clay is made into fire-bricks, crucibles, draining-tiles, &c. There are also two quarries of freestone, from which blocks of immense size may be obtained. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, with a net income of £252, and a vicarage-house, rebuilt in the Elizabethan style in 1841; the impropriation is owned by Mrs. Bewicke. The great tithes of the township of Heddon have been commuted for £140, and the small tithes for £82; the vicarial glebe consists of 17 acres. The church, which belonged to Blanchland Abbey, is an ancient structure, the east end of the chancel being a fine specimen of Norman architecture; it was enlarged in 1841. Many Roman remains are found.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


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