Howick, Northumberland Family History Guide

Howick is an Ancient Parish in the county of Northumberland.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1678
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1763

Nonconformists include:

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

HOWICK, a parish, with a village, in Alnwick district, Northumberland; on the coast, 1 mile NE of Long Houghton r. station, and 5 NE by E of Alnwick. Posttown, Bilton, Northumberland. Acres, 1, 692; of which 72 are water. Real property, £2, 738. Pop., 265. Houses, 51. The property is divided between two. The manor belonged to the Muschamps; passed to the Vescies, afterwards to the Greys, who became Earls Grey; and gives to the latter the title of Viscount. Howick Hall, the seat of Earl Grey, occupies the site of an ancient tower, destroyed in 1780; is a fine Grecian edifice, built in 1782, and much enlarged and improved in 1812; and contains some valuable statues, paintings, and other works of art. A trout stream, called Howick burn, crossed by a stone bridge, winds through the park, and along a beautifully wooded dene, to the sea; and the shore, adjacent to its mouth, is broken into picturesque masses of jagged freestone rock. Traces exist of a camp variously regarded as British, Roman, and Danish; and ancient spears, swords, coins, and several gold rings, linked together in the form of a gorget, have been found. Coal was at one time worked, but proved unremunerative. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Durham. Value, £318. Patron, the Bishop of Durham. The church was rebuilt, in 1746, by Sir Henry Grey, Bart.; was remodelled, with insertion of Norman windows and floriated capitals, in 1849, by the third Earl Grey; and contains, under a rich Gothic canopy of Caen stone, the monument of the second Earl Grey, the distinguished prime minister. There are a national school, and charities £40.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

HOWICK (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Alnwick, S. division of Bambrough ward, N. division of Northumberland, 5½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Alnwick; containing 242 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1620 acres, and is bounded on the east by the North Sea, the coast of which is lined with rocks of dreary and rugged aspect, with the exception of part of the shore, where is a quarry of freestone, whose eastern bank is worn by the action of the waves into caverns of romantic form. The soil is mostly a strong rich loam, on a retentive clay or marl, and the surface is generally flat. Howick Hall, the seat of Earl Grey, is a noble mansion, of stone raised from the quarry above noticed; it consists of a centre and two wings, and is pleasantly situated in an extensive park, comprehending a variety of scenery, and ornamented with thriving plantations. A fine trout stream, called Howick Bourne, over which is a bridge, skirts the lawn in front of the Hall, to the east of which is an artificial lake covering five acres, and well stored with fish. Coal has been found in the parish, and mines were formerly worked, but the produce was insufficient to remunerate the labour and expense, and they have remained undisturbed for many years. The living is a rectory, valued in the king’s books at £36. 13. 4., and in the gift of the Bishop of Durham: the tithes have been commuted for £317, and the glebe comprises 3 acres. The church, situated in the pleasuregrounds of the Hall, at a small distance from the mansion, was rebuilt in 1746, at the expense of Sir Harry Grey, Bart. A school, founded and built by the first Sir H. Grey, has been endowed by the family. On the eastern side of Howick Park are the remains of a Roman encampment, where, more than half a century since, spears, swords, coins, and gold rings were discovered; and in the vicinity have been found several large urns. Howick confers the inferior title of Viscount upon the family of Grey.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


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