Ovingham, Northumberland Family History Guide

Ovingham is an Ancient Parish in the county of Northumberland.

Other places in the parish include: Wylam, Whittle, Welton, Spittle, Spital, Rudchester, Rouchester, Prudhoe Castle, Prudhoe, Ovington, Nafferton, Horsley near Wylam, Horsley, Hedley Woodside, Hedley Woodlands, Hedley-on-the-Hill, Hedley, Harlow Hill, Eltringham, Dukes Hagg, Dukers Hagg, Duke’s Hagg, and Broomley.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1679
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1762

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Primitive Methodist, United Free Methodist and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

OVINGHAM, a village and a township in Hexham district, and a parish partly also in Castle Ward district, Northumberland. The village stands on an eminence, sloping to the N bank of the river Tyne, ¼ of a mile N of Prudhoe r. station, 2 S of the Roman wall, and 10 E of Hexham; was anciently called Ofingasham; was once a market-town; is now a small but pretty place, contrasting brightly to collier villages in its vicinity, and commanding a fine near view of the verdant slopes, theruined fortress, and the wooded heights of Prudhoe; and has a post-office under Prudhoe Station, Northumberland, and fairs on 26 April and 26 Oct. The township includes the village, and comprises 523 acres. Pop. in 1851, 330; in 1861, 277. The parish contains also the townships of Wylam, Horsley, Nafferton, Spittle, Welton, Whittle, Ovington, Eltringham, Mickley, Prndhoe, Prndhoe-Castle, Dukers-Hagg, Hedley, Hedley-Woodside, Harlow-Hill, and Rouchester, the two last in Castle Ward district, all the others in Hexham district. Acres, 15, 740. Real property, £33,078, of which £3, 420 are in mines. Pop. in 1851, 3, 962; in 1861, 5,014. Houses, 940. The increase of pop. was chiefly in Mickley and Prudhoe Castle townships, and arose there from the extension of collieries. The manor belongs to the Duke of Northumberland. A priory of black canons was founded at Ovingham, by one of the Umfravilles; and was a cell to Hexham abbey. A castle was founded at Nafferton, in the time of King John, by Sir Philip D’ Ulecote; was built out of materials from the Roman wall; and consists of a keep, 20 feet square, and two outer baileys. An ancient building stood in Whittle dean; is said to have been theabode of robbers, during the wars of the Roses; and has left some remains among thickets. Prndhoe Castle is a grand feature, but will be noticed in its own alphabetical place. Coal is largely worked; and there are an iron-foundry, dye-works, bleach-grounds, and a brewery. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Durham. Value, £146. Patron, Lieut.-Col. Bigge. The church is cruciform and early English; was restored in 1857; has a fine lofty triplet E window, recently filled with stained-glass, peculiar and striking features in the transepts, and a pre-Norman low W tower, built of large stones; and contains trefoil-headed sedilia, and part of a sepulchral cross. The churchyard contains the grave of the celebrated engraver Bewick. The p. curacy of Mickleyis a separate benefice. There are two Wesleyan chapels, a United Free Methodist chapel, a national school, and charities £15. Mabel Carr, mother of George Stephenson, was a native.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

OVINGHAM (St. Mary), a parish, partly in the union of Hexham, and partly in that of Castle ward, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland; containing 3429 inhabitants, of whom 257 are in Ovingham township, 11 miles (W.) from Newcastle. The parish comprises the townships of Dukershagg, Eltringham, Harlow-Hill, Hedley-on-theHill, Hedley-Woodside, Horsley, Mickley, Nafferton, Ovingham, Ovington, Prudhoe, Prudhoe-Castle, Rutchester, Spittle, Welton, Whittle, and Wylam. It is on both sides of the Tyne, on the borders of which river the soil is productive, and interspersed with wood; in some parts the land is bare of wood, and a strong clay soil. Several coal-mines are in operation; small quantities of ironstone are found, and freestone in most of the townships. The road from Newcastle to Hexham, and the old military road, now a public highway, pass through the parish. The township of Ovingham comprises 446 acres, and is situated on the north bank of the Tyne, parallel with which, on the south side, runs the Newcastle and Carlisle railway: in the village are a brewery, and a dye-house and bleaching-grounds. Fairs are held on 26th April and 26th October.

The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in the king’s books at £5. 8. 4., and recently endowed by C. W. Bigge, Esq., who is patron and impropriator, with £21 per annum; total net income, £161. There is a glebe-house, with 39 acres of land; the house, which is ancient, occupies the site, and includes the remains, of a cell of Black canons, founded by one of the Umfravilles, and the revenue of which at the Dissolution was £13. 4. 8. The tithes of Ovingham township have been commuted for £78. The church is an elegant and commodious structure in the early English style, in the shape of a Greek cross, with a very ancient tower of the date 1180. At Hall-Yards, near Mickley, is a chapel, consecrated 31st August, 1824. The Wesleyans, Independents, and Presbyterians have places of worship; and numerous schools have been built. Thomas Bewick, the celebrated wood-engraver, was born in the parish; as was also John Jackson, one of the best wood-engravers of the present day.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


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