Heswall - Hexham

Pages 497-501

A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.

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HESWALL, a parish, in the union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester; containing, with the township of Gayton, 546 inhabitants, of whom 397 are in the township of Heswall with Oldfield, 3½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Great Neston. In the Domesday survey this place is called Eswelle, and is mentioned as being held by Robert de Rodelent. It was afterwards possessed by a family of the local name, who held the manor until the early part of the 14th century, when it was conveyed by coheiresses, in moieties, to the Calveleys and Egertons. By the marriage of Katherine, heiress of the Calveleys, to Arthur Davenport, who was slain at the battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, their moiety became vested in the Davenport family, with whom it still continues. The Egertons held their moiety till 1699, when it was sold to the Whitmores; and upon the distribution of the Whitmore estates, under a decree of chancery, in 1816, it became the property of James Okill, Esq., of Fron, in the county of Flint. The parish is pleasantly situated, rising obliquely from the banks of the Dee, and commanding a fine view of that river and of the Welsh coast; it comprises by computation 3000 acres, of which 1800 are waste. The land in cultivation is chiefly arable, producing excellent crops of wheat; and the substratum abounds with red sandstone, used for building. Above the village is a fine tract of common, rising to the height of 475 feet above the level of the sea. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £18. 8. 4., and in the alternate patronage of E. D. Davenport, and Wm. Lloyd, Esqrs.; net income, £294; the glebe comprises 20 acres, with a glebe-house, finely situated, and rebuilt in 1845. The church is an ancient structure with a tower; the chancel was rebuilt in 1841. A school, lately erected is supported partly by subscription.

Hethe, county of Oxford.—See Heath.

HETHE, county of Oxford—See Heath.

Hethel (All Saints)

HETHEL (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Henstead, hundred of Humbleyard, E. division of Norfolk, 4½ miles (E. by S.) from Wymondham; containing 211 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10; net income, £405; patron and incumbent, the Rev. H. J. Steward: the glebe comprises 60 acres. The church is a handsome structure, in the later English style, with a square embattled tower; in the chancel is a monument to Myles Branthwaite and lady.

Hethersett (St. Remigius)

HETHERSETT (St. Remigius), a parish, in the union of Henstead, hundred of Humbleyard, E. division of Norfolk, 3¾ miles (N. E. by E.) from Wymondham; containing 1138 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from London to Norwich, through Newmarket; and comprises 2635a. 1r. 7p., of which 2165a. 36p. are arable, 415a. 2r. 22p. pasture, and 54a. 1r. 29p. woodland. Here is a station of the Norfolk railway, four miles distant from the Wymondham station, and six miles and a half from that of Norwich. Petty-sessions are held on the first Monday in the month. The living is a rectory in medieties, with the rectory of Cantelose annexed in 1397, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £651; patrons, the Master and Fellows of Caius College, Cambridge. The church, which is chiefly in the early English style, consists of a nave and aisles, with a lofty embattled tower surmounted by a small spire; the nave is lighted by clerestory windows, and the church contains several ancient monuments. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists; and a national school is supported by subscription, and the interest of £205 left by Mr. Hughes. On the manor of Castle Cantelose or Canteloffe, was a church dedicated to All Saints, the site of which is still called the old churchyard.


HETHERSGILL, a township, in the parish of Kirk-Linton, union of Longtown, Eskdale ward, E. division of Cumberland, 6 miles (N. W.) from the town of Brampton; containing 799 inhabitants.


HETT, a township, in the chapelry of Croxdale, parish of Merrington, union of Durham, S. E. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham; containing 234 inhabitants. It was held of the convent of Durham by a family named Hette: the land is now nearly all leasehold under the Dean and Chapter. The township comprises about 1580 acres. There is a paper-mill about a mile eastward from the village; and at Broom Hill is a good freestone-quarry. The tithes have been commuted for £19. 10. payable to the vicar of Merrington, and £114. 5. to the incumbent of Croxdale.


HETTON, a township, in the parish of Burnsall, union of Skipton, E. division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross, W. riding of York, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Skipton; containing, with Boardley, 191 inhabitants. Hetton comprises 1711 acres, whereof 94 are common or waste. A great part of it formerly belonged to the Nortons, and was granted, with the rest of their estates in Craven, to Francis, Earl of Cumberland. The lands are rich pasture, especially the lower grounds. The tithes have been commuted for £70, payable to the rectors of the medieties of Burnsall.


HETTON-LE-HOLE, a township and chapelry, in the parish and union of Houghton-Le-Spring, N. division of Easington ward and of the county of Durham, 2 miles (S.) from Houghton-le-Spring; the township containing 4158 inhabitants. The chapelry comprises 2530 acres, of which 1315 are arable, 993 meadow and pasture, and 222 wood; of the whole, 1598 acres are in the township: the surface is undulated, and the soil a light loam. It includes the populous hamlets of Hetton proper, Easington-Lane, Downs, and Great and Little Eppleton; and is a mining district, with three extensive collieries in full operation. Hetton colliery, one of the most considerable in the kingdom, was commenced in 1822, and its produce, which is of the first quality, is sent almost entirely to the London market; 500,886 tons have been raised in a year, and as many as 2000 persons have been employed at one time in the colliery and on the works connected with it: the proprietors have a private railway, by which the coal is conveyed to the river Wear at Sunderland. The Durham and Sunderland railway has a station here. There are three quarries, the stone of which is used for building, or burned into lime; and two corn-mills, one worked by steam, and the other by water. The village is pleasantly situated in a vale, about two miles distant from the Durham and Sunderland road, and is a polling-place for the northern division of the county. The chapel, which is in the later English style, with a campanile turret, was erected in 1832, at an expense of £1406, defrayed by subscription; it contains 500 sittings, of which 375 are free. On the late avoidance of the living of Houghtonle-Spring, the chapelry was endowed with the tithes of the district, commuted for £208. There are places of worship for Baptists, Kilhamites, Presbyterians, and Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. In a field on the right side of the road from Great Eppleton to Hetton, is a tumulus, consisting of a collection of small stones, at the top of which is a cavity, called the Fairies' cradle.

Hetton, South

HETTON, SOUTH, a colliery village, in the township of Haswell, parish and union of Easington, S. division of Easington ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 7 miles (E. by N.) from Durham; containing about 1960 inhabitants. The South Hetton colliery, which was opened in 1833, and contains some of the richest beds of coal yet discovered, is on the estate of T. R. G. Braddyll, Esq., of Conishead Priory, Lancashire, and is worked by him and his partners; 643 persons are at present employed in this flourishing undertaking. Limestone, also, is quarried for building purposes. The Durham and Sunderland railway passes through the village, and the Hartlepool railway terminates a mile to the south. The village was built on the opening of the mines. A very neat chapel, for which Colonel Braddyll gave the site, and the burial-ground attached, was erected by subscription in 1837, at an expense exceeding £1000, towards which the company liberally contributed.


HEUGH, a township, in the parish of Stamfordham, union of Castle ward, N. E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 12½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne; containing 442 inhabitants. In this township, which comprises 2205a. 34p., is situated the pleasant and well-built village of Stamfordham, from which the hamlet of Heugh, consisting of only a few cottages, is distant about a mile northward. The tithes have been commuted for £205 payable to the Bishop of Durham, and £98 to the vicar of the parish; there is a glebe of 120 acres.

Heveningham (St. Margaret)

HEVENINGHAM (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union and hundred of Blything, E. division of Suffolk, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Yoxford; containing 417 inhabitants, and comprising by measurement 1659 acres. Heveningham Hall, the seat of Lord Huntingfield, one of the most stately mansions in the county, is situated on an eminence, in a beautiful and well laid-out park, abounding in fine plantations, and commanding extensive views. The mansion, which is ornamented in front with a noble piece of water, is 300 feet in length, and embellished with a succession of Corinthian columns; the interior is fitted up in a costly manner, and contains a fine collection of pictures, chiefly of the Dutch and Flemish masters. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 6. 8., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £480, and the glebe comprises 30 acres, with a house, greatly improved by the Rev. Henry Owen. The church, partly in the decorated and partly in the later English style, has an embattled tower, and an elaborately carved roof. The churchwardens receive annually, from town-lands, £138, for the repairs of the church, and other parochial uses.

Hever (St. Peter)

HEVER (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Seven-Oaks, hundred of Somerdon, lathe of Suttonat-Hone, W. division of Kent, 8 miles (S. S. W.) from Seven-Oaks; containing 582 inhabitants. It consists of 2608 acres, of which 50 are in wood. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 7. 3½., and in the gift of the Rev. T. Streatfield: the tithes have been commuted for £600, and the glebe comprises 14 acres. The church contains a monument to the memory of Sir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, who is represented in the robes of the garter. Hever Castle, a very ancient building, defended by a moat, drawbridge, portcullis, and tower, was the residence of the Boleyn family: Ann Boleyn, queen of Henry VIII., is stated to have been born here, and here Anne of Cleves died.

Heveringland.—See Haveringland.

HEVERINGLAND.—See Haveringland.

Heversham (St. Mary)

HEVERSHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and ward of Kendal, county of Westmorland; containing, with the chapelry of Crosthwaite with Lyth, and the townships of Hincaster, Levens, Preston-Richard, Sedgwick, and Stainton, 4405 inhabitants, of whom 1599 are in the township of Heversham with the town of Milnthorpe. The parish comprises by computation 15,000 acres, of which nearly one-half is inclosed: the surface is greatly diversified with hill and dale; the soil in the higher grounds is a light mould resting on limestone, and in the valleys chiefly alluvial on a substratum of clay. A hill called the Head is noted for a magnificent panoramic view, embracing Morecambe bay and the Lake mountains. A ridge of sterile rock extends for almost three miles near the western boundary of the parish, and terminates at the southern extremity in a precipitous cliff. An attempt was made to explore this ridge, which is called Whitbarrow, for copper-ore, but was discontinued for want of due encouragement. The rivers Kent and Pool flow through the parish, and the lands are also watered by the Rowel beck, and intersected by the Lancaster canal to Kendal. The Lancaster and Carlisle railway passes through in a direction from south to north, for about three miles. There are numerous quarries of limestone, which is used for building, and also burnt into lime; the cotton manufacture is carried on to some extent, and rope-making affords employment to about sixty persons.

The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £36. 13. 4.; net income, £516; patrons and impropriators, the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The tithes were commuted for land in 1803; the glebe comprises 650 acres. The church is a handsome building, externally in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower, and contains some interesting monuments: the north aisle was burned down by an accidental fire in 1606, and the nave and south aisle much injured, but a complete restoration, with new roofing, was effected in the following year. There are churches or chapels at Crosscrake, Crosthwaite, Levens, and Milnthorpe; and the dissenters have places of worship. The free grammar school was founded in 1613, by Edward Wilson, who endowed it with land now producing about £60 per annum, and with two exhibitions, one to Queen's College, Oxford, and one to Trinity College, Cambridge. These exhibitions are each worth nearly £50 per annum; and there is another to Queen's College, founded by Lady Betty Hastings, besides four to Magdalen College, Cambridge, in conjunction with the schools of Leeds and Halifax, founded by Mr. Milner. The learned Dr. Richard Watson, Bishop of Llandaff, was a native of this place, where his father conducted the school for many years. There are one or two barrows.

Hevingham (St. Botolph)

HEVINGHAM (St. Botolph), a parish, in the union of Aylsham, hundred of South Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 3 miles (S. by E.) from Aylsham; containing 893 inhabitants. Hevingham formerly belonged to the bishops of Norwich, one of whom, Walter de Suffield, in 1250 built a palace here, no trace of which now remains. The parish is situated on the road from Norwich to Aylsham, and comprises 2845a. 2r. 21p., whereof about 1672 acres are arable, 444 pasture and meadow, 420 wood and plantation, and 300 heath. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 16., and in the gift of the Rev. W. J. Carver: the tithes have been commuted for £540, and the glebe contains 34 acres. The church is an ancient structure, chiefly in the early and decorated styles; it was originally cruciform, but has lost the northern portion of its transept, which supported a square embattled tower. The Primitive Methodists have a place of worship. John Hall, in 1715, built a school, which he endowed with five acres of land.

Hewelsfield (St. Mary Magdalene)

HEWELSFIELD (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Chepstow, hundred of St. Briavell's, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 5½ miles (N. N. E.) from Chepstow; containing 531 inhabitants, of whom 212 are on Brockwear Common, which is extraparochial, and adjoins Hewelsfield. The parish is bounded on the west by the Wye, that river separating it from the county of Monmouth; and comprises 1189 acres, of which 35 are common or waste land. The living is annexed to the vicarage of Lidney: the tithes have been commuted for £131.


HEWICK-BRIDGE, a township, in the parish and liberty of Ripon, though locally in the Lower division of the wapentake of Claro, W. riding of York, 1¾ mile (E. S. E.) from Ripon; containing 85 inhabitants, and comprising by computation 900 acres.


HEWICK-COPT, a township, in the parish and liberty of Ripon, though locally in the Lower division of the wapentake of Claro, W. riding of York, 2 miles (E.) from Ripon; containing 168 inhabitants. It comprises 630 acres; the soil is fertile.


HEWISH, a tything, in the parish and hundred of Crewkerne, union of Chard, W. division of the county of Somerset; containing 179 inhabitants.


HEWISH, a hamlet, in the parish of Yatton, union of Bedminster, hundred of Winterstoke, E. division of Somerset; containing 67 inhabitants.

Hewish, or Huish (St. Nicholas)

HEWISH, or Huish (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Pewsey, hundred of Swanborough, Everley and Pewsey, and N. divisions of Wilts, 3 miles (N. N. W.) from Pewsey; containing 133 inhabitants. This parish, which according to computation comprises 750 acres, originally formed part of the possessions of the Seymour family, of whom Sarah, Duchess of Somerset, in 1690 conveyed the manor to twelve trustees, for the foundation of a college at Froxfield, for the residence and maintenance of widows. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 6. 8., and in the patronage of the Trustees of the College: the tithes have been commuted for £185, and the glebe comprises 35 acres. The church is a plain modern building.


HEWORTH, a township, in the parishes of St. Cuthbert, St. Giles, and St. Saviour, York, wapentake of Bulmer, union and N. riding of York, 1 mile (N. E.) from York; containing 395 inhabitants. It forms a pleasant suburb of the city. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.

Heworth, Nether

HEWORTH, NETHER, a chapelry, in the parish of Jarrow, union of Gateshead, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 2¼ miles (E. S. E.) from Gateshead; containing, with BillQuay, Upper Heworth, and Windy-Nook, 7126 inhabitants. This chapelry, which is bounded on the north by the Tyne, comprises an area of 2806 acres, whereof about two-thirds are arable, and the remainder meadow and pasture. The surface is varied with gentle undulations sloping towards the river, and some of the higher grounds command interesting prospects. The soil is generally clay, resting on freestone, and the lands are under profitable cultivation; the freestone is of excellent quality for building, and large quantities of it have been sent to Sunderland for the construction of the pier of that port: the neighbourhood abounds also in good coal. There are large chemical-works in the chapelry, one of which is the oldest establishment of the kind in the kingdom. The manufacture of brown paper, earthenware, and bottles, is very extensive; there are copperasworks and works for lamp-black and different colours, and several vessels of large burthen have been constructed at this place. Here are two stations on the Brandling Junction railway.

The present chapel was erected in 1822, close to the site of the ancient structure, at an expense of £2026, raised by subscription, aided by a grant of £500 from the Incorporated Society; it is a neat cruciform edifice in the early English style, with a square embattled tower, and contains 981 sittings, of which 687 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Drewett Brown, Esq., who has four turns, Cuthbert Ellison, Esq., who has three, and Sir Thomas Clavering, Bart., who has one turn of presentation; net income, £148, with a good residence near the chapel. In the burial-ground is an obelisk, inscribed to the memory, and recording the names and ages, of 91 persons who were killed by an explosion of fire-damp in the Felling colliery, in 1812, and were buried here; also a monument to the memory of Richard Dawes, A.M., author of the Miscellanea Critica. A tithe rent-charge of £143 is paid to the incumbent, one of £15 to the incumbent of Jarrow, of £112 to the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and of £37 to other impropriators. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans of the Old and New Connexion, and Primitive Methodists. At Wardley are remains of a Roman camp, the moat of which is nearly entire. A vase, containing coins of Egfrid, King of Northumbria in 684, was found in the chapelyard some years since. Lord Stowell, judge of the admiralty court, was born here in 1745.—See Windy-Nook, and Bill-Quay.


HEXGRAVE-PARK, a township, in the parish and union of Southwell, Southwell division of the wapentake of Thurgarton, county of Nottingham, 4 miles (N. W.) from Southwell; containing 32 inhabitants. This was formerly an extra-parochial liberty, having been, prior to the Reformation, a park belonging to the palace of the see of York, at Southwell. On the most elevated part of the township are the remains of a very large camp, supposed to be Roman, including a space of about 40 acres, and commanding extensive prospects; near it a brass celt was found in 1800, and fragments of military weapons have frequently been turned up by the plough. The district lies a little to the south of the road between Kirklington and Mansfield, and that from Southwell to Mansfield runs on the south.

Hexham (St. Andrew)

HEXHAM (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the S. division of Tindale ward and of Northumberland; containing 5989 inhabitants, of whom 4742 are in the town, 20 miles (W.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 283 (N. N. W.) from London. The origin of this place, which Camden supposes to have been the Axelodunum of the Romans, is, perhaps, with greater probability, referred to the Saxons, by whom it was called Hextoldesham and Halgustad, on account of the neighbouring streams Hextol and Halgut, from the former of which its present name is derived. Horsley fixes the station of Axelodunum at Brough, in Cumberland, and the supposition of Camden is not confirmed by any Roman relics, except a few inscribed stones, which have been obviously brought from some other place. About the year 673, Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, having obtained from Ethelreda, wife of Egfrid, King of Northumbria, a grant of the town, and a large adjoining tract called Hexhamshire, founded a monastery, and erected a church, which, according to Richard of Hexham, was the most magnificent ecclesiastical edifice in the kingdom. After the expulsion of Wilfrid from the see of York in 678, that province was divided, and Hexham erected into a see, which continued for more than a century, till, being united with Lindisfarne, it eventually became part of the see of Durham: it is now, however, a peculiar of York. Tilford, the last bishop of Hexham, was expelled from his bishopric in 821, by the Danes, who, about 50 years afterwards, destroyed the monastery and plundered the town. The monastery was restored for Augustine canons in 1112, and Hexham, together with Holme, was appropriated to the endowment of a prebendal stall in the cathedral of York. In 1138, the Scots (under David I.) pillaged the monastery, and in 1296, again attacking the town, burnt the monastery and the nave of the conventual church. In the reign of Henry VIII., the last prior of Hexham, having been involved in the insurrection called the Pilgrimage of Grace, was hanged at the gate of the monastery in 1536: at the Dissolution the revenue was £138. 1. 9.


Hexham possessed all the rights and privileges of a county palatine, which, with the jura regalia, were confirmed by Edward I. In the reign of Edward III., the town was again plundered by an army of 40,000 Scots, under the command of David II., who was taken prisoner by Sir John Copeland, then sheriff of Northumberland, at the battle of Nevill's Cross. In 1463, the decisive battle of Hexham was fought on the plains near the town, between the Yorkists and Lancastrians, the former of whom, commanded by Lord Montacute, defeated the latter under the Duke of Somerset, who was taken prisoner, and beheaded. Hexham, with its adjoining district, coming into the possession of the crown by an exchange with the Archbishop of York, was in the 14th of Elizabeth annexed to the county of Northumberland. A dreadful riot happened here on the 9th of March, 1761, when 5000 persons, principally miners, assembled to obstruct the magistrates; 48 persons were killed by the North York militia, and 300 persons wounded.

The Town, which is irregularly built, consists of several streets (diverging from an extensive marketplace in the centre), partially paved, and first lighted in January, 1831; the inhabitants are supplied with water conveyed from a considerable distance into two reservoirs. The bridge here over the river Tyne is a handsome stone structure of nine principal arches, with three smaller ones on the south side. A suspension bridge was constructed in 1826 over the South Tyne, near the western ferry, at an expense of £5000; and a bridge of two arches has been recently erected at Gilligate, where the Cowgarth and Cockshaw burns unite their streams. The Vale of Tyne is beautifully diversified with wellcultivated fields, shrubberies, and pleasure-grounds, and is remarkable for producing earlier crops than the surrounding district: a considerable portion of the land belongs to the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital. A mechanics' institute, with a library, was established in 1825. The principal branches of trade are, the dressing of leather, and the making of gloves, for which the town has long been in high repute; tanning is carried on to a considerable extent, and the tan-yard of Mr. Smith Stobart, the maker of the well-known "HexhamTan" gloves, has been established more than half a century. There are also two woollen factories, a manufactory for hats, and a brewery. The Hareshaw iron-works were established in July, 1839, chiefly for the purposes of heavy machinery and light castings: the proprietors possess four coal-pits, ironstone-works, and a blastfurnace, at Bellingham, 16 miles distant. Here is a station of the Newcastle and Carlisle railroad: the building is of rustic design. The market-days are Tuesday and Saturday, the former for corn; and a large cattlemarket is held every alternate Tuesday, from the end of February to Midsummer, and from October to Christmas: the market-house is a commodious building, with a piazza. The fairs are on August 6th and November 9th, for horses, cattle, sheep, and swine.

Though the town never received a charter of incorporation, there are four trading companies, viz., of weavers, shoemakers, glovers, and hatters, exercising, by a kind of prescriptive right, as great a control over those respective trades as is generally practised in towns regularly incorporated. A bailiff, appointed by the lord of the manor, presides at the manorial courts, and holds his office generally for life. A court of record is held within a month after Easter and at Michaelmas, for the recovery of debts to any amount, at which the steward of the manor, who must be a barrister, presides: a side court is likewise held four times in the year, or oftener if requisite, for the recovery of debts under 40s., at which the bailiff presides. Courts leet and baron for the manor of Anick-Grange, which is partly within this parish, are held here; as are also the Midsummer quarter-sessions for the county, and a petty-session for Tindale ward on the first Tuesday in the month. The powers of the county debt-court of Hexham, established in 1847, extend over nearly the whole of the registrationdistrict of Hexham. The town-hall is an ancient edifice, formerly the court-house of the bishops, in which the manor courts and quarter-sessions are held, and prisoners for debt are occasionally confined: at a small distance from it is an old tower, supposed to have been built for the defence of the monastery, and now used as the manor office. In Gilligate is a house of correction for the county, which was repaired, with the addition of a new wing, a few years since. The town is the place of election for the southern division of the county.

The parish comprises 4608 acres, of which 30 are common or waste land. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £139; patron, H. S. Le Strange, Esq.: the tithes of Hexham township have been commuted for £550. In 1623, Richard Fishborne left a sum of money in trust to the Mercers' Company for the endowment of a lectureship, with which the corn tithes of Erringside, anciently belonging to the monastery, were purchased. The church, which is part of the conventual church, built on the site of the cathedral, is a spacious cruciform structure, exhibiting portions in various styles of English architecture, with a tower rising from the intersection; the nave, burnt by the Scots in 1296, has not been rebuilt. The choir is separated from the transepts by a screen of wood, richly carved in the lower part, and ornamented in the upper with an allegorical painting of the Dance of Death. On the south side of the altar, which is lighted by a large window of elegant tracery, is a gallery of oak, beautifully carved, beneath which are four stalls enriched with tabernacle work; and on the north side is a shrine, or oratory, in the decorated English style, exquisitely adorned with foliated arches, tracery, and figures, and supposed to have been erected for Prior Richard, of Hexham, to whom, also, is attributed a recumbent figure on an altar-tomb adjacent. Among the monuments is one said by Pennant and others to be that of Elfwald, a Northumbrian king, who was killed in 788; but its style appears to be of the thirteenth century. On an altar-tomb is the figure of an armed knight, crosslegged, with a shield of arms identifying the person represented as one of the baronial family of Umfraville; though the effigy is supposed by Wallis, the historian, to be that of the Duke of Somerset, beheaded at Hexham. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans; a Scottish church; and a Roman Catholic chapel, an elegant structure in the decorated English style, built in 1830.

The grammar school was founded in 1599, by Queen Elizabeth, who placed it under the control of an incorporated body of governors; it has an endowment of £21. 17. 2½. per annum. A bequest of £10 per annum, for apprenticing children, was made by Lady Anne Radcliffe; and there are other sums for distribution among the poor. The union comprises 69 parishes or places, and contains 27,929 inhabitants. Near a spot called St. Mary's Chare are some remains of the church founded by Wilfrid in 678, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. An immense number of stycas, or Saxon coins, were discovered in the churchyard of Hexham in 1833. John, prior of Hexham in the twelfth century, wrote the history of the reign of Henry II.; and his successor, Richard, was the author of several historical works. Joseph Richardson, the dramatist, who died in 1803, was a native of the parish; and John Tweddell, who greatly distinguished himself as a classical scholar and an antiquary, was born in 1769, at Threepwood, near the town.