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MORPETH is pleasantly situated on the northern bank of the river Wansbeck, among woody undulating hills. It is a place of considerable antiquity; and, in 1215, was burnt by its own inhabitants out of hatred to King John. Its weekly cattle-market is one of the largest in England. The town-hall was erected in 1714 by the 3d Earl of Carlisle, from designs by Vanbrugh. The free school was founded by Edward VI. Of the ancient castle, only a few fragments and the gate, now remain. One M.P. Pop. 1851, 10,012.
About two miles from Morpeth are the ruins of Mitford Castle and of Mitford manor-house, and, at a short distance, the splendid modern mansion of Admiral Mitford. The valley from Morpeth to Mitford is one of the most lovely in England. The Wansbeck winds through it between lofty precipitous banks, flanked by fine woods.
ALYWICK is situated on a declivity on the south bank of the river Alne. It is but 310 miles N. by W. from London by the old road, though farther by railway. The town is well laid out, the streets spacious and well-paved, the houses are chiefly of stone, of modern date, and some of them of considerable elegance. Bondgate, one of the streets, takes its name from a gate erected by Hotspur, and still standing. The town possesses a town-hall and clock-house, a free school, several churches, and chapels. The most interesting object is the ancient castle, the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, which has been restored, and occupies an elevated situation on the south bank of the Alne, covering about five acres. This noble baronial mansion belonged to William Tyson, a Saxon baron, who
• For the route from Berwick to Edinburgh, see Black's Picturesque Tourist of Scotland.
was slain at the battle of Hastings, and it came into the possessive of the Percy family in 1310. Grose says, the original building is supposed to have been founded by the Romans. In 1093, it withstood a memorable siege against Malcolm, King of Scots, and his son, Prince Edward, both of whom were slain before it. William the Lion, King of Scotland, was taken prisoner here in 1174. King John burnt it down in 1215. It had been suffered to go very inuch to decay, till it was completely repaired several years since, and it is now one of the most magnificent specimens in the kingdom of an old baronial residence. The building is of freestone, and, as well as the repairs and ornaments, is in the Gothic style, and in excellent taste. It consists of three courts, enclosing about five acres, and is flanked by sixteen towers, the battlements of which are decorated with statues representing men in the act of defence. The interior is fitted up in a style becoming the residence of a nobleman of the highest rank and most ancient descent, and is in admirable keeping with its exterior. The chapel is very richly adorned, and contains a tomb of white marble in honour of Elizabeth, 1st Duchess of Northumberland, daughter and heiress of Algernon, Duke of Somerset and Earl of Northumberland. The grounds are extensive and beautiful, and contain the remains of two ancient abbeys-Alnwick and Hulne. In the woods opposite to the castle stands a picturesque cross, rebuilt in 1774 on the spot where King Malcolm of Scotland fell. The place where William the Lion was taken prisoner is also marked by a monument. In the grounds stands the tower of Brislee, erected by the late Duke in 1762. The view from its top is extensive and magnificent.
Alnwick Abbey, beautifully seated on the northern bank of the Alae, was the first house of the Premonstratensians in England. They settled here in 1147. It was for some time the seat of the Brandlings, and after them, of the Double days, whose heirs sold it to the Duke of Northumberland. A gateway tower of it remains, on which are armorial shields of the Percys, crosses, and a niche richly crowned with open Gothic work.
Hulne Abbey stands in a woody and delightful solitude three miles above Alnwick. It was founded in 1240. Its outer walls and gateways are still very entire. The most perfect part of it is a fine tower which was fitted up in the Gothic style by the 20 Duke of Northumberland.
At the proclaiming of the July fair in Alnwick, the old feudal custom of keeping watch and ward is kept up by the Duke's tenants, and those who owe suit and service. This is a very ancient custom, and originated in the necessity of watching the Scotch, who used to make inroads the night before the July fair.
The ceremony of making free burgesses at Alnwick is of a very peculiar kind. The candidates are compelled to pass through a miry pool about twenty feet across, and from four to five feet deep in many places. On St Mark's day, the candidates, mounted and clad in white, with white night-caps on their heads, and swords by their sides, are accompanied by the bailiff and chamberlains similarly mounted
and armed, and preceded by music to the pool. This has been previously deepened, and its bottom made uneven with stones, holes, stakes, and ropes of straw. They then dismount, scramble through the pool, and after changing their befouled garments, ride round the boundaries of the town. According to tradition, the observance of this custom was enjoined by King John as a punishment to the inhabitants for their carelessness. Owing to their neglect of the roads near the town, it is said the king lost his way, and was bemired in a bog. There are three free schools in Alnwick supported by the corporation, and a national school for 200 boys, founded by the 2d Duke of Northumberland in 1810, to commemorate the completion of the fiftieth year of the reign of George ul. Pop. 1851, 623
Six miles from Alnwick are the noble ruins of Warkworth Castle, an ancient fortress held at different periods by the descendants of Roger Fitz-Roger, and by the families of Umfraville and Percy, to the latter of which it still belongs. This castle was the favourite residence of the Percy family, but in 1672 its timber and lead were granted to one of their agents, and the principal parts of it unroofed. It is a noble pile, finely situated on an eminence above the river Coquet, commanding a very extensive and beautiful view. As was justly observed by Grose, nothing can be more magnificent and picturesque from what part soever it be viewed. The keep or principal part of the building stands on the north side, and is elevated on an artificial mound several feet higher than the other portions. The whole building is very large, and comprehends many apartments. The great baronial hall is nearly 40 feet long by 24 wide and 20 high. The castle and moat, according to an ancient survey, contained nearly six acres of ground. It includes in front of the keep an area of more than an acre, surrounded with walls and towers. These walls are in many places entire, and thirty-five feet high. The entire gateway or principal entrance was once a stately building defended by a portcullis, and containing apartments for several officers of the castle, of which a few only now reinain, inhabited by the person who has charge of the ruins. Among the lower apartments the dungeon yet remains. The fabric is now preserved with great care.
About half a mile from the castle is the famous Hermitage, consisting of two apartments hewn out of the rock. The principal apartment, or chapel, is about 18 feet long, 7} wide, by 7} high. At the east end is an altar, with a niche behind it for a crucifix, and near the altar is a cavity containing a cenotaphy with a recumbent female figure, having the hands raised in the attitude of prayer. In the inner apartment are another altar and a niche for a couch. According to tradition this hermitage was the abode of one of the family of Bertram of Bothal, who spent here a life of penitence for the murder of his brother. The Percy family after his death maintained a chantry priest here till the dissolution of the monasteries, when the endowment reverted to the family, having never been endowed in mortmain. This tradition is the subject of a beautiful ballad, by Dr. Percy, Bishop of Dromoc
The town of Warkworth is on the south side of the river Coquet. The church of St Lawrence is elegant and spacious, has a spire 100 feet high, and is to some extent of considerable antiquity. Pop. of par. 1851, 4439.
Six and a half miles from Alnwick, on the coast, are the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, erected in 1315 by Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster. It was destroyed during the wars of the Roses. Nothing at present remains of it but its outworks, which are in the form of a crescent. Its area contains about nine acres. The village of Dunston is celebrated as the supposed birth-place of Duns Scotus, “the most subtle doctor,” and opponent of Aquinas, "the angelic doctor."
Between four and five miles to the right of Alnwick, and about a mile from the sea, is Howick House, the seat of Earl Grey.
BELFORD is a neat town, standing on a gradual slope, about two miles from the sea. It has a church and several chapels, and in the vicinity are the ruins of an ancient chapel, surrounded by oak trees. Pop. 1851, 1226.
About five miles from Belford is Bambrough Castle, standing upon a basalt rock, which rises 150 feet above the level of the sea. In natural strength there is not a situation in the whole county equal to that of Bambrough. A castle is said to have been erected here by Ida, King of Bernicia, so early as A.D. 559, and named by him Bebban-brough, in honour of his queen, Bebba. In every succeeding age, down to the reign of Edward IV., it figured conspicuously ir: the contests which agitated the country; but it has never altogether recovered the injury which it received in a siege after the battle of Hexham. By a grant of the Crown, in the time of James I., it came into the family of the Forsters, and was forfeited by Thomas Forster in 1715; but his maternal uncle, Nathaniel Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, purchased the estate, and bequeathed it to charitable purposes. The trustees under his will reside here in turn. Archdeacon Sharp, about the year 1757, expended large sums of money in repairing the castle, and rendering it habitable. The whole of the extensive accommodations of the castle, (which includes within its exterior walls no less a space than eight acres,) except the library and the residence of the trustee, are devoted to objects of active benevolence. Here is a market for flour and groceries, which are sold to the poor at prime cost, and an infirmary, where advice and medicine are given gratis. Here are also large schools, endowed for the gratuitous education of the children of the poor, and twenty poor girls are, from their ninth year till they are fit for service, lodged, clothed, and educated. Besides the good done to the neighbourhood, this admirable charity has proved of incalculable benefit to those who have suffered from shipwreck. Life-boats and all kinds of implements useful in saving crews and vessels in distress, are always in readiness. Apartments are fitted up for shipwrecked sailors, and a constant patrol is kept up every stormy night for eight miles along this tempestuous coast. The castle contains an extensive and valuable library, the bequest of Dr. Sharp, which is open to any person residing within ten miles. In the court-room there are various portraits, and among them those of the
founder, Lord Crewe, and his Lady. In this room are four large pieces of tapestry, brought from Ripon Abbey. In 1770, while clearing the cellar, a draw-well was discovered, 145 feet deep, and cut through solid rock. The great tower of the castle commands an extensive sea and land prospect. Opposite to Bambrough are the Farn Isles, abounding with sea-fowl of various kinds. It was here that Grace Darling was instrumental in saving the people wrecked in the Rothesay Castle steamer.
BERWICK-UPON-TWEED is situated upon a gentle declivity close by the German Ocean, on the north side of the mouth of the river Tweed. It is a well-built town. and is surrounded by walls in a regular style of fortification. It contains several churches and chapels, schools, banks, &c. 2 M.P. Pop. 1851, 15,094. It is governed by a mayor, aldermen, &c. The trade of the port is considerable, and it has railway communication with all parts of the kingdom. Berwick occupies a prominent place in the history of the Border wars, and has been often taken and retaken both by the Scots and English. It was finally ceded to the English in 1482, and, since then, has remained subject to the laws of England, though forming, politically, a distinct territory. Its castle, so celebrated in the early history of these kingdoms, is now a shapeless ruin.
Near Berwick is Lindisfarne, or the Holy Island, once the seat of a bishopric, and containing the ruins of an ancient monastery.
CXXXV. FROM NEWCASTLE TO COLDSTREAM THROUGH WOOLER, 604 Miles.
Felton Hall, T. Rid-1 351! dell, Esq.
cr. river Coquet. 1241) Brinkburn Abbey which
was founded for Black CAnons in the time of Henry 1. The shell of the church is
still very entire. Weldon Bridge.
5 miles distant is Rothbury, delightfully situated in a retired spot on the banks
of the Coquet. The church 25 is a very ancient building,
and contains an antiquated font and several monuments. On the opposite side of the river is Whitton Tower, now the rectory. The living is one of the richest in the kingdom,
Calally Castle, E. J.
1 mile distant Eslington, Lord Ravensworth, beyond which is Colingwood House
| 85+Glanton Pike House.