Amble and District
     Local History


1763, January 1st. Elizabeth, illegitimate daughter of Henry Purvis of Gloster-hill, baptised. Warkworth Register.

1768, August 22nd. Meaburn, son of Lieut. Charles Barker of Gloster-hill, baptised. Ibid.

Ralph Spearman writes . ` Gloster-hill was for many years enjoyed by lease by the Purvis family, usually styled dukes of Gloucester, and was bequeathed by the last to her nephew, Charles Dalston Barker, of an old landowning family at Earsdon (who took the name of Purvis),—a rarity—an attorney with no guile. The eldest brother of Mr. Barker Purvis married a Scottish lady of some fortune; on his death, which soon occurred, his brother and heir persuaded him to bequeath the lady her original fortune again.'

To be sold Gloster-hill, a leasehold for 21 years, renewable every seven years under the annual rent of £2 13s. 4d. payable to the bishop of Carlisle, etc.; likewise to be sold a freehold fishery in the river Tweed, all belonging to George Lawson, esq., of Gloster-hill, deceased. Apply to Mr. William Lawson of Longhirst. Newcastle Courant, 16th June and 8th August, 1744.
Rev. John Hodgson's Collection.
Durham Probate Registry.
1738, October 7th. ` Georgius Lawson, generosus, de Gloster-hill, buried,' Warkworth Register
Newcastle Courant, 18th November, 1732.
Horsley, Northumberland, edited by J. Hodgson Hinde, p. 27.
Ex Warburton MS. Duke of Northumberland's Collections. Nothing else is known about the woollen manufactory, nor can its buildings be traced. It is possible that it may have been one of Lawson's benevolent schemes and located in Amble. The estate belonged not to the dean and chapter, but to the bishop of Carlisle.
1695, 14th September. Indenture between William Gibson, of Boumer, yeoman, and George Lawson of Gloster-hill, esq., a conveyance of premises at Amble. Ex Lawson deeds, Rev. John Hodgson's Collection.
The Palfreys were freeholders in Morwick.
1609, December. Administration of the personal estate of Thomas Scroggs of Gloucester, in the parish of Warkworth, granted to Agnes Scroggs the widow. Durham Probate Registry.
The spot where the altar was found is near or upon a road, of which the remains may be traced, in places, from Gloster-hill to Chester-house in the township of Acklington.
Goat — a narrow cavern or inlet into which the sea enters- a small trench. To goat, to drive into a trench, a term at golf. Jamieson, Scottish Dictionary. Cf. `St. Cuthbert's gut' on Fame Island.
Newminster Chartulary, Fowler, p. 211, Surt. Soc. No. 66.
On the site of the bowling green there were found a few years ago two gold coins said to be English of the time of Charles I. Ex inf. Mr. M. H. Dand, 1898.
`On Sunday a fire broke out at Gloster-hill seat-house near Warkworth, etc., which consumed it in a few hours. One of the maid servants in saving her clothes, which she did by throwing them out of ye windows, was burnt in returning down stairs. It happened when ye family were at church, as well as other assistance, which was half a mile distant.' Newcastle Courant, 13th January, 1759.
The Census Returns are : 1801, 21; 1811, 21 ; 1821, 31 ; 1831, 28; 1841, 18; 1851, 45; 1861, 46; 1871, 38; 1881, 44; 1891, 39.


Gloster Hill Gate.

Modern image of the gate.

1898 drawing of the gate.

      On an eminence to the south and near the mouth of the Coquet, of which the terraced sides fall away to the south, the east, and to the north, stands the homestead and hamlet of Gloster-hill, which, with an area of 212 acres, forms a compact township : its population in 1891 was 39 N
    The mansion house, which is sheltered from the east and west by clumps of ash, elm, and sycamore, is a portion only of a larger structure partly destroyed by fire in 1759 N it retains several remnants of its former importance, such as a stone staircase, a vaulted cellar, moulded and mullioned windows, elaborately carved stone gate pillars, and walled and terraced gardens ; the old bowling green N can also be identified.
    The earliest mention of the place is in a twelfth-century charter, N by which Roger fitz Richard (died 1178) gave certain salt-works to the abbot and convent of Newminster, a grant confirmed by his son, Robert fitz Roger (died 1214). `The place' or field ` where the water, which runs below Gloucester, falls into the Coquet,' is now called the Goatses, N and the `water' retains its name of the Gilden burn. A portion of this field has never been ploughed, and the site of the salt-pan can be discerned when the sun burns the pastures in summer ; the identification has also been confirmed by digging. In the year 1856 an important discovery was made in a field known as Wallington Green, N lying to the west of the homestead, through the upturning by the plough of a fragment of a Roman altar dedicated to the Sylvan Mothers by the soldiers of the first cohort, who must have had their castrum or camp at this place. The stone measures 14 inches by 18 inches, and comprises the capital and part of the stem of an altar. The inscription reads :
O H    I

and may be expanded Matribus campestribus cohors prima. The ethnic designation of the cohort is missing.


     This township seemingly represents the glebe land of the rectory of Warkworth with which Henry I. endowed the newly founded see of Carlisle. As a possession of the church it would be exempt from military service, and this explains the silence of the records of Northumberland as to its medieval history. It was the custom of the bishops of Carlisle to demise their tithes and their glebe land in Warkworth parish to tenants, N on lease for twenty-one years, renewable every seven years on payment of a fine. The leaseholder in 1663 was John Palfrey,N who was rated at the relatively large sum of £38 per annum, and before the close of the seventeenth century N it was in the possession of George Lawson, who probably obtained it in marriage with an heiress of Palfrey.  He was a member of a branch of the family of Lawson of Longhirst, which had acquired the lands held by the knights of St. John at Ulgham, and was a man of business habits, philanthropy, and taste. He was a benefactor to the town and parish of Warkworth, to which he gave the clock of the parish church ; he also built or rebuilt the market cross, and the still existing town's house, which served the double purpose of accommodation for public meetings and for a school, is due to him.
    The place is briefly described by Warburton (circa 1715) in the following passage:
    Gloster-hill, ye seat of Geo. Lawson, gent., is pleasantly situated on rising ground near ye sea, where is a woollen manufactory, where are made broad cloath . . .  . druggets, where is employed some . . * . . of poor indigent persons, about 30 are employed in . . * . . 7 looms. Belonging to ye dean and chapter of Carlisle. N

*A word or figure left blank.

    Horsley, writing shortly afterwards, says : ` the gardens are reckoned very good, and are much enquired after by travellers.' N
    In 1732 Lawson was minded to sell his beneficial interest in Gloster-hill, and caused the following advertisement to be inserted in the Newcastle Courant:
    To be lett or sold against May day next, Gloster-hill estate, belonging to Mr. George Lawson, lying in the county of Northumberland, nigh Warkworth, being leasehold for 21 years, renewable every seven years under the annual rent of 53s. 4d. payable to the bishop of Carlisle, and the lease renewed but a year ago, a very good and well situated mansion-house, within half a mile of the sea, with handsome gardens on the south and east of the house, a pleasant long tarras walk laid with gravel in the south garden, with many other agreeable grass-walks, and planted with the choicest fruit trees of most kinds and plentiful bearers, a dove-coate and bowling-green on advanced ground, with a delightful prospect on the sea, exceeding good out-conveniences of stabling, a coach-house, barns and byers, fold-garths, a stack-yard, and cottage-houses all contiguous and convenient to the estate, it being tyth free, and neatly divided into closures, with quick-set hedges in fine order, and well water'd in all seasons of the year, the whole in a compleat method of husbandry, arable, meadow, and pasture. N
Gloster-hill was not sold at this time, and George Lawson died here a widower in 1738, and was buried, not at Ulgham with his ancestors, but in the church of Warkworth. N
The following is an abstract of his will, with an inventory of the contents of his well plenished house :
1738, August 9th. Will of George Lawson of Gloucester-hill, gent. My real estate in the counties of Northumberland and Durham to my trusty friend William Lawson of Longhurst in trust for my nephews John Armstrong and Lawson Armstrong. To my niece Elizabeth Lawson, daughter of my brother Ralph Lawson, £500; to my niece Jane, wife of John Taylor of Amble, ,£5 ; to Margaret Crooks, a relative of my late wife, £10; to Margaret Embleton the house she now dwells in and 20s. a year for her life. To the minister and churchwardens of the chapelry of Ulgham £50, the interest to be distributed to the poor. To my menial servants 10s. a piece. N
An inventory of the goods in Gloster-hill house :
    Three holland sheets, 10 pair home made sheets, 6 pair of coarse sheets, 2 pair ditto French cloath, 1 pair holland pilebers, 13 pair ditto common sort, 3 pair of coarse pilebers. Table lining: 2 tuels wore out, 29 dyaper tuels, 6 kitchen tuels, 8 damask napkins, 24 fine dyaper napkins, 28 course dyaper napkins, 30 hugaback napkins, 3 course napkins, 9 dyaper tea napkins wore out, 9 damask tea napkins, 2 damask table cloths, 16 dyaper table cloths, 5 fine hugaback table cloths, 4 coarse table cloths. In the parlor chamber : 1 green bed, feather bed, bolster and 2 pillows, 2 pair of blanketts, 1 quilt, 1 pair window cortains, 1 chist of drawers, 1 table, 2 looking glasses, 1 close stool, 6 low backed chaires, 2 pictures. In the dineing roome : 1 chist of drawers, 12 chairs, 1 stool, 1 pair window cortains. In the kitchen chamber : 1 brown bed, 1 feather bed, bolster and 2 pillows, 3 blankets and 1 quilt, 1 escrutore, 1 easie chair, 1 elbow chair, 4 cain chairs, 1 round table, 1 looking glass, 1 close stool, 1 old screen, 1 table, 3 striped window cortains, 1 clock. In the green roome: 2 yallow beds, 2 feather beds, 2 bolsters, 4 pillows, 6 blankets, 2 quilts, 1 carpet, 1 pair yallow window cortains, 1 looking glass, 1 table, 2 chairs, 1 chist in ye passage. In the cabbin : 1 brown bed, feather bed, bolster and 2 pillows, 3 blankets, 1 quilt, 2 chairs, 1 pair window cortains. In the far roome : 1 green bed, feather bed, bolster and 2 pillows, 4 blanketts, 1 quilt, 2 looking glasses, 1 table, 6 chairs, 2 pair of window cortains. In the west garrett : 1 close bed, 1 feather bed, 2 bolsters, 1 blankett, 1 rug, 2 old chairs, 2 horses, 2 lint wheals, 1 nack reale, 1 slab wheal, 1 woolling wheal, 1 quilting frame, 1 pair yarn windels, 1 chist with writings. In the passage: 1 chist. In the east garret :3 bedsteeds, 3 beds, 1 bolster, 3 blankets, 2 ruggs. In the new roome: large looking glass, 7 cain chairs, 2 ditto elbow, 1 large oval table, 2 framed tea tables, 1 screen table, 2 pair window cortains, 2 cushions for the windows, 9 yallow coushions, 5 doz. of delph plates, 3 doz. jelly glasses, 5 posset glasses, 2 water glasses, 3 glass decanters, 3 glass canns, 2 japaned salvers, 8 cupps and sarcers, 6 coffe cupps, 6 jacolet cupps and sarcers, 1 cheaney tea pott, 1 slop bason, 1 milk pott, 1 sugar dish, all burnt in cheaney, 6 blue and white half-pint cheaney basons, 6 odd blue and white cups and 6 saucers, 1 block tin teapot, 1 brass tea kettle, lamp and stand, 2 weather glasses, 1 picture, 16 delph dishes, 2 large delph punch bouls. In the little parlor: 1 brown bed, feather bed, 1 bolster, 1 pillow, 2 blankits, 1 quilt, 2 chairs, 1 pair old drawers, 1 pair playing tables. In the dining parlor: 2 tables and 6 leather chairs. In the hall : 1 clock, 1 still, 2 ovle tables, 1 screen table, 2 leather chairs, i chist. In the kitchen : 36 pewter dishes, 5 doz. pewter plaits, 9 brass candlesticks, 1 pair brass tongs and shovel, 1 warming pan, 4 pair iron tongs, 4 shovels, 5 spitts, 1 brass slice, 1 copper chafein-dish, 1 iron grate, 2 hanck knitles (?), 1 pair large racks, 2 pair of forks, 2 brass and copper kettels, 4 pans, 1 possnet, 2 brass morters, 1 iron driping pan, i iron pott, 2 yetlings, 1 pewter pint-pott, beaker and bason, 2 tin dreping pans, 1 dish cover, 2 pye plates, 1 tin colender, 2 tea kettles, 1 iron girdle, 1 copper coffee pot, 1 pair of stelyards, 1 feather bed, 1 bolster, 1 pillow, 2 blankets, 1 rugg, 1 plate dryer, 1 elbow chare, 1 flat iron, 1 pair brass scalles, 3 sauce pans, 4 box irons, 1 furniss pott, 1 pair cranks, 1 pickle ring, 1 pewter ring, 1 salt box, 1 forme, 2 tables, 4 chairs, 2 trevets, 1 tin candle box. The plate : 1 silver quart tankerd, 1 ditto pint tankerd, 1 salver, 11 large spoons, 1 soop ladle, 1 boat, 1 pepper box, 10 tea spoons, 1 pair tea tongs. 19 milk tubs, 3 milk sceels, 2 water sceels, 2 churns.
    Two lint wheels bought for and presented by my uncle to Bar. Grey and Mary Crook, 2 dyaper napkins wore out, 2 hugaback napkins wore out, 2 dyaper tuels wore out, 1 pair of sheets printed, 3 old sheets wore into raggs. N

    Gloster-hill was again advertised N for sale in 1744, and was acquired by the family of Watson of Newton-by-the-sea, who soon alienated it to the family of Purvis N of Bedlington, some of whom resided here, but about the year 1770 the lease was assigned to Robert Dand of Bedlington, whose descendants subsequently enfranchised the estate. It now belongs to Mr. Robert Dand.



(a) Warkworth Register. (b) Bedlington Register, extracted by the Rev. James J. Dand.
(c) Stannington Register. (d) M.I., Warkworth.
(e) Family Pedigree. There remains in the Probate Registry at Durham the will of Robert Dand of Slikeborne, in the parish of Bedlington, dated 5th November, 1585. (f) M.I., Amble.
(g) Durham Probate Registry. (h) Amble Register.
 * Sarah Grainge was in her issue one of the co-heiresses of her brother, Middleton Grainge (died 1847) of Sunniside or Gellesfield, Whickham, who through his paternal grandmother, Anne, daughter of Francis Middleton of Seaton (her marriage settlement is dated 28th July, 1719), was one of the representatives of the ancient family of Middleton of Seaton and of Silksworth, co. Durham.

Gloster Hill Map

Above: Gloster Hill township location.


View north from Gloster Hill (click to enlarge)

[Our note: With the exception of the gate, what remained of the Gloster Hill House mentioned by Hodgson was demolished in 1938] 2010