Keys to the Past

Local History

Longhirst (Northumberland)

Longhirst Hall. Photo by Northumberland County Council.
Longhirst Hall. Photo by Northumberland County Council.

The civil parish of Longhirst lies in south-east Northumberland, approximately 3km north-east of Morpeth, the county town. The parish was formed in 1875. Before this, it was part of the parish of Bothal.

Not much is understood about the prehistoric, Roman or early medieval periods in Longhirst. Archaeologists think that people were living and farming here up to 6000 years ago. However, widespread opencast coal mining in Longhirst has destroyed potential evidence for the earliest occupants.

Evidence for medieval life in Longhirst after the Norman invasion of 1066 can be found all over the parish. Medieval documents can be compared with standing remains such as earthworks. Some medieval villages, such as Fawdon House, were eventually completely abandoned. They became deserted medieval villages, reduced to earthworks marking former crofts, tofts and street patterns. Sometimes a single farm, church or house survives today, the only remnant of a former community.

Longhirst Hall was built in 1824. It was designed by John Dobson for the Lawson family. The grounds and landscape park of the house were laid out at the same time that the Hall was built. Today, Longhirst Hall is a conference centre and hotel. The grounds have been converted into a golf course.

The village of Longhirst was planned and largely built in the mid-19th century. It includes the Church of St John the Evangelist, built in 1876. St John's became the parish church of the parish created a year earlier. The architect was Sir Arthur Blomfield. The church was commissioned and paid for by the local landowners, the Lawsons of Longhirst Hall, who gave it to the village after it was complete.

A smithy and tilery were part of the estate in the 19th century. Longhirst railway station, on the Morpeth to Berwick line, opened in the 19th century. It incorporated a lime depot, allowing locally quarried limestone to be transported by rail to neighbouring areas as fertiliser.

Reference number:N13391

Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.