Keys to the Past

Local History

Longframlington (Northumberland)

Longframlington.
Photo by Harry Rowland.
Longframlington. Photo by Harry Rowland.

The civil parish of Longframlington lies in eastern Northumberland, on the River Coquet, east of the Simonside Hills.

Between roughly 4000 and 6000 years ago, settled farming lifestyles gradually took over from nomadic hunting lifestyles. Archaeologists call this the Neolithic period. Archaeologists have not found the definite remains of Neolithic farms or houses, although part of a ditch and a post hole found in an excavation at Hall Hill Farm could date from this time. Of a similar date, stone axe heads made by Neolithic farmers have been found in the parish, at Longframlington, Framlington and Embleton Stead Farm.

Many carved rocks have been found in the parish. Archaeologists think a cup marked standing stone and cup marked rock outcrops at Snook Bank and near the Millstone Burn were made by late Neolithic people as religious symbols, or perhaps to act as route markers or land boundaries. The carvings near Millstone Burn can be found on 15 or more stones, which lie in an area more than a mile long.

Between roughly 3000 and 4000 years ago, people buried their dead in stone-lined cists under cairns. Cist burials have been found in Longframlington, at Snook Bank and on the Longframlington/Cartington parish boundary.

Some things are difficult to date. A flint tool found on Longframlington Common was probably made and used some time between 2000 and 4000 years ago.

The remains of one possible Iron Age or Roman period native settlement have been reported in the parish. The earthwork remains of another enclosure at Swarland Burn may date from the Iron Age. Part of a beehive quern has been found on Glantlees Farm. Such querns were used to grind cereals and other foodstuffs and suggest the presence of a 2000 year old settlement nearby. An enclosure, which may have been for animals, or may have been the boundary of a settlement, has been found dating from the Roman period. Iron was worked on a site now part of Canada Farm. Another beehive quern found in Longframlington shows that farmers continued to grow crops, harvest them and make flour during the Roman period.

After the Norman invasion of 1066, the land was shared out between Norman barons and lords. Large baronies owned smaller manors. Villages often grew up around these manors. Medieval villages were small. Over time, some, such as Framlington Magna, or Longframlington, grew in size, while others shrank until they were no more than one farm or house, or disappeared completely. Examples in the parish of Longframlington are Low or Nether Framlington and Newmoor Hall. Archaeologists call these settlements deserted medieval villages or shrunken medieval villages. Sometimes earthworks can be seen, all that remains of crofts, tofts and field systems. At other locations no traces remain, and archaeologists only know about them from medieval documents. Some farms that exist today have medieval or earlier origins; examples are the farms at Snook Bank and Hall Hill.

Iron continued to be worked in Longframlington in the medieval period at West Moor, which is now part of Canada Farm.

Stone is another of Longframlington's natural resources. In the 17th century, millstones were quarried at Glantlees Farm. In the 18th century, a quarry was opened near the Millstone Burn. Another existed at Mount Pleasant at around the same time. In the 18th and 19th centuries, farmers improved their land with fertiliser extracted from limestone in lime kilns. The remains of a lime kiln can be seen today at Longframlington quarry.

Agricultural improvement and enclosure in the 18th century created extra wealth for landowners. An 18th century boundary stone can still be seen in Longframlington. Fashionable houses, such as Rookwood House and Newmoor Hall, were built at this time.

Peat was dug from Rimside Moor in the 19th century. Hollow ways on the moor are probably the tracks of peat sleds, which took the peat down to the nearest roads.

Nonconformism increased in popularity in the 19th century. The Presbyterian Chapel in Longframlington was built in 1854.

Reference number:N13493

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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.