Keys to the Past

Local History

Ovington (Northumberland)

The parish of Ovington lies in southern Northumberland, on the north bank of the River Tyne. It is one of the smallest parishes in the county.

Very little has been found from prehistoric times except for a cup and ring marked stone at Hunters Hill. It had an extraordinary range of symbols carved on it and is our only clue to the people who lived here in the Neolithic.

There is a big gap in the evidence for the rest of the prehistoric period, as well as the Roman and early medieval periods. The next hint of life in the parish comes in medieval times. Ovington Hall has some 14th century stonework in its outbuildings and may have an old building at its core.

At a time when northern England was suffering the ravages of war with Scotland, Ovington seems to have escaped without mention. Likewise, it has no trace of the 16th and 17th century defensive farmhouses, called bastles that are found elsewhere in the county. The earliest buildings in Ovington seem to have been built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Village Farm may be one of the earliest and, although it is a little like a bastle, its walls are much thinner and would not have withstood any prolonged attack. Hunter's Cottage is another 17th or 18th century farm and is a rare survival of an earlier type of farm.

The 18th and 19th centuries were a fairly prosperous time for the border region of England and fine buildings such as Ovington Hall were built. As well as developments in farm methods and practice, new industries developed, such as brewing at the Old Brewery.

Reference number:N13752

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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.