Keys to the Past

Local History

Snitter (Northumberland)

Snitter is a small parish in central Northumberland and lies between the high Fell Sandstones and the Cheviot Hills. The land is generally low by comparison to both of these areas, rising from a small portion of the River Coquet. Most of the parish is given to agriculture and it is through this medium that most of the sites have been found.

A Neolithic stone axe is the earliest piece of evidence of human activity in the parish. This was a time when the first farmers began to emerge and the axe could have been used to fell trees in preparing fields. Flint tools were still used for hunting and other purposes and a number have been found near Flotterton; they could be Neolithic or Bronze Age. A bronze axe is a more definite Bronze Age find, as is a cemetery of round barrows at Plainfield. The only evidence so far dating to the Iron Age and Roman period is a quern found near Warton.

The oldest settlements in the parish date to medieval times and are known at Flotterton, Snitter and Warton. A tower house once stood at Flotterton, built to provide protection during the medieval wars between England and Scotland.

Different defences were built in the 16th and early 17th centuries when reivers carried out raids across the Border. People built defended farmhouses, called bastles, that provided accommodation for people and animals at The Old Schoolhouse and Warton Farmhouse.

The theme of defence continued into the 20th century when a World War II (1939-1945) pillbox was built as part of the Coquet stop line.

Reference number:N13814

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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.