Amble and District
     Local History


` Les Tryon étaient alliés aux Coquet, barons de la Roche de Guimps, etc., en Guienne, qui se disaient, eux, venus, de l'ile de Coquet sur la côte de Northumberland. De Coquet: d'azur à un chevron d'or accompagné en pointe d'un coq. de même, crêté et barbé de gueules, et un chef cousu de gueules, chargé de deux étoiles d'argent.' Les Ecossais en France, etc., par Francisque Michel, Londres, 1862, i. p. 457.
Wallis, ii. p. 347.
Complete System of Geography, by Emmanuel Bowen, London, 1747, i. p. 207.
Horsley, Materials for the History of Northumberland, p. 27.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS. The conveyance included the following premises in Hauxley: The site of a barn, a garth and four ridges of land ; the dwelling house with its garth between the farm house of William Cresswell on the west and Matthew Kirton on the east; the two housesteads or wastes,- and six ridges or butts on the north side of the town, called the 'tyth yards'; the ridge or butt of ground at the east end of the town, with a waste or housestead thereunto belonging.
See pedigree of Kelley under West Chevington.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
A Description and Plot of the Sea Coasts of England, etc., p. 28. London: Printed by Tho. Jenner, 1653.
Warkworth castle.
Amble salt-pans.
Hauxley head.
A True Relation, etc. London : Printed for Andrew Coe according to order, MDCXLIV. Richardson's Reprints of Rare Tracts, etc. ii. Historical.
A note of the stones for the battlements of Syon and for the pavinge stone, etc., 1609.' Ibid.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
There are now three landing places on the island, `the quay hole' to the northward, `the horse haven,' and the ducket hole' to the southward ; 'the quay hole' has evidently been fashioned by craftsmanship.
Cf. pedigree of Eure, p. 243.
Pat. Roll, 7 Jas. I. pt. 35.
State Papers quoted in Richardson's Rare Newcastle Tracts, No. 4.
'Hardhead, hardheid. A small coin of mixed metal or copper.' Jamieson, Scottish Dict.
Pat. Roll, 4 Edw. VI. pt. 7.
Extract from Ministers' Accounts, 1540-1541. Ibid.
At Michaelmas, i 508, there was a payment of 10s. to Robert Dalton, monk of Cokett Island, for carriage of salt-fish bought for the earl of Northumberland's household, etc. Duke of Northumberland's MSS. Receivers' Accounts, 24 Hen. VII.
Itinerary, vi. p. 67
Mr. M. H. Dand of Hauxley, whose memory is to be relied upon, remembers the walls of a roofless tower previous to 1828. Surely we have here the remnant of the ' Turris de Coketeland, owned by the priors of Tinemouth,' mentioned in the list of castles and fortalices made in 1415.
See the plan.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS. Receivers' Accounts, 22 Hen. VI. and 20 Edw. IV.
Bates, Border Holds, i. p. 19.
Bates, History of Northumberland, p. 151.
` in latere parietis arcuato.' Ibid. Cf. The Chronicles of St. A lbans, quoted by Gibson, Tynemouth, i. p. 38.
' in quadam ecclesia.' Ibid. Gibson, Tynemouth.
`parochiani vicini tantum amitteae thesaurum formidantes, congregata multorurn copia vim deferentibus inferre, et in ecclesia sua servum Dei sepeliri inito consilio nitebantur.' Ibid.
`monachus sonitu tintinnabuli audito accurrens, funiculum eum tenentem, et super lapidem residentem invenit, et candelam, quam, ipse expers ignis ante mortem divinitus accenderat, ardentem vidit.' Ibid.
`vir quidam.' Acta Sanctorum, Bollandist, ii. p. 61.
`solus in aedicula sua.' Ibid.
exsurgens a cella sua concito gradu ad domum infirmi properavit.' Ibid.
Numquid aspicitis monstrum illud quod navigantes insequitur? Illi veto mulieris effigiem post naves supra mare eminentem se videre fatentur.' Ibid.
` naves mercibus onustas.' Ibid.
` Germanus et uterinus meus maleficentium saevitia in solo patrio interemptus est.' Ibid.
`Dedit autem Dominus agriculturae suae in terra sterili fructus incredibilis incrementum.' Acta Sanctorum, Bollandist, ii. p. 61.
`Ad insulam, quae Coquedi fluminis ostis praejacens, ab eodem accepit cognomen.' Bede, Vita S. Cuthberti, cap. xxiv. ed. Giles, iv. p. 284.
'Ipsa (insula) monachorurn coetibus insignis.' Bede, Vita S. Cuthberti, cap. xxiv.
`monachus insuper insulam curam habens.' Ibid.
`apud Tynemutham viginti milliaribus a praefata distantem insula.' Ibid.
`Coket insula quaedam in orientali Northumbriae plaga, per sexdecim stadia infra Oceanum posita.' Ibid.
'Ex praeclaro Danorum genere.' Acta Sanctorum, Bollandist, ii. p. 60. ` De S. Henrico Eremita in Anglia.' Vita ex Jo. Capgravio. Capgrave seems to have copied the life verbatim from the ` Sanctilogium' of John of Tynemouth (MS. circa A.D. 1350), see Stanton's Menology of England and Wales.
Ibid. p. 112.
Bates, History of Northumberland, p. 111.
Stephens, The Old Northern Runic Monuments of Scandinavia and England, iii. p. 213. Cf. Arch. Ael. new series, vi. p. 195. These objects are now in the museum at Alnwick castle, case H, No. 286.
`Et in brevi spatio annorum duorum requiem laboris inveniam.' Vita S. Cuthberti, auctore anonymo, lib. iii. ed. Giles, vi. p. 372.
Your Text
Bede, Vita S. Cuthberti, cap. xxiv.
Femineis subito rogitat sic anxia curis.' Bede, De Miraculis S. Cuthberti, cap. xxi. ed. Giles, i. p. 18
'Ipsa (insula) monachorum coetibus insignis.' Bede, Vita S. Cuthberti, cap. xxiv.
In one of the lights (No. 56) of the magnificent fifteenth-century window known as the St. Cuthbert window in York minster, St. Cuthbert's voyage to Coquet Island is depicted. Yorkshire Arch. Soc. Journal, iv. p. 327.
Great Britain's Coasting Pilot, by Greenvill Collins, captain R.N., hydrographer to the Admiralty (London, 1693), p. 18.
The lighthouse tower is about 80 feet in height above high water. The light occults three seconds in every minute. The lighthouse was begun in 1839 (see Newcastle Journal, 26th October, 1839), and the apparatus fixed in 1841 (see Newcastle papers, 31st August, 1841).
`Ad insulam, quae Coquedi fiuminis ostis praejacens, ab eodem accepit cognomen.' Bede, Vita S. Cuthberti, cap. xxiv. ed. Giles, iv. p. 284.
(Also see Island photo gallery)




     The island which derives its name from, and lies opposite the mouth of the river Coquet, L is visible from the Simonside hills and from very considerable distances to the north and south ; in the nearer distance it forms the most conspicuous and attractive feature in the landscape, for by day the whitewashed walls of the lighthouse tower, N and by night the revolving light (said to be at its brightest at a twenty mile radius), arrest the eye of the onlooker. It has an area of about 14 acres, and it was described about the year 1682 by the Admiralty hydrographer in the following passage :


     Cocket Island lieth six leag. from Tinmouth castle, and above a mile off shore, and is a good road for southerly winds. From the south end of the island to the shore it is all rocks and broken ground, where, at low water, at one place there is 8 or 9 foot, and dangerous ; but the north side is bold, only from the north-west part of the island lie off some rocks, about half a mile ; small vessels may bring the island south, and anchor in three and four fathom, but greater ships must bring the island south-east, and anchor in five fathom at low water. The road is clean sand. N

     In the spring of 684 the island was the scene of the interview granted by St. Cuthbert N to Elfled, sister of King Egfrid and abbess of Whitby. It was already celebrated for concourses of monks. L Pressed by Elfled's feminine curiosity, L the hermit gave her to understand that Egfrid had only twelve months to live, and would be succeeded by a king whom she would treat equally as a brother. ` Thou seest, 'he continued, `this great and broad sea, how it aboundeth in islands. It is easy for God to provide someone out of these to be set over the kingdom of the English.' Elfled at once understood him to refer to Aldfrid, a reputed son of her father Oswi, who was devoting himself to study among the islands of the Scots. N She knew that Egfrid wished to make Cuthbert a bishop, and he was obliged to confess that it had long been foretold him that he would be compelled to accept the dignity ; `but,' he added, `in the short space of two years I shall find rest from my labours.' L
    Several objects, which are ascribed to the ninth century, have been discovered on the island ; they comprise a ring found in 1860 bearing the inscription ` OWI ' in Old-English runes ; a circular bronze buckle and a metal ornament were also found in the keeper's garden at another time. The latter is enamelled in dark green, light green, and yellow, with a cross in the centre. N
    After the Conquest, the island (with Amble and other valuable possessions) was given by Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, to the prior and convent of Tynemouth. N It was off Coquet Island that the corn ships on which William Rufus relied to provision his troops in his expedition against Scotland in A.D. 1091 were lost in a sudden squall. N
    The legend of St. Henry of Coquet, in the beginning of the twelfth century, is in complete harmony with the weird character of the island. A Dane of noble birth, LN he is said to have been directed by a vision to make good his escape from a marriage his parents were endeavouring to force upon him, and to serve God all his days as a hermit on this particular rock. L He landed at Tynemouth, L and obtained the prior's consent to build a small cell on the island, which was in the charge of one of the monks. For some years he allowed himself a little loaf and a draught of water every day : afterwards he took food only thrice a week, and gave up speaking for three years. During the last four years of his life he ground his barley into meal with a mill-stone, and after moistening it with water, made it into little round cakes that he dried in the sun. His privations brought upon him many harsh words and opprobrious epithets from the monk in charge of the island. L His relations sent to urge his return to Denmark, pointing out that there were plenty of wild spots there suitable for a hermitage. He threw himself on his knees before his crucifix, and believed that he heard the Christ command him to remain to the end in his Northumbrian cell. He regarded a loathsome affection of one of his knees as a further sign forbidding his departure. Supporting himself on a crutch, he still insisted on digging his little field ; his crops were marvellous. L  Like St. Cuthbert, he was credited with second sight : the monk, his persecutor, found him praying before the altar for the soul of his half-brother, of whose murder in Denmark he had a presentiment that proved well founded. L  Another day, as some merchantmen L were sailing smoothly past the island, he said to some of the numerous visitors that hermits invariably attract, ` Do you not see the monster following those ships ?' L They then perceived the figure of a woman gliding in a cloud on the sea. ` That woman,' he continued, will presently strike the sea and raise a storm that will engulf the vessels and most of their crews.' Before long came the news that the ships had indeed been driven on the sands and rocks, nearly all hands being lost. We are not told that the saint essayed to exorcise the fatal phantom ; a mariner subsequently ascribed his escape from shipwreck to St. Henry's intercession. A drunken monk of Tynemouth was dumbfounded .when ` the hermit of Coquet Isle ' named the place and the hour of his last debauch. A priest in the immediate neighbourhood was lying dangerously ill : as St. Henry approached his house L he heard the demons gloating over their sure possession of his soul, alleging the priest had only done one good deed in all his life. With some difficulty he convinced them that the one good deed was of such a nature as to outweigh all the bad ones ; such was their disappointment that the demons placed no further hindrance in the way of the priest's recovery and reformation. Except for a pilgrimage to Durham, to the shrine of the saint he strove to emulate, this is the only mention of St. Henry quitting his island.
    In the winter of 1126-1127, the pain caused by his ulcerated knee became intense, but St. Henry would not allow any one to enter his cell. He passed the cold days and long nights all alone, L without fire or light, in cheerful contentment. On Sunday, the 16th of January, a man L on the island thought he heard two choirs of angels in the air chanting alternate verses of the Te Deum. The hymn ceased, the hermit's bell rang ; the monk of the island hastened to the cell and found St. Henry seated on a stone holding the bell-rope, in all the calm of sleep—life had passed away, a mortuary candle that the saint had had no means of lighting was burning at his side. L After a very necessary ablution, the body acquired the whiteness of snow. The parishioners were determined to place it in a shrine in their own church, L no doubt at Warkworth. As they were conveying it to the mainland a thick fog lowered over the sea and they lost their way. They landed near another church, L perhaps that of Woodhorn, in which the body rested that night. St. Henry, it was declared, now appeared in a vision and directed that it should be carried to Tynemouth the first thing the next morning before the neighbourhood had time to reassemble and defend what they regarded as their precious heritage. At Tynemouth the monks buried it with all honour a little to the south of St. Oswin's shrine. L
     A century later another hermit, Martin by name, a man of a mechanical turn of mind, entered into a speculation which might have had a tragic, and did come to an abrupt conclusion, for a windmill which he had erected on the island aroused the jealousy of Robert fitz Roger (died 1214), who thought that the trade of his own mills at Warkworth would suffer.

    Accustomed to act as if he were prince of the whole country, he sent thirty men with mattocks and axes to destroy the objectionable mill. Martin was too frightened to say anything ; the protests of his Gehazi nearly cost him his life. After all, the chronicler adds, many people thought it was not the right thing for a professed hermit to speculate in a windmill, as mills, like shows, were apt to harbour promiscuous society. N

    In the list of fortalices in 1415 the tower of Coket-eland belonged to the prior of Tynemouth. N In 1430 Roger Thornton, the opulent Newcastle merchant, when making his will, amongst many other benefactions, gave `to Coketeland j fother leed.' In addition to an annuity of £6 13s. 4d. given by his ancestors, Henry, the second earl of Northumberland, on the 25th of August, 1442, granted 26s. 8d. a year for the clothing of two monks and an augmentation of 40s. a year, making in all £10, on the condition that the prior and convent of Tynemouth should find at their own charges two monks, in orders, to celebrate mass or masses and other divine offices or services and pray daily within the chapel of Coquet Island for the souls of the said lord and Alianor, his wife. N



      The buildings which now exist on the island are in the occupation of the Trinity House, and comprise a tower used as a lighthouse, with various store, lamp and cleaning rooms, and cottages for the attendants. The buildings so occupied have been adapted to and are built chiefly on the foundations of previous work ; they received their present form about 1840.
      There is incorporated in the modern cottages a considerable extent of ancient work, which appears to be of one date. It can be easily traced, and is shown on the plan ; the total length of the buildings from east to west being about 95 feet. The chief feature is the vaulted chamber, which occupies the western half of the range : this chamber is 14 feet 3 inches in width, and the vaulting, four-centered in form, extends to 43 feet ; the side walls are 3 feet 3 inches thick, and are pierced by three small windows with widely splayed jambs, the external portions of which have been destroyed. In the west wall are two straight joints indicating a former opening at the place. On the east side of the entrance doorway is a buttress-like projection ; it contains a newel-staircase leading to an upper floor. Above the vaulted chamber, to the extent of three-fourths of its length, are some modern apartments ; the remaining portion at the east end is covered by a flat roof enclosed on the north and south sides by fragments of ancient walling, including the chamfered and rebated jambs of two small window openings. The eastern portion of the range of buildings was narrower than the western. Some ancient walling extends along its north side and at the east end, in the latter is a window opening with double chamfered jambs grooved for glass ; the width of this opening is 4 feet, and must consequently have been filled by mullions and tracery. The sill of this window is only 3 feet below the level of the upper floor over the vaulted chamber, indicating that the eastern portion of the building was very high, probably almost if not quite equal to the height of two floors of the western portion. On the north side of the buildings just described, and about midway in their length, is a projection measuring on the ground floor about 8 feet square ; it may be of solid masonry ; it is not now accessible. On three sides of the exterior of this projection there is a chamfered oversailing course, and between it and the north wall of the main buildings are some arched oversailing courses bridging the angle. N On the upper floor the plan of this projection is very unusual, it comprises two small (6 feet by 3 feet 6 inches) or one large divided chamber, with a small window on the east side, and on the south the chamfered and rebated jamb of a door opening and a portion of the threshold stone. In the east jamb of the door is a bar-hole 5 inches square by 3 feet 6 inches long, an unusual feature for an interior door. There is a flue 14 inches by 11 inches in the thickness of the wall ; it is indicated on the plan. These walls only attain to a height of 4 feet above the floor level.
     Decay and the action of the authorities of the Trinity House have so destroyed the old work that it is not easy to determine the original use of the buildings. It is possible that the east window and gable are those of a chapel, and the small chamber on the north may have been a priest's cell protected by the door with a bar-hole, and approached by a stair within the chapel, and that in the vaulted chamber, and the accommodation provided above it, we have the buildings mentioned in the Ministers' Accounts at the dissolution of the monasteries. The occupants of the east end of the upper floor of the western portion of the buildings could, if desired, command a view of the interior of the chapel, as was the case in many domestic buildings, including the chapel of Warkworth donjon.
     On close inspection the lighthouse tower, to the height of about 30 feet, appears to be of ancient masonry. It has been modernized almost beyond recognition by the Trinity House contractors, who increased the height and thickness of the walls, but did not quite obliterate portions of the jambs of two windows. N
     Among sundry fragments lying near the buildings are the stones, one a grave cover, the other apparently a squint, which no doubt occupied a position at the west end of the chapel, perhaps in conjunction with the cell mentioned above.

     Leland, writing about 1538, says `The isle of Coquet standeth upon a very good vayne of secoles, and at the ebbe, men digge on the shore by the clives and find very good.' N
     At the dissolution of the monasteries, N Thomas Bennet was chaplain on Coquet Island, and he continued to farm the revenues of the chantry from the Crown. They amounted to 15 4s. 8d. N per annum, and proceeded from:
  £. s. d.
The farm of the island which contained four acres of pasture, with  buildings and a chapel on the island, and a tenement, a barn, and three selions of arable land in the vill of Hauxley 1. 0. 0.
A rent-charge issuing out of Warkworth castle 10. 0. 0.
A tenement called Donkin-rig, leased to the widow of Edward Fenwick of Rothley 0. 5. 0.
A cottage, 4s., and a garden, 1s., at Seaton, in the parish of Woodhorn 0. 5. 0.
A cottage at Ellington, 2s. ; a cottage at Meresfen, .4s. 0. 6. 0.
A cottage at Newbiggin, formerly worth 4s. a year, but now waste and worth nothing -
A rent from two mills at Warkwork in the tenure of Sir Edward Radcliffe... 2. 0. 0
A cottage and lands at Hart, in the county of Durham, in the tenure of the vicar of Tynemouth as tenant at will of the king 1. 6. 8
A cottage and two acres of land in Westoe, county Durham 0. 2. 0.
      With the site of Tynemouth priory the island in 1550 was granted to John Dudley, earl of Warwick, afterwards duke of Northumberland ; N after its return to the Crown on his attainder it became a resort of the unruly and of law-breakers. In 1569 Rowland Forster, captain of Wark, on examination, states that :
    He had in his house at Wark, about two years past, before the going of the soldiers to Newhaven, one Thomas, a Scotts man, and then the said Thomas did take in hand to coyne  ' hard heddes,' N the which he cowld not bring to any perfection then, and required me to get him a place of more secretness to work more at liberty . . . . Before I had got hym another place, one Barber, a soldier of Barwick, which was acquaynted with the said Thomas before, did bring one Arthur in the night time to my house to the said Thomas, and said he could skill in the same art, and they both did there put in use to have stamped `hard hedds,' and could bring it to no perfection, and thereupon I put them in a place called the Cokett Iland, and there was the space of twenty days and more, and yet could not bring it to no perfection that was good, and having made thereof to the value of ten pounds, I took the same and threw it away, and caused them to swear on a book that they should never use that art again, and so they and I departed and had never more to doo. N

     On the 7th of October, 1609, James I. granted the island with the chapel thereon, a barn, etc., in Hauxley, to George Salter and John Wilkinson, N who in the December following sold the same to Edward Morley of the Inner Temple and Robert Morgan of London ; and they, on the 26th of January, 1609/10, resold it to Sir William Bowes of Streatlam. N In the following year Bowes granted a twenty-one years' lease to Francis Jessop and others, in which, after reserving the right to dig stone and to carry it away by ship for his own use, he covenants that the lessees shall disburse £150 `in making a dock or small haven N for a ship in some part of the said island'; also the lessor was, after the lessees had recouped themselves £400, to have one-third part of the yearly gains from the stone trade in the island, and reserved power to re-enter if the lessees should take less in any one year than 500 tons of stone. N
     George Whitehead, writing to the earl of Northumberland from Warkworth on the 21st of June, 1609, after speaking of the difficulties to be overcome in obtaining building stone from the quarry at Brotherwick, says :

      We shall, with beinge a little behouldinge to Sr William Bowes, furnish ourselves at Coket Iland as well as heare with lesse trouble and chardge yf Mr. Penne [the master mason] shall lyke the stone, which Sr William Bowes his workman assures me will service your lordship very well. Ther is even nowe at this instante a ship of vijxx toones, ladinge the same stone for Holande and wilbe despacht within eyght dayes. N

     The stone was required to make or repair the battlements at Syon house. The stone quarried at Coquet Island was recommended as being most suitable for the battlements at Syon, N and stone obtained at Walbottle the best adapted for paving. 'Cocket Ilande stone is a very stronge and sounde weather stone, reasonable white and weares the whiter in workinge, and may be wone and shipped at iiijd ob. the foote, and the fittest stone in the northe for your lordship's buildinge : this stone is to be had by the consent of Mrs. Bowes after this yeare, but now of Sr William Bowes.'
     The island was the scene of one of the acts of the drama of the Civil War. Colonel Curset, a commander in the Scottish army, in A True Relation of the Scots taking of Cocket Iland on the 12th of February, 1644/5, wrote as follows :

     Whereas there are twenty thousand Scots already in England, and there are twelve thousand more mustering in Scotland, they have already possest themselves of all the east part of Northumberland and the forts and castles betweene Barwicke and Tinmouth. They have taken the isle of Cocket, and the garrison thereof with seventy commanders and other common souldiers, seven peeces of ordnance, and all their ammunition, and have placed a garrison of their owne men therein. N

     A very rare little book printed in London in 1653 contains the following passage copied almost verbatim from a Dutch book on navigation, printed in Amsterdam, circa 1630, by Jacob and Casparus Loots-man, entitled The Lightning Colomm or Sea Mirrour :

     The Cocker Island is a very little island, and not high, it lyeth about a halfe league from the land, you may come to an ankor in it for an east-south and south-east wind, but the wind coming to the northwards of the east maketh there a bad road, for you must lye betwixt the island and the maine land, where you have no shelter for a north wind. On the south side of the island the ground is foul, and a little to the southwards of the island runneth off a foul ledge of rocks N from the shore untill thwart or past the island. He that cometh from the southwards must keep the coast of Bambrough without the island, or else he should not faile to saile upon the point of that foresaid ledge.
    Betwixt the ledge and the island it is also very narrow, so that a man standing at low water mark upon the rocks of this ledge, should almost be able to cast with a stone to the island. For to sail in there, take heed unto these marks hereafter described: There standeth a house upon the seaside, which is a salt-kettle, N and also a castle N somewhat further in within the land, which doth shew it selfe high enough, bring them one in the other, and then they shall stand somewhat more north then west from you, and run in so right with them, and so you shall run in amidst the channell, between both, being come within, edge up behind the island, and ankor there in five or six fathom. N

      The island and its appurtenants in the village of Hauxley were sold in 1675 by William Eure of New Elvet (grandson of Sir William Bowes, the purchaser) to David Nairn, M.D., of Newcastle, subject to a mining lease held by Martin Fenwick of Kenton. N Six years later, on the 4th of August, 1681, it was resold by Nairn to John Kelley, N who possessed lands at Chevington and at other places. On the 2nd of May, 1734, John Kelley N (grandson of the first-named John Kelley) and Elizabeth, his wife, in consideration of £337 10s., sold to Robert Widdrington of Hauxley, Coquet Island, and the chapel thereon, and certain lands more particularly described in Hauxley. N
   Horsley, writing about 1730, says that the island was uninhabited, though there were remains of houses and a tower, N but seventeen years later another writer says that there were ` hutts for the diggers of sea-coal, of which here is great plenty. Vast flocks of wild fowl continually harbour and lay their eggs on this island, by the sale of which the fishermen make great advantages, as well as by the fish which they catch here in abundance.'  N
       In 1753 John Widdrington of Hauxley sold the island to Hugh, earl of Northumberland, but retained the parcels of land on the mainland ; it now forms part of the Percy estates, but is leased to the master and brethren of the Trinity House.
     Wallis, writing in 1769, says of Coquet Island that :

     The island is about a mile in circumference, and a mile and a quarter from the mainland, stored with rabbets. It hath pit-coal, as mentioned by Leland; also white free-stone and slates, the former of different fineness, the worst with some red moleculae, the latter usually about three-quarters of an inch thick. On the west side have been salt-pans, about sixty yards from which are the ruins of the monastic cell and chapel, and just below them is a bank of factitious sand, of a remarkable brightness, the dissolution of silvery rag-stone, of which there are large strata on the shore between Warkworth and Alnmouth, often left bare and in view after storms and high tides. Hard by, upon a rock, grows plenty of rape, probably first brought there by some shipwreck. N

     Some years ago an attempt was made to replace the native breed by the white Angora rabbit, but the experiment was not successful. The rabbit, the tern, and the eider duck were banished on the building of the lighthouse, and the seals—which frequented or inhabited the northern part of the island in sufficient numbers to cause the fishermen great trouble by taking salmon out of their nets—were shot down or banished by the pleasure-seekers brought some thirty years ago in steam tugs from the Tyne.
     A French family ascribes its origin to Coquet Island. N


From "A History of Northumberland", volume V,  by John Crawford Hodgson. Published 1899

Coquet Island Northumberland


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