Amble and District
     Local History


In vicar Salkeld's time (died 1786) the chamber on the first floor of the tower was flagged with stone, but his successor, Mr. Bowe, took the flags up and boarded the room. Sir David Smith's Collection.
Sir David Smith's Collection.
Opinion of Chr. Fawcett. Case Book in the possession of Mr. G. H. Thompson.
Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring Concerning Charities, 58 Geo. 111.-7 William IV. Northumberland, p. 454.
Ibid. p. 331.
Ex Mickleton MSS. xvii. p. 250. Bp. Cosin's Corresp. p. 325. Surtees Soc. No. 55.
View of the Ecclesiastical State within the Archdeaconry of Northumberland, 1663. Cf. Arch. Ael. xvii. p. 251.
Acts of High Commission, Durham, Longstaffe, pp. 56, 59, 61 Surtees Soc. No. 34.
Pat. Roll, 1869, 8 Jas. I. pt. 31, m. 3.
Durham Records. Rev. John Hodgson's Collection, V, p. 248.
Clavis Ecclesiastica : Ecclesiastical Proc. of Bp. Barnes, Raine, p. 9. Surtees Soc. No. 22.
Of Croxton park, Cambridgeshire; created a baronet 31st December, 1812.
Liber Institutionum, Public Record Office.
Newcastle Courant, 30th April, 1803
Mr. Thomas Clutterbuck, Commonplace Book.
Liber Institutionum, Public Record Office.
Nicholas Brown, Diary.
Durham Probate Registry
Randal MS. Durham Cathedral Library.
Randal, State of the Churches
Liber Institutionum, Public Record Office.
Shilbottle Register
Liber Institutionum, Public Record Office.
Vol. ii. p. 442
Shilbottle Register
Vol. ii. p. 442
Vol. ii. p. 442.
Randal MS. Durham Cathedral Library.
Basire, Note-book in Cathedral Library, Durham.
Vol. ii. p. 442.
Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy (ed. 1714), book ii. p. 245.
Acts of High Commission, Longstaffe, pp. 59 n, 126. Surtees Soc. No. 34. Cf. Tate, Alnwick, ii. p. 121.
Liber Institutionum, Public Record Office.
Durham Probate Registry.
Mr. Vicars' bequest to the church of Staindrop was expended in the purchase of two patens. They are of the date 1647, and bear the following inscription : ' The gift of Thomas Vicars For the church of Staindrop.' Cf. Proc. of Newcastle Soc. of Antiq. iv. p. 248. See also Surtees, Durham, iv. p. 139.
Acts of High Commission, Longstaffe, 61, Surtees Soc. No. 34.
Randal, State of the Churches
See p. 431 supra.
Randal, State of the Churches.
Durham Registers, Barnes.
Ecclesiastical Proc. of Bp. Barnes, pp. 36, 76.
Randal, State of the Churches.
Randal, State of the Churches. Durham Registers, Pilkington ; Rev. John Hodgson's Collection, M, 191.
Durham Registers, Tunstal ; Rev. John Hodgson's Collection, Y, 77.
Ecclesiastical Proc. of Bp. Barnes, Raine, p. xxxiii. Surtees Soc. No. 22.
Durham Registers, Fox ; Rev. John Hodgson's Collection, M, 214.
Randal, State of the Churches
Bp. Kellawe's Register, i. p. 167.
See p. 419 supra.
See p. 418 supra
Feodarinin Pr. Dunelm. Greenwell, pp. 221, 223, 229. Surtees Soc. No. 58.
1697, 20th July. Robert Lisle of Hazon, gent., buried. Shilbottle Register.
Durham Tres. Regist. II. fol. 104. Cf. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. ii. p. 115.
Nonarum Inq. 14 Edw. III. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. iii. p. xi.
Ibid. p. 877.
Ibid, ii. p. 836.
Bishop Kellawe's Register, iii. p. 96.
Pope Nicholas' Taxation ; Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. i. p. 353.
On the chancel floor there is a blue marble grave cover on which no epitaph can be traced : The arms are On a bend three eagles displayed, and the crest An eagle feeding on an infant in its rest. The arms of Stanley are : Argent, on a bend azure, three bucks' heads caboshed or; the crest, An eagle feeding on an infant in its rest. The stone probably originally covered the grave of one of the Strothers of Newton-on-the-Moor, though the Strother crest is a greyhound.
Mackenzie, Northumberland, i. p. 485.
Proc. of Newcastle Soc. of Antiq. iii. p. 295
Warburton MS. circa 1715. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
The porch was said to have been built about 1790 and the vestry in 1822. A plan of the church is preserved in Wilson, Churches of Lindisfarne, p. 122.
Ecton, Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticarum (pub. 1742), p. 757. 'Shilbottle Feast' is held on the second Sunday after the Alnwick July fair. The July fair is held on the last Monday in July; this brings `Shilbottle Feast' very near to St. James's day (Old Style).



The old St. James Church Shilbottle, 1824.



    Though no remains of any pre-Conquest church have been found, some structure either of wood or stone may have preceded the small Norman church, probably built by the Tisons, lords of the fee, and dedicated to St. James, N  which remained until 1884, when, being pronounced unfit for the requirements of the parishioners, it was removed and a new structure erected on the site. The Norman church consisted of a nave 56 feet in length by 25 feet in width, with a chancel 32 feet by 22 feet, with a modern porch and vestry. N Most of the windows, which were originally round-headed narrow slits, had been enlarged and fitted with ordinary window sashes. The roof, which in 1715 was flat and covered with lead, N had been raised and covered with slates, probably in the year 1790, and on the western gable was a belfry, which contained two modern bells.  The south doorway, which has a circular arch, with billet and roll mouldings, and shafts with cushioned capitals, has been retained in the new structure. The chancel arch (of two square orders with chamfered label and impost) has been adapted as the arch of the north transept. N Over the entrance of the porch was engraved :
      The church of Shilbottle was acquired by the abbot and convent of Alnwick at an early period ; in the assessment for the tenth, granted by Pope Nicholas to Edward I. in 1292, towards the expenses of a crusade, the value of the rectory of Schiplinbotel is assessed at 12 2s., N and in a taxation of the churches within the archdeaconry of Northumberland, made in 1306, the rectory of Shilbotill is assessed at 12 2s., the portion of the vicar being 5. N Five years later the parson of the church of Shuplingbotill was charged under the king's writ, ` Levari facias,' at 6 1s., N and in the following year, under the writ of ` Pluries,' he was again assessed at the same sum. N In the Nonae Roll in 1340 for the grant of the ninth sheaf, the ninth fleece, and the ninth lamb, Shiplinbotel church and vicarage were assessed at 17 2s. N
    The church of Shilbottle continued to be served by secular priests until the middle of the fourteenth century, when, on the allegation by the abbot and convent of Alnwick that much litigation and discord had arisen from the practice, Lewis Beaumont, bishop of Durham, on the 31st of July, 1331, granted a licence that thenceforth the canons might present one of themselves to the benefice, not, however, defining the amount to be paid to the new vicar for his stipend. N From this time onward to the dissolution of religious houses the history of the benefice is merged in that of Alnwick abbey. After the Reformation the advowson remained in the Crown until 1892, when it was transferred to the duke of Northumberland, who gave the lord chancellor other advowsons in exchange.


    On a brass in the church : In memory of Samuel Cook, esquire, of Newton-hall, in this parish, who died A.D. 1796. His sister Jane Cook, spinster. His wife Elizabeth Barker, who died A.D. 1794. Their children, Samuel Cook, who died commanding the 8th Hussars at the Cape of Good Hope, A.D. 1816. Mary Cook, spinster, who died A.D. 1841. The Reverend Joseph Cook of Newton-hall, vicar of Chatton and Shilbottle, who died A.D. 1844. His wife Sarah Widdrington of Hauxley, who died A.D. 1840. Their children, John Widdrington Cook, who died A.D. 1800. The Reverend Joseph Cook, who died in the Holy Land and was buried near the Wells of Elim, A.D. 1825. Elizabeth Cook, spinster, who died A.D. 1820. Samuel Edward Cook, captain in the Royal Navy, who took the name of Widdrington ; he married Dorothy Davison of Swarland, and died at Newton-hall, A.D. 1856. And of Frances Cook, who married Shalcross Jacson of Bebington, in the county of Chester, and died October 31st, 1876.
    Erected to the memory of Mary, daughter of Barbara Hogg of Hazon High-houses, died March 10th, 1792, aged 25 years. Also of Barbara her sister, who died September 10th, 1792, aged 24 years. Barbara Hogg, died March 18th, 1834, aged 90.
    Sacred to the memory of George Hogg of Hazon High-houses, who died January 26th, 1800, aged 66 years. Margaret his wife, died January 14th, 1824, aged 74 years. George their son, died May 14th, 1806, aged 28 years
    The burial place of John Hogg of Hazon High-houses, who died May 1st, 1823, aged 51 years. Margaret his wife, died September 5th, 1830, aged 51 years.
    A grave cover in the chancel of the old church, now in the churchyard, is to the memory of one of the family of John Laing of Hazon ; the latter, according to the register, was buried on the 30th January, 1806, aged 65, but the inscription is no longer legible.
    On a marble grave cover on the chancel floor : Arms, Ermine a lion rampant ; crest, a lion passant.
    On a marble grave cover on the chancel floor of the old church, but now in the churchyard, is a Latin and English inscription to the family of Strother of Newton-on-the-Moor. The first part is illegible, the second states : Here lyeth Frances Strother, sister of Mr. Henry Strother of Newton, who departed this life March 25th, 1765, aged 80. Here lyeth Frances Strother, daughter of Mr. Henry Strother of Newton, who departed this life April 7th, 1770, aged 28.
    On a tablet in the old church there was the following inscription ; it has been re-worded and re-inserted in the present building : To the memory of Samuel Edward Widdrington of Newton-hall, captain in the Royal Navy, Knight of the Tower and Sword, Fellow of the Geological Society. He died at Newton-hall January 6th, 1856. This stone formed part of the Court of the Lions in the Moorish palace of the Alhambra, whence it was brought in 1829.
also see Churchyard monumental inscriptions  (under construction) and the new Church interior and war memorial


  1228 (circa). Richard, chaplain of Siplibotle, was one of the witnesses examined in a suit respecting Cornhill and Ancroft chapels. N
1267 (circa). Sir Ralph, the vicar, rented 12 acres of land from Robert de Hilton. N
    1296 (circa). Thomas, the vicar, was assessed on 2 8s. for the subsidy of 1296. N
    1312 (circa). William Bernardi. 1312/3, 21st March, Bishop Kellawe issued a mandate to his official to relax the suspension of William Bernardi perpetual vicar of Shypbotill. N
N   1372 (circa). John de Morpeth.
  1372. John de Bedlington, after the death of John de Morpeth.
  1437 (circa). John Bamburgh; vicar of Chatton, 1437-1456.
  1437. William de Alnewicke, on the resignation of Bamburgh.
N 1497 (circa). George Bewyke.
1497. Robert Clark, canon of Alnwick, instituted on the 17th October on the resignation of Bewyke. He appeared at the archbishop's visitation, held at Alnwick, 1501 N
  1538. George Wilkinson, instituted 15th February, 1537/8, after the death of Clark; vicar of Alnham, 1534-1538.
  1560. Thomas Ogle, obtained presentation by letters patent, dated 22nd October, 1560, N and was instituted 20th March, 1560/1, after the death of Wilkinson.
    1571. John Ladyman, instituted 11th May, 1571, after the death of Ogle; N vicar of Lesbury, 1579-1586; vicar of Warkworth, 1598-1610. N He appeared at the chancellor's visitation, held at Alnwick, 29th January, 1577/8, and on the 30th July following is returned as having duly performed his task upon St. Matthew's gospel. N
    1579. Christopher Watson, instituted 7th July, after the resignation of Ladyman. N
    1596. William Hart, after the death of Watson ; vicar of Mitford, 1575. N In 1602 he was joint lessee of the Shilbottle coal mines,  and in 1616 John Hart was a freeholder.
    1610. Thomas Vicars, instituted 4th August, 1610 ; vicar of Felton, 1616 ; N was about 50 years of age in 1634. N
    1636, 12th July. Will of Thomas Vicars of Shilbotle, clerk. To be interred in Shilbotle chancell. I give to the churchwardens 3, charging them to bestow it on a chalice of pure silver with a cover. Towards the raising of pillars and bridge of stone in that burne where an ancient pillar stands yet, faire to be seene, in the waie between Shilbotle and Alnwick, chargeing my executor not to deliver the said little some before he doth fully understand they goe in hand with the worke, and can give him a list of the names of the receivers, contributertre, treasurers, or of the officers, in writing, 30s. Towards the raising stone pillars and bridge over Newton burne, within the parish of Shilbotle, with the like caution, 30s. To the churchwardens of Staindropp to be laid out for a fine silver chalice with a cover, or without if they like better, 5. N To my eldest sister's sons and daughter, John, Robert, Francis, Richard, and Ann Simpson, 40 apiece; to my onely and dearest sister (? Hutchinson) all my estate and also my medow closes which her husband farmeth of me. Debts due to me: Mr. John Salkeld of Rock, 450; Mr. Wm. Salkeld of Preston, 110 ; Mr. Ralph Lisle of Hason, gent., 10 and ten grotes, etc. Proved 1636. N
    1636. John Falder, instituted 17th August, N probably a son of Thomas Falder of Alnwick, clerk; was 28 years of age in 1634. N `He was turned out in 1648, and very ill-used after his sequestration, being robb'd abroad and plundered at home. He was likewise forbid to keep school or to use the Common Prayer in a private congregation in his own house. His wife could never recover the fifths ; but instead of it was reviled and abused. He lived to repossess his living in 1660, and was a man of good learning and an unblamable life.' N
    1648-1660. . . . . vicar during the Commonwealth.
    1660. John Falder restored; vicar of Lesbury, 1666-1673. N Archdeacon Basire wrote, 1669, October 17th : `He has no gown, but a cloke ; he reads whining ; chancel and church full of heaps of rubbish, his library under the communion table.' N
    1673. William Fenwick, M.A., instituted 22nd November, 1673, after the death of Falder ; N vicar of Lesbury, 1673-1688 ; died 20th September, 1688. N
    1688. James Forster, after the death of Fenwick ; curate of Alnwick, 1687-1692 ; vicar of Lesbury, 1688-1712 ; N buried 27th August, 1712. N
    1712. Edward Shanks, after the death of Forster; vicar of Lesbury, 1712-1725 ; buried 17th January, 1724/5. N
    1725. William Pye, instituted 2nd April, 1725 ; N buried 10th August, 1726. N
    1726. John Barton, instituted 7th October, 1726. N
    1738. John Skelly, instituted 22nd June, 1738 ; N sometime tutor in the family of Alexander, second duke of Gordon, whose daughter Lady Betty Gordon he married ; afterwards vicar of Stockton.
    1742. John Salkeld, instituted July, 1742, on the resignation of Skelly. N Curate of Elvet, 1736. N
    1781, 15th December. Will of John Salkeld, vicar of Shilbottle. I give to my son William Salkeld my freehold house in or near Warkworth commonly called the Butts, and to my daughter Frances Errington my freehold house in or near Alnwick commonly called the Butts. My wife residuary legatee and executrix. Proved 1786. N
    1787. . . . . Cockeram. N
    1788. George Bowe, instituted 26th June ; N inducted 29th July, 1788 ; sometime chaplain 60th Foot, N afterwards curate at Warkworth ; he married Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. John Skelly and Lady Betty his wife, and died at Shilbottle, 21st April, 1803. N
    1803. Joseph Cook, M.A., Christ college, Cambridge ; instituted 21st June, 1803. N Of Newton-hall; also vicar of Chatton ; died 24th May, 1844.
    1844. William Yorick Smythies of Trinity college, Oxford ; matriculated 10th December, 1835; B.A. 1839 ; afterwards vicar of Buckland.
    1849. J. B. Roberts of Christ Ch. college, Cambridge ; B.A. 1816; M.A. 1819.
    1880. Joseph Golightly of University college, Durham ; B.A. 1874 ; M.A. 1877.


1697, May 30th. Roger, son of Cuthbert Buston of Wood-house, baptised.
1698/9, Jan. 26th. Eleanor, wife of Mr. Daniel Selby of Shilbottle, buried.
1699, April 16th. Mary, daughter of Cuthbert Buston of Wood-house, farmer, baptised.
1699/1700, Jan. 13th. Robert Lisle of Hauxley, formerly of Long Framlington, gent., buried.
1700, Sept. 1st. Clement Forster of Alndike, gent., and Mary Barker of Guyzance, married.
1701, April 13th. John, son of Cuthbert Buston of Wood-house, baptised.
1701, Dec. 21st. Mary, wife of John Manners of Newton Moor-house (sic) (query, New Moor-house), buried.
1703, Dec. 16th. Joseph Ritson, minister, of Alnwick, and Mary Cook of Warkworth, married.
1706, May 16th. John Annett and Dorothy Wilkinson, both of Hartlaw, married.
1707, August 2nd. William, son of Mr. George Selby of Shilbottle, baptised.
1707/8, Feb. 19th. Mr. Daniel Selby of Shilbottle, buried.
1708, August 29th. Richard, son of Mr. John Collingwood, late of Duddah, in the parish of Norham, baptised.
1713, July 9th. Mr. Mark Ogle of Pont Island parish, and Mrs. Elizabeth Manners of Acton, in Felton parish, married.
1714/5, Feb. 12th. Francis, son of Nicholas Forster of Hartlaw, gent., baptised.
1716, August 5th. Thomas, son of Francis Warrick of Shilbottle, baptised.
1719, May 19th. Cuthbert Buston of Wood-house, buried.
1719, June 25th. John Appleby of Warkworth parish, and Margaret Buston of Whittle, married.
1719, October 12th. Mr. Edward Archbold of Alnwick parish, and Mrs. Dorothy Lisle of Newton, married.
1720, May 22nd. John, son of Mr. Thomas Pallister of Shilbottle, baptised.
1722, June 3rd. Thomas, son of Mr. Thomas Pallister of Shilbottle, baptised.
1729, July 20th. Isabel, wife of Daniel Cameron of Shilbottle, buried.
1729, July 20th. David, son of Daniel Cameron of Shilbottle, baptised.
1729, July 17th. Thomas Wilson of Hadston, parish of Warkworth, and Sarah Falder of this parish, married.
1730, June 25th. Cuthbert Turner of Woodhorn parish, and Jane Buston of this parish, married.
1733, Sept. 15th. Thomas Wardle of the parish of Framlington, and Mary Strother of this parish, married.
1734, April 5th. Robert Dand of Shilbottle, householder, buried.
1743, April 30th. Mr. John Mills of Whittingham parish, and Mrs. Margaret Henderson of this parish, married.
1750, Nov. 16th. John Buston of Wood-house, buried.
1751, May 18th. Roger Buston and Mary Gibson, both of this parish, married.
1752, April 3rd. Henry Tomlin of Guyzance, and Sarah Embleton of Warkworth, married.
1752, May 23rd. John Laing and Sarah Nicholson, both of Hazon, married.
1754, May 29th. Miss Dorothy Proctor of Hartlaw, buried.
1764, Dec. 8th. Robert, son of Mr. Laing of Hazon, baptised.
1765, May 29th. Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. George Forster of Wood-house, baptised.
1766, May 9th. John, son of John Laing of Hazon, farmer, baptised.
1771, March 7th. Henry Thomas Davison, son of Mr. Tomlin of Barnhill, baptised.
1774, May 24th. Ralph, son of Mr. George and Elizabeth Forster of Wood-house, farmer, baptised.
1787, May 5th. John William, son of John Bacon Forster, esq., and Sarah, his wife, of Hartlaw, baptised.
1796, Sept. 3rd. Edward, son of the Rev. William Beverstock and Elizabeth, his wife (late Cook), baptised.
1802, Oct. 28th. Maria Alicia, third daughter of George William Leeds N of Low Newton, esq., a native of St. Margaret, Westminster, by his wife Maria Sanderson, a native of Morpeth, baptised.


1577-1587. The value of the vicarage of Shilbottle was 4 14s. 8d. N
1601, October 15th. Office against Sir John Forster, knight, `that the quire is in decaie through his default.' N
1610, May 19th. Grant to Francis Morrice and Francis Philipps (in trust) of the corn tithes of the vill of Shilbottle, parcel of the rectory of Shilbottle, late in the occupation of Percival and Hugh Gallon, of the yearly value of 53s. 4d. ; of the corn tithes of four tenements in the west end of Shilbottle, late in the occupation of John Gallon, of the yearly value of 10s., late parcell of the possessions of the late monastery of Alnwick. N
In 1634 there were proceedings in the Court of High Commission at Durham against Robert Brandling of Alnwick abbey, the proprietor of the greater part of the corn tithes of the township of Shilbottle who had quarrelled with the vicar of Shilbottle. Witnesses deposed that, `on a Sondaie the forenoone, aboute foure yeares agoe, Brandling came into Shilbotle church and imediately after praiers were done fell into some anger and rage in and against Mr. Vicars, and called him "scabt, scounderell, priest, or fellow," with many other threatenings and disgraceful speeches. In harvest tyme, about three yeares gone in harvest last, Mr. Brandling came into the corne feildes at Shilbottle with one William Brandling, Georg Bowmaker, and a Scottish man called William. And when as Mr. Vicars endeavoured to have hindred them to have taken away his tieth beare or barley, Mr. Brandling and Bowmaker lay bandes upon him and pulled him from his horse to the ground. Bowmaker held him and Mr. Brandling loosed one of his owne garterins and attempted to have bounde him, but was prevented in regard some company came to give assistance, and soe Mr. Vicars escaped.' N
1663. The living was in the gift of the Crown, and the vicar's stipend 20 a year. The impropriators were Mr. Charles Brandling, Mr. W. Selby of Beal, Mr. Ratcliffe of Spindleston, Mr. Leonard Thornton, and Mr. George Lisle. Glebe anciently belonging to the church was in the possession of Mr. William Selby. The church in good condition. There were no schools, and neither papists nor sectaries. N
1665, August. The parish of Shilbottle, in three collections, raised and contributed 4s. 9d. to the relief of the sufferers from the great plague of London. N
1666, October 10. On the day of the general fast, ordered by royal proclamation, 9s. 5d. was collected at Shilbottle for the sufferers by the great fire of London. N
1751. Henry Strother, by will dated 30th November, 1751, gave to certain trustees 250  in trust to pay the interest of 100 to the vicar of Shilbottle for the time being ; the interest on 100 to the schoolmaster of Newton-on-the-Moor, and the interest on 50 to the schoolmaster of Shilbottle. Frances Strother, spinster, by will dated 5th March, 1765, gave the interest of 50 for the poor of the parish of Shilbottle, and the interest of 50 to the schoolmaster of Newton-on-the-Moor. N
1764, February 2. Counsel's opinion that the vicars of Shilbottle were entitled to the tithe hay on the allotments of common recently divided by the freeholders by agreement. Of the 24 farms of the township 20 had been accustomed to pay 2d. a farm as a modus, and the other 4 paid tyth hay in kind. N
1790. `An assessment of 50s. per farm through the parish of Shilbottle to raise 145 for the repair of the church.' Freeholders : The duke of Northumberland (at Shilbottle 22 farms, at Wood-house 4 farms), 26 farms, 65 ; William Bacon Forster, esq., 12 farms, 30 ; Samuel Cook, esq., 6 farms, 15; John Clutterbuck, esq., 5 farms, 12 10s. ; Mr. Thomas Strother, 4 farms, 10; Francis Johnson, esq., 2 farms 5 ; George Selby, esq., 2 farms, 5 ; John Garrett (), George Hunter (), Thomas Pallister (), church lands (), 1 farm, 2 10s. Total, 58 farms, 145.
1790. `Assessment of 14s. per farm on the 58 farms to raise 40 12s. to repair the chancel.' Mrs. Ilderton, 20 farms, 14.; the vicar and George Selby, esq., 9 farms, 6 6s.; W. B. Forster, esq., 12 farms, 8 8s. ; Sam. Cook and Thos. Strother, esqres, 12 farms, 8 8s.; Mr. Marmaduke Grey, 5 farms, 3 10s. Total, 58 farms, 40 12s. N
1826, May 31. Shilbottle is a vicarage worth about 220. The impropriation is in various hands, viz., Mr. Cook of Newton-hall, Mr. Bacon, Lieut. Selby, R.N., Mr. Sanderson Ilderton, etc. The chancel is, however, repaired by the parishioners, who have a church fund arising from the rent of lands called `lord's lands': it produces at present 24 15s. per annum. They have two services with one sermon on Sundays, and sacrament four times in the year. The population is 870, but the church contains only 188 without any free sittings ; there are no Catholics, and very few dissenters. The church is in excellent order, but wants painting; and I called on them to endeavour to meet their increasing population with proportionate church room, and at all events not to suffer the churchyard fence to deteriorate. The parsonage is small but good, and has as appurtenances a cottage, a barn, and a stable ; there are 18 acres of glebe well ascertained and well fenced. The register begins in original in 1724, and as a copy of an older one in 1684. The tombstones of Lisle and Strother in the church are handsome, and a simple monument in the churchyard is erected by the vicar and parishioners to the memory of a young neighbour who fell in the island of Martinique in the 7th Fusiliers ; the inscription is the adjutant's letter, and a very touching letter it is.'
1868. Mr. Hugh Taylor of Earsdon; commissioner to the duke of Northumberland, who died on the 30th August, 1868, by his will gave 1,000 to the vicar and churchwardens of Shilbottle, the interest of which was to be distributed amongst the poor yearly at Christmas.' The same benefactor, in his lifetime, by deed conveyed to trustees parcel of the great tithes of Birtley, in the parish of Chollerton, commuted for 29 4s. 9d. per annum, in trust for Shilbottle school.




Above: Shilbottle Tower from a 19c Sketch by W.H. Knowles.



     As has already been mentioned, the tower of Schilbotyl occurs in the list of fortalices existing in the year 1415. It was in the lord's own hands in 1525 by the default of Charles Watson, the late tenant, who had paid a rent of 12d. a year for it, and a similar entry occurs in the Bailiffs' Accounts for the year ending Michaelmas, 1532. It is not known at what period it was given to the benefice, but it has for a long time past formed a part of the vicarage house. The latter is a modern structure, in which a portion of the medieval tower has been incorporated and occupies its south-east angle. This fragment of old work is only about 21 feet 9 inches by 17 feet 4 inches on plan, and is about 20 feet in height. It consists of a vaulted chamber measuring 15 feet 4 inches by 10 feet 2 inches, entered on the west side by a four-centred archway, and was lighted by two narrow square-headed windows, one on the south side still in use, and the other on the north side now built up ; near to each of these windows is a small cupboard recess. The vaulted ceiling is also four-centred, and is shown on the accompanying sketch. There is no visible access to the upper floors, N which may have been approached by an external  door having a movable wooden stair. The walls of the tower have a batter on all sides, and exceed the height of the basement level ; they have been modernised and raised, apparently in 1863, by Mr. Roberts, then vicar. The modern portions of the house so effectively enclose the tower that it is not possible to say whether it stood alone or formed part of a larger structure as its small size seems to suggest.
Modern images (click to enlarge)
'Turris Schilbotel '  
Shilbottle Tower or Peel (3 images) The 'new' (Victorian) St. James Church of Shilbottle. (3 images) 2010