Old Images of Birtley, Tyne & Wear

Categorised as Tyne & Wear
Old postcard of Harrass Bank, Birtley, Tyne & Wear, England
Old postcard of Harrass Bank, Birtley, Tyne & Wear, thanks to Mark Crombie's extensive collection of vintage postcards on Flikr.

Glimpse history through old images of Birtley, in Tyne and Wear, North East England.

The Hall Family

William de Birtley, lord of the manor, had a daughter Isabell. She married Robert Hall. Several generations later, in 1575, John Hall of Byrtley married Isabel, heiress of the William Warde of Conside.

And so the family became the Hall family of Consett and Birtley.

Hall of Consett and Birtley family crest and historic family tree
Hall of Consett and Birtley – family crest and historic family tree, from page 159 of “Pedigrees recorded at the visitations of the county palatine of Durham made by William Flower, Norroy king-of-arms, in 1575, by Richard St. George, Norroy king-of-arms, in 1615, and by William Dugdale, Norroy king-of-arms, in 1666”

Old Postcard of Harrass Bank

Old postcard of Harrass Bank, Birtley, Tyne & Wear, England
Old postcard of Harrass Bank, Birtley, Tyne & Wear, thanks to Mark Crombie’s extensive collection of vintage postcards on Flikr.
Closeup of old postcard of Birtley, Tyne & Wear, England
Old postcard of Harrass Bank, Birtley, Tyne & Wear, thanks to Mark Crombie’s extensive collection of vintage postcards on Flikr.

Walter H Armstrong 1915

In 1915, William P Armstrong from Bewicke Main Colliery near Birtley wrote to the Illustrated Chronicle.

William had read an article in the Illustrated Chronicle about a 23 year old man who was the youngest Quartermaster Sergeant in the British Army. So he sent in a photograph of his 22 year old son, who held the same rank at a younger age.

His son, Company Quartermaster Sergeant Walter H Armstrong, “D” Co of the 11th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry, had been granted his rank well before his 22nd birthday.

Before the war, Walter had been a mining student under Philip Kirkup, agent to the Birtley Iron Company.

Old newspaper clipping about Walter H Armstrong
Old newspaper clipping about William P Armstrong, from the Illustrated Chronicle, 9th August 1915.

Old Photos of Birtley

Enjoy a great video showcasing different locations in and around Birtley through the ages, with clearly titled old photos.

Old Photos of Birtley by Colin Carr – on YouTube


Historic Book

Extract from:

“History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland: Comprising a General Survey of the County, and a History of the Town and County of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with Separate Historical, Statistical, and Descriptive Sketches of the Boroughs of Gateshead and Berwick-upon-Tweed, and All the Towns … Wards, and Manors. To which is Subjoined a List of the Seats of the Nobility and Gentry” by William Whellan & Co

Published 1855

Pages 794 and 795:

“BIRTLEY parochial chapelry was separated from the parish of Chollerton, in 1765, and received an independent jurisdiction. It includes the townships of Broomhope with Buteland, and anciently formed part of the barony of Prudhoe. It comprises an area of 6,720 acres, and the rateable value is £ 3,703 15s. Population in 1801, 490; in 1811, 505; in 1821, 480; in 1831, 447; in 1841, 472; and in 1851, 428 souls .

The north – east part of this chapelry is mountainous and sterile, but on the banks of the North Tyne, the soil is tolerably fertile. Both coal and lime are found here. It is principally the property of the Duke of Northumberland, Dunn, Esq., Mr. Davison, and Captain Haggartson. The Duke of Northumberland is lord of the manor.

THE VILLAGE of Birtley is irregularly built, and consists principally of thatched houses. It is situated eleven miles north by west of Hexham, and five and a half miles N.N.W, of Chollerton.

THE CHAPEL is a neat stone edifice, but very limited in its dimensions. The living, a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Northumberland and deanery of Bellingham, is rated in the parliamentary returns at £140; gross income, £100. Patron, the Duke of Northumberland; incumbent, the Rev. W. H. Wilson. The petty tithes are commuted for £128, payable to the vicar of Chollerton, the corn tithes amounting to about £ 80 per annum, are payable to R. W. Gray , Esq., owner of the Chipchase estate, and the chapel register commences in 1728.


THE NATIONAL SCHOOL, erected by subscription, in 1834, at a cost of £ 130, is a good stone building, situated in the centre of the village. In 1837, £5 per annum was granted to this school, by the trustees of Betton’s Charity, and in 1850, the Duke of Northumberland endowed it with the sum of £7 a year. For these two grants a number of poor children are educated without payment.

There is also a day-school here, which was established in 1814, and to which the Duke of Northumberland pays £3 per annum for the free education of five poor children of Birtley chapelry. It is conducted by Mr. Thomas Stokoe.

There is also another school which is respectably attended, and is under the superintendence of Miss Isabella Robson .

BIRTLEY HALL, the property of the Duke of Northumberland, and the
residence of Mrs. Frances Crowther, is a neat stone edifice, erected upon a portion of the site occupied by the Old Hall, part of whose ruins still remain.”

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