Place:Bellister, Northumberland, England

Alt namesParksource: settlement in parish
TypeTownship, Civil parish
Coordinates54.961°N 2.468°W
Located inNorthumberland, England     ( - 1955)
See alsoHaltwhistle, Northumberland, Englandancient parish in which it was a township
Tynedale Ward, Northumberland, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Haltwhistle Rural, Northumberland, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1955
Featherstone, Northumberland, Englandcivil parish into which it was absorbed in 1955
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Bellister from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"BELLISTER, a township in Haltwhistle parish, Northumberland; on the South Tyne, near the Newcastle and Carlisle and the Alston railways, 1 mile S of Haltwhistle. Acres: 988. Population: 117. Houses: 27.
"Bellister Castle, now a crumbling mass of ruin, was the seat of the Blenkinsops."

Bellister was a township in the ancient parish of Haltwhistle and became a separate civil parish in 1866. In 1955 it was abolished as a civil parish and the area was transferred to the civil parish of Featherstone.

Bellister Castle

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Bellister Castle is a National Trust owned castellated 19th-century mansion house attached to the ruinous remains of a 14th-century tower house, situated near Haltwhistle, Northumberland, England. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building.

The property stands on a mound which may have been the motte of an early motte and bailey castle. A moated hall house existed on the site in the 13th century and a substantial tower was added to the western end in the 14th century.

A survey of 1541 records a tower house occupied by Blenkinsop (of the family of nearby Blenkinsop Castle) in a 'measurable good' state of repair.

In about 1699 the property was enlarged into a three-storey castellated house. The Blenkinsop family sold their estates including Bellister in 1697 and the castle was thereafter held by several different owners.

A substantial rebuild by architect John Dobson in 1826 created an imposing castellated east front and further alterations took place in 1890 and in 1905 following serious fire damage in 1901. The older parts of the property were allowed to fall into decay and remain ruinous.

Research Tips

  • Northumberland Archives previously known as Northumberland Collections Service and Northumberland County Record Office. Now based within Woodhorn Museum in Ashington and providing free access to numerous records for local and family historians alike.
Full postal address: Museum and Northumberland Archives, Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9YF; Phone: 01670 624455
There is a branch office in Berwick upon Tweed.
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