Tosson Township and Rothbury Parish
The late 19th century township of Tosson forms the basic framework for the short historical summary set out in volume XV of the Northumberland County History (NCH XV (1940), 395-8), and in the rather more detailed study by David Dippie Dixon (1903, 322-35). It was one of 20 townships incorporated in the large and important parish of Rothbury, which covered 36,398 acres, embracing much of upper and central Coquetdale including the Simonside Hills to the south and Rothbury Forest.
The status of Rothbury as the ecclesiastical centre of this area from an early stage is demonstrated by the presence of the magnificent carved stone cross, mentioned above, which must denote indicate the presence of a monastery or minster church by the first half of the 9th century. The parish itself is first documented in 1090 when Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, granted its tithes to Tynemouth Priory.
Tosson Township itself covered 3212 acres and included the constituent settlements of Great Tosson, Rye Hill/Allerdene and Little Tosson. Its territory represented a roughly wedge-shaped slice of territory extending from the south bank of the Coquet across the Simonside Hills to the northern limit of Harwood Forest. The township was created in 1888 by the merger of Great Tosson and Ryehill Township (2669 acres) with the much smaller township of Little Tosson (547 acres) (Kelly 1910, 452; cf. Bulmer 1887, 795-6).