The Development Of Ingram In The 18th And 19th Centuries
A colourful impression of the depressed condition of the village in the first half of the 18th century is provided by George Mark, writing 1734, who noted that:
“the houses are for the most part poor and despicable, and the inhabitants . . . . exceedingly poor. The village is plentifully watered by the river Beamish, which runs through the village. There are the remains of an old tower called Lumphaugh, at the distance of a pistol shot from the church”.
He also reported that the inhabitants concentrated on rearing cattle and sheep rather than growing corn, although barley and oats were cultivated (Hodgson Hinde 1869, 82), a state of affairs which had probably prevailed since the late medieval period. The 1663 glebe terrier shows that land was still parcelled out in the medieval fashion, in individual ridges and butts in the mid 17th century (see Selected Sources and Surveys no. 8), but by the time of the earliest detailed map evidence, the 1820 township plan, the field pattern had evident been regularised. Only five fields near the farm were cultivated at that stage (Aln Cas O XV 7; NRO ZAN Bell 67/6), much as today.
By this stage the village was probably considerably smaller in terms of population, tenancies and number of buildings than it had been in the high medieval era. A sketch plan of Fawdon, Clinch and Ravenscragg dated 1745 (Aln Cas O XV 1) shows Ingram as a settlement of five buildings to the west of the church. The depiction appears somewhat schematic and it is unclear how much reliance can be placed on the number of buildings shown as an accurate record of the size of the village but it probably conveys a general impression of the layout of the village. Further downstream, Ingram Mill is represented by two buildings.
The layout of the mill complex is broadly echoed by the detailed estate map of c. 1820-21. Armstrong’s map of 1769 shows two small clusters of houses to the west of the church (NRO ZAN PM9). The more westerly cluster may represent the present site of Ingram Farm, 200–300 metres west of the church. More tentatively the easterly cluster could represent the parsonage or perhaps a group of cottages at the east end of the green which no longer survive.
By the early 19th century the farm hamlet was beginning to attain its modern form. Both Fryer’s map and the 1820/21 estate plan show a U-shaped plan with two projecting ranges. Greenwood’s county map appears to show three projecting ranges forming a E-shaped arrangement in plan. However the tithe map dated to 1843 shows only two ranges, as in Fryer and the estate plan.
It is unclear whether Greenwood’s map was simply inaccurate in this respect, whether the tithe map was based on an older (pre-1828) survey, or whether the development of the farm buildings was more complex than is immediately apparent. In its developed form, as shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey in c. 1860, the large E-plan farm complex consists of a long 2-storey rear range of shelter sheds with six segmental arches and a granary on the upper floor. Three projecting ranges of byres and stables frame a pair of stockyards. On the gable of the central range a datestone inscribed M. R. MDCCCXXVI suggests this part of the building was erected in 1826. In front of this range is a pair of single-storey brick-built byres, which Grundy has argued may be the only extant pre-Victorian brick structures in the Northumberland National Park (1988, 238, 242). The buildings are attributed to the Newcastle architect, John Green (Grundy 1988, 238; Pevsner et al. 2001, 358).
The map evidence demonstrates that the remodelling of the farm into a coherent integrated complex had begun by the time of John Tarleton’s tenure, but was expanded under the Roddams, who must have set up the date stone on the central projecting range. The date stone may have been a case of the Roddams setting their mark on a structure that was already standing, but is clear that they must have been responsible for one of the projecting ranges and part of the rear range. The standard, two-storey farmhouse, immediately to the east of the farm buildings, was probably built by John Tarleton, as it figure on Fryer’s map and the 1820/21 estate plan and is early 19th Century in form.
The later development of the settlement can be traced in successive Ordnance Survey editions. By 1860, the village essentially consisted of three main clusters of buildings, namely, in the centre, the church, rectory and school, grouped in and adjacent to the churchyard; to the west, the farm hamlet comprising house and farm buildings with a range of cottages at the west end of the village; and, further to the east, the group of buildings comprising Ingram Mill. This layout persisted with relatively little change. A number of alterations to St Michael’s Church were made during the 19th century, which are detailed by Ryder.
The Rectory is a large and complex house which was begun in 1803 and added to in several stages during the course of the century (Pevsner et al. 2001, 358). There was certainly been at least one previous parsonage, which is mentioned in the 1663 terrier (see Selected Sources and Surveys no. 8). It is unclear whether the 1663 parsonage corresponded to the tower house, which was being used for that purpose in 1541, or was a replacement, and it is equally uncertain whether either or both stood on the same site as the 19th century rectory.
The Church of England school is clearly shown and labelled on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey c. 1860. The building is also marked on the plan of glebe land dated to 1841 (NRO ZAN Bell 67/7) and on the tithe map, although it is not labelled on the latter. It may even figure on Fryer’s map (allowing for a slight mis-siting from the east to the west side of the north-south trackway which runs past the churchyard). The school does not figure on the 1820/21 estate map, but this may not be significant as the building is located within the glebe land, which is not detailed on that plan.
Picture : Ingram Rectory