Brinkburn and Hesleyhurst

Brinkburn and Hesleyhurst is a joint parish council. The parishes are situated to the east of Rothbury within the Coquet Valley in central Northumberland. The joint Parish Council is made up of seven members: five are elected from Brinkburn and two are elected from Hesleyhurst.

The Parish Council meets 4 times a year including the Annual General Meeting.

Elected by parishioners in Brinkburn:

  • David Owen -  Chair
  • Steve Bray
  • Mark Fenwick
  • Jackie Scarpa

Elected by parishioners in Hesleyhurst:

  • Vincent Milburn – Vice Chair

Clerk

  • Garth Rhodes

Brinkburn and Hesleyhurst Parishes

Brinkburn and Hesleyhurst are two geographically large, sparsely populated parishes with a joint Parish Council which normally meets four times per year. Agriculture is the dominant activity, with tourism and cottage businesses also important.

Our Millennium stone is a large piece of sandstone, transported from near Lordenshawes neolithic cup and ring monuments, to our community field and engraved with the names of all the residents in the year 2000.

The main centre of population is at Embleton Terrace, on the border between Brinkburn and Hesleyhurst. The Terrace was completed in 1926 to house colliery workers from the nearby Lee Pit, where in 1921 there were 44 miners working underground and 26 above ground.  By 1924 there were 62 miners working underground but in 1925 the pit was abandoned due to flooding. The Terrace was named after the pit owner / manager Mr Henry Cawood Embleton and there were originally plans to have another row of houses on land to the rear, which has now become a garden for each of the houses, and a smaller terrace at right angles in the field which is now occupied by a new bungalow.  It is called a ‘Terrace’ but really, in estate agent-speak, there are five blocks of six ‘linked villas’!!

Henry Embleton sold the lease “TGR with 30 cotts and bldgs erctd thron” (this is an actual abstract from the sale document and must be an early form of txting as we know it today) for £1500 in December 1929.  Henry was a “Mining Engineer” and he sold it to a Mr Charles Nelson who was described as a “Colliery Owner”.  Later, the lease and the 30 buildings were bought by a Mr John Snaith in 1936 for £2300.

The area around The Lee Burn is rich in agriculture and minerals.  It had 4 pits, several quarries and its own wagonway from Embleton Terrace to the Lee Siding to take the coal and limestone to the Rothbury – Morpeth railway line. It is located in what was known as Rothbury Forest and some of its history features in Dippie Dixon’s famous book Upper Coquetdale.

Brinkburn Priory is a well-known landmark within the Parishes, together with the associated classical music festival held there, and local tourist activities in the area.

(Thanks to Peter Roberts, former long-serving chair and clerk, for his text on the Terrace).