History and character

The name ‘Longhirst’ is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means 'long wooded hill'.  

Experts believe there may have been occupation up to 6000 years ago, however opencast coal mining across the area has destroyed much potential evidence from earlier times.  

The settlement of Longhirst was mostly built after the discovery of coal in the area; the colliery operated from 1868 until 1896.  The modern parish was formed in 1875 (prior to that date it was part of the parish of Bothal). 

The village itself is a distinctive linear settlement, designated as a conservation area, with a number of Grade II listed structures.  There are also cottages at Longhirst Colliery (largely managed by Northumberland Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association).  More recently there have been developments at, and in the grounds surrounding, Longhirst Hall.   The parish previously had a train station (closed in 1951), and a school (closed in 1965).  

The primary landmark that defines the character of the parish is Longhirst Hall, built in 1824 for the Lawson family (and designed by John Dobson).  The Hall (a Grade II* listed building) was used by the Army during WWII and then became an approved school until 1982.  It was developed into a conference centre and hotel in the 1990s but has since been converted into residential properties.  Much of the surrounding parklands were converted into a golf course, and the grounds are also home to Morpeth Cricket, Hockey and Tennis Club.

Other key landmarks are the Church of St John the Evangelist (built in 1876), the War Memorial (erected in 1921), and Longhirst Village Hall (built in 1847 first as a reading room, then part of the school, then as a Church Hall, but now managed by Longhirst Parish Association).

Today the parish is largely an agricultural area, surrounded by farms, fields and woodland.


You can find more detail on the village (past and present) by visiting the Longhirst Village website: https://www.longhirstvillage.co.uk.