Mitford shown within Northumberland
|Population||431 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Mitford was once a far greater market place for local people. Morpeth's market soon grew in prominence and Mitford fell from grace. This historic status of the two market town lead to a folk rhyme:
- Mitforde was Mitforde when Morpeth was none,
- and Mitforde shall be Mitforde when Morpeth is gone.
The village lies within the Ulgham Division of the unitary Council (Northumberland County Council), represented Cllr David James Towns (Conservative) and the Wansbeck parliamentary constitency (Ian Lavery MP, Labour). The Boundary Commission has recently unveiled proposals to transfer the village into the Hexham parliamentary constituency.
Mitford Castle was built in the 11th century by William Bertram but by 1323 was no longer used. Today it is in ruins, and has recently undergone a major programme of structural support works.
The ancient church of St Mary Magdalene was rebuilt in 1875, but has preserved its Norman south arcade and 13th century chancel. The church is believed to have the oldest bell in the Diocese of Newcastle cast no later than about 1150.
In Light from Heaven, the last instalment of American author Jan Karon's contemporary Christian "Mitford Years" novel series (which is set in a fictional town in western North Carolina bearing the same name), the series' setting and the Mitford of this article become "sister villages."
The Mitford family held the Manor from Norman times. The ruins of their Manor House stand on the eastern side of the River Wansbeck. In about 1823 they abandoned the old Manor House for a new mansion house, Mitford Hall, which was designed by the famous Northern architect, John Dobson, and which was built on the opposite bank of the river and surrounded by woodland and a small deer park.
- Office for National Statistics: Neighbourhood Statistics
- Purves, Geoffrey (2006). Churches of Newcastle and Northumberland. Stroud, Gloucestershire, England: Tempus Publishing Limited. p. 67. ISBN 0-7524-4071-3.
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- GENUKI (accessed: 21 November 2008)
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