Kirkharle Hall

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Kirkharle Hall
Kirkharle Hall.jpg
Kirkharle Hall
Kirkharle Hall is located in Northumberland
Kirkharle Hall
Kirkharle Hall
Kirkharle Hall shown within Northumberland
OS grid reference NZ013824
Coordinates 55°08′10″N 1°58′48″W / 55.136°N 1.980°W / 55.136; -1.980Coordinates: 55°08′10″N 1°58′48″W / 55.136°N 1.980°W / 55.136; -1.980
List of places

Kirkharle Hall was a country house at Kirkharle, Northumberland, England, the former seat of the Loraine family, now much reduced and in use as a farmhouse. The Hall is in the upper reaches of the Wansbeck valley; almost adjacent to the A696 road; 12 miles (19 km) west of Morpeth; and 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of Kirkwhelpington.


Kirkharle name was first recorded, as Herle in 1177,[1] and derives either from the Old English "Herela-lea" which means "Herela's Grove" or from the Old English "herg-lea" which means "temple-grove" a place of worship for the pre-Christian Angles.[2] Other early forms included Kyrkeherle (c.1250), Kyrkherll (1346) and Kirkehirle (1428),[1] the "kirk" element denoting a "church".[2] The Loraine Baronets acquired it by marriage the manor from the De Harles who owned it in the 14th century,[3] and derived their name (literally "of Harle") from the village.[4] Following its sale to a local farmer in the early 19th century the Hall was largely demolished. Only one wing was retained which was rebuilt as a farmhouse. It is a Grade II listed building.[5]

Nearby stands a memorial stone erected in 1728 to replace an earlier memorial commemorating Robert Loraine who was killed by marauding Scots in 1483.[6]

Among the quaint epitaphs in the church upon departed Loraines is the following: Here lyes the Body of Richard Loraine, Esq., who was a proper handsome man of good sense and behaviour : he dy'd a Batcheler of an Appoplexy walking in a green field near London, October 26th, 1738, in the 38 Year of his Age.[3]

The surrounding parkland was designed in the 18th century by Capability Brown who was born at Kirkharle and who began his career as a gardener in the park. The park is a Registered Historic Park Grade II.[7]

The present owner has redeveloped the farm and its outbuildings to create Kirkharle Courtyard, a development incorporating historical, retail and craft centres.


  1. ^ a b The Place-names of Northumberland and Durham, Cambridge University Press, pp. 128
  2. ^ a b Beckensall, Stan. 'Northumbrian Place-Names: A Guide To The Meaning of Town And Village Names'. Butler Publishing 2004. ISBN 0-946928-41-X. Page 37
  3. ^ a b Hugill, Robert (1931). Road Guide to Northumberland and The Border. Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Andrew Reid & Company, Limited. pp. 157–8. 
  4. ^ The surnames of Scotland: their origin, meaning, and history, George Fraser Black, New York Public Library, 1946, P.344
  5. ^ Heritage Gateway: architectural description of Kirkharle farmhouse
  6. ^ Heritage Gateway: description of inscription on Kirkharle memorial stone
  7. ^ Keys to the Past: Kirkharle Hall landscape park