Lambley, Northumberland

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Lambley Viaduct - - 168397.jpg
Lambley Viaduct
Lambley is located in Northumberland
Lambley shown within Northumberland
Population 32 
OS grid reference NY675585
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BRAMPTON
Postcode district CA8
Dialling code 01434
Police Northumbria
Fire Northumberland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
List of places
54°55′12″N 2°30′29″W / 54.920°N 2.508°W / 54.920; -2.508Coordinates: 54°55′12″N 2°30′29″W / 54.920°N 2.508°W / 54.920; -2.508

Lambley, formerly known as Harper Town,[1] is a village in Northumberland, England about four miles (6 km) southwest of Haltwhistle.The village lies adjacent to the River South Tyne. The place name Lambley refers to the "pasture of lambs".[2] Lambley used to be the site of a small convent of Benedictine Nuns, founded by Adam de Tindale and Heloise, his wife, in the 12th century. The Scots led by William Wallace devastated it in 1296 [Rowland[2] gives 1297]. However it was restored and one William Tynedale was ordained priest to the nunnery in about 1508 – most likely not William Tyndale, the reformer, as once believed[3] but another man of the same name.[4] At the time of the suppression of religious houses by Henry VIII, the nunnery contained six inmates. Nothing now remains but the bell from the nunnery, which hangs in the church, and a few carved stones.[1][5] The village lies in the Midgeholme Coalfield and there are reserves of good-quality coal remaining.[6]


Lambley is in the parliamentary constituency of Hexham. Lambley is part of the Coanwood Parish Council area.

Coal mining[edit]

The area has previously been noted for coal mining based at Lambley Colliery. Coal reserves still exist in the area as part of the Midgeholme Coalfield. In 1990 an application was submitted to the County Council to open cast work 33 hectares of land (81.5 acres) by R and A Young Mining Ltd., Leadgate, Consett. The application noted the high-quality coal to be mined (low ash and low sulphur content and high calorific value). Although this plan did not go ahead, a recent plan to open cast mine at Halton Lea Gate, a village one mile to the west of Lambley, has opened up the possibility of mining returning to the village. The Halton Lea Gate plan was approved by the government planning inspector in 2012.[7] An amended plan was approved by Northumberland County Council in January 2014.[8]

River Tyne South[edit]

What was left of the nunnery was washed away by a great flood in about 1769.[9] On 8 January 2005 the River South Tyne flooded.[10] The Lambley Viaduct crosses the River Tyne at Lambley.[11]

War Memorial[edit]

The War Memorial is a cross about 3 metres (9.8 ft) in height, is located in the churchyard of the parish church of St. Mary and St. Patrick. The village of Hartleyburn joined with Lambley in erecting the memorial which was unveiled by Colonel Sir Thomas Oliver on Saturday 21 February 1920.[12] The inscriptions and names on the War Memorial have been transcribed and published by the North East War Memorials Project.[13]

Those who gave their lives in The Great War were:[12] Wilson Glenwright, William E. Marshall, William Riddell, and Philip E. Bell.


Lambley was served by Lambley railway station on the Alston Line from Haltwhistle to Alston. The line opened in 1852 and closed in 1976.

Since 1983 a narrow gauge railway has opened on part of the original track bed. The railway, known as the South Tynedale Railway, is a 2-foot (0.61 m) gauge line and runs 3.5 miles (4.0 km) from Alston to Lintley and includes a viaduct or 2 over the River South Tyne. Efforts are being made to extend the line into Slaggyford. Subject to funding coming into place in September 2013, work started on the one and a quarter mile extension from Lintley the following year, and is set to be completed by 2017. The South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society plans to reopen the entire branch line to Haltwhistle from Alston.

Lambley was also served by a line west to Brampton, Carlisle, which closed in the 1950s. This line, sometimes referred to as Lord Carlisle's line, served Lambley colliery and other coal mining areas.[14]

View from old railway bridge towards Lambley coalfield and Greenriggs

Religious sites[edit]

The parish church of Lambley is in the area called Harper's Town, which suffered badly at the hands of the Scots. Hodgson found the church a very humble edifice, measuring 40 by 19 feet (12.2 by 5.8 m). The pews and furniture were very rough carpentry, but it was used and had a Sunday School. It was rebuilt in 1885 to the designs of W. S. Hicks, and dedicated to St. Mary and St. Patrick. It has a chancel with fine stone vaulting, and three lancets in the east window with stained glass showing the Magi, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Painted panels by the altar show St. Kentigern, St. Cuthbert, St. Aidan and St. Ninian, all travelling saints. The bell in the bell cote came from the ruined nunnery.[2] The church bell, cast in America, is one of the only two foreign bells in the diocese of Newcastle: the other is at Eglingham.[15]

The Lambley and Hartleyburn War Memorial is located in the churchyard.[12] Lambley Parish Church falls within the Parish of Alston Moor within the Diocese of Newcastle.

Notable people[edit]

John Charlton (1827–1903) fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. There is a fine memorial plaque to him in the parish church.

Memorial plaque to John Charlton in Lambley church

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Haltwhistle Partnership Ltd". Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  2. ^ a b c Rowland, T. H. (1994). Waters of Tyne (Reprint ed.). Warkworth, Northumberland, England: Sandhill Press Ltd. ISBN 0-946098-36-0.
  3. ^ Parish of Alston Moor. Welcome leaflet to the Parish Church of St Mary and St Patrick, Lambley.(2008)
  4. ^ Parish of Alston Moor. Welcome leaflet to the Parish Church of St Mary and St Patrick, Lambley.(revised 2015)
  5. ^ Ridley, Nancy (1966). Portrait of Northumberland (reprint ed.). London: Robert Hale. OCLC 503957631.
  6. ^ Planning application 1 August 1990 by R and A Young Mining Ltd., Leadgate, Consett to Northumberland County Council. Proposal to mine 60,000 tonnes and employ 15 workers on site, immediately to the west of the village in a 33 hectare site. Plans held by Northumberland County Council (examined 2013)
  7. ^ The Planning Inspectorate Appeal Decision ref APP/P2935/A/11/2164056 (Decision date 7 August 2012)
  8. ^ Hexham Courant 10 Jan 2014 'Villagers admit defeat after 15 years battling opencast'
  9. ^ Parish of Alston Moor. Church leaflet (2008)
  10. ^ accessed 11.1.14
  11. ^ "River South Tyne – Lambley Viaduct". Bridges on the Tyne. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "Village Heroes". Illustrated Chronicle (Monday, 23 February 1920): 10, 16.
  13. ^ "North East War Memorials Project". 12 December 2008.
  14. ^ [1] Geograph; Railway path at Halton Lea Gate accessed 15 January 2014
  15. ^ Purves, Geoffrey (2006). Churches of Newcastle and Northumberland. Stroud, Gloucestershire, England: Tempus Publishing Limited. p. 67. ISBN 0-7524-4071-3. Archived from the original on 13 January 2016.

External links[edit]

  • GENUKI (Accessed: 3 December 2008)