Matfen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Matfen
Geograph-2374157-by-Stephen-Richards.jpg
Matfen
Matfen is located in Northumberland
Matfen
Matfen
Matfen shown within Northumberland
Population 495 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference NZ029719
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Postcode district NE20
Dialling code 01661
Police Northumbria
Fire Northumberland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
NorthumberlandCoordinates: 55°02′28″N 1°57′14″W / 55.041°N 1.954°W / 55.041; -1.954

Matfen is a village and a civil parish in Northumberland, England, near the towns of Hexham and Newcastle upon Tyne. It is an example of a 19th-century planned estate village. It was the birthplace of a Premier of British Columbia, William Smithe.

History[edit]

Matfen is just a few miles north of Hadrian's Wall, and about half way between the two there is a prehistoric standing stone called Stob Stone, adjacent to Standing Stone Farmhouse. The stone is about seven feet high and decorated with cup marks.[2]

The place-name 'Matfen' is first attested in the Pipe Rolls for 1159, where it appears as Matefen. The name means 'Matta's fen'.[3]

Landmarks[edit]

Matfen Hall

Matfen Hall is operated as a hotel and country club. The Grade II* listed building was built c.1828 by Sir Edward Blackett to replace an earlier 17th Century house.

The Devil's Causeway passes the village less than 2 miles (3 km) to the west. The causeway is a Roman road which starts at Port Gate on Hadrian's Wall, north of Corbridge, and extends 55 miles (89 km) northwards across Northumberland to the mouth of the River Tweed at Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Notable people[edit]

  • Thomas Bates (1775–1849), eminent stockbreeder, born in Matfen.
  • William Smithe (1842–1887), 7th premier of British Columbia, born in Matfen.
  • Lorna Hill (1902–1991), prolific writer for children, wife of the rector of Matfen.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Office for National Statistics: Neighbourhood Statistics
  2. ^ Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northumberland, p. 387.
  3. ^ Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p. 318.

External links[edit]