Communities > Acomb About  Contact



Search The Site



Ordnance Maps


Printed Material

Census Information

Easting: 566595  Northing: 392961  Latitude:N54:59:38   Longitude: W2:06:42  Show Location Map
Acomb, Housing along Alnmouth Terrace

The village of Acomb is situated on the north bank of the Tyne, two miles north from Hexham, and was part of the ancient manor of Hexham. It is often called West Acomb to distinguish it from a hamlet of the same name in Bywell St. Peter. It consists of one main street running from east to west and has an old fountain in the centre of a small square.

Although it was reputed that the Anglo Saxons settlers of Northumberland founded Acomb village, there is some evidence of previous activity in the area. For example the Oakwood Stone, found at the edge of a field in the 1970s, and now located in the parish church at St. John Lee, is one of the of the most southerly of the 'cup and ring' marked stones found in the county of Northumberland. The stone was most probably used as a capstone to cover an ancient stone burial chamber.

There is little that is known of medieval Acomb. As the village is situated on the north side of the town, it was exposed to Scottish attack. It was destroyed on several occasions and in 1467 it was burnt by a riotous group. The peasants living in Acomb at this time would have paid their rents to the Archbishop of York through a bailiff, but there was no resident Lord of the manor, or castle or pele tower in the area. Henry VIII took over the Regality of Hexhamshire from the Archbishop during his reign. As the crown then collected information on the village, it is possible to learn more of Acomb in the Tudor period. It was recorded that rents in the village were low, but the tenants were expected to turn out for military service whenever they were required. In 1694, the tenants of Acomb made an agreement to enclose the township's common arable fields. This ended the agricultural system which had been in place since the medieval period. After a further enclosure award was made in 1779, Acomb became very much like it is today, cut up into hedged or walled fields and farmed largely from centrally situated farmhouses.

The village in the nineteenth century was mainly occupied with lead and coal miners. It was described by The Newcastle Weekly Chronicle in December 1873 as 'a chaotic mixture of a mining settlement, with prosperous lead and coal mines working nearby and agricultural village with pens and stockyards spilling out on to the main street.'

The Hermitage is one of the principal buildings in the village. It was built at the beginning of the eighteenth century and stands between the Tyne and the foot of the hill on which the church is built.

By the end of the nineteenth century there were three chapels in the village belonging respectively to the Wesleyans, the Primitive Methodists and the Independents. The Wesleyan chapel was built in 1861 and was situated opposite Town Foot Farm. The chapel closed in 1932 and was later demolished. The chapel belonging to the Primitive Methodists was opened in 1872 when Mr. W. Smith laid the foundation stone of the building. The original building incorporated the Sunday School, however, an extension to the chapel was built in 1893 to provide for a new schoolroom. The parish church of St. John Lee includes Acomb together with Anick, Sandhoe, Oakwood and Stagshaw.