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Pictures of Elsdon

in the county of Northumberland

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This typical Northumberland village is distinguished by a gibbet standing on Steng Cross. It is where the body of William Winter was hung following his execution in Newcastle for the murder of an old woman in Elsdon during 1791. It is a staggering introduction to what is a peaceful village set among the rolling hills of Redesdale.

In this gentle setting the village, with its scattering of 18th-century properties around a picturesque village green, is the perfect example of English village life. It has all the attributes of a picture postcard and at its core lies an ancient village church standing by a rare fortified rectory from the 14th-century. In times long since past, the village which is not far from Otterburn, had a turbulent history and when the church was restored 100 skeletons were found, they are thought to be those of men who died at the Bottle of Otterburn in 1388. In the hills surrounding the village there are many strange reminders of the past, these go deep into the roots of history, showing - cairns, earthworks, hut circles and remains of prehistoric man.

Extensive views are not a feature of Elsdon, its attraction lies within the village, save for the view west towards Otterburn, which is known for its famous textile mill where Otterburn tweed was once made. The mill is now completely refurbished and open to the public. At the northern end of Elsdon, the village is overlooked by a tower rising above the earthworks of the Motte Hills Castle. The parish church dedicated to St.Cuthbert dates back to the 13th-century, it lies securely within a peaceful churchyard covered by graves and tombs of centuries.

The village is within easy reach of the Scottish border, Kielder reservoir and the Roman Wall. The whole area is outstanding boasting a wealth of wildlife, lovely walks, and opportunities for fishing, boating, bird-watching, and cycling. There are local inns but for shops and a post office Otterburn is the nearest place.

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