View Full Version : St Margarets, Northumberland

Frank W
10-05-2008, 8:58 AM
In an 1861 Census Piece for Northumberland, a place of birth is shown as Northumberland, St Margrets.

The nearest similar name I can find in Genuki Gazetteer is St Margarets in Northumberland. URL is: http://www.genuki.org.uk/cgi-bin/gazplace?CCC=NBL,GR=NU150090,PLACE=ST%20MARGARETS

Even at maximum zoom, there is no visible mention of St Margarets on this map, so I'm wondering what the name refers to. Perhaps a Crag, or local peak, cairn, cave, etc?

Any clues?

Regards.......Frank W

10-05-2008, 9:23 AM
Hello Frank,

I've had a look too, but no joy. Perhaps it will show up on an OS map.

If no-one else is able to answer, try the Northumberland Archives Service here: http://pscm.northumberland.gov.uk/portal/page?_pageid=55,50323&_dad=portal92&_schema=PORTAL92&pid=90014 They have an email address that you could contact them through.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

10-05-2008, 12:00 PM
Hi Frank,

if you go back to Genuki, and find the old maps option, there is an 1866 map of Northumberland, that shows St Margarets, if you wander about a bit, then zoom right in.

It looks to be fairly isolated. Just one building on its own ...a chapel? Not the right shape though, it's a three sided structure. Surrounded by moorland, and wooded areas, there is a place to the SW called Moor Farm, then to the North, what looks like a small stream ominously called "Cut Throat Letch", also somewhere called St Margarets Green, but no houses there, just a watering hole all on its own, the "Freemans Arms P.H."

Incidentally, what IS a Letch? My daughter would say it was someone sleazy with dubious intentions, but does anyone know, am I right in thinking its what my Grandma from Barnard Castle would've called a beck?

regards birdlip

Frank W
11-05-2008, 8:42 AM
Hi Birdlip & Jan1954

I have'nt so far been able to find the 1866 map, but I did home in on the St Margarets location given in Genuki.

It is not exactly where the Genuki marker icon points to, and the actual Grid Reference is NU 156097

Although Genuki does not show a placename here, the OS map itself shows St Margarets Farm, and the details you found all match the OS map, ie Cut Throat Letch, Moor Farm maybe now Moor House, and Freemans Arms may have been where Freemans Hill or Freemans Well are shown today.

With a splitscreen display the Genuki and OS maps can be put side by side for comparison.

If you would like the URL for the current OS map please contact me direct by email or Private Messaging on BG Forums
(Can't post links to Commercial sites on the Forum).
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The official definition of "Letch" appears to be what you quoted, and appears in all the current dictionaries I've tried.

An alternative is suggested by an old Nuttalls Dictionary (1886):
Letch- To separate, as an alkali from ashes by percolation (leak)
(Leach has the same meaning)

Perhaps it was a dialect word for a natural or a manmade drainage channel or ditch?
Genuki quotes "Beck" as being a Viking word for "Stream", (see Dialect heading in Genuki)

Regards .........Frank W