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Naming Northumberland, including Norham- New website goes LIVE

On the 1st September, The Ordnance Survey Name Books for Northumberland website

went LIVE.

In Norham Life on 8th January 2021, I posted about ‘Naming Norham’, using a preview of the The Ordnance Survey Name Books for Northumberland website, with the permission of Professor Diana Whalley and her team of volunteers.

This website has now gone LIVE and is free to search and browse.

It is available at:

The new website has lots to offer and is such a valuable resource. If you have interests in local or family history, in place names or antiquities in Norhumberland, there will be some something new for you.

Ordnance Survey Name Books survive for most of Scotland, but for only 5 counties in England. The rest of the English Books were lost in bombing raids during World War 2. Fortunately, Northumberland is one of the counties where the records survived. But until recently they had not been transcribed and only now are they freely available.

It is now possible to search the website for all the 104 Parishes in Norhumberland, including the Parish of Norham.

(In the next few days, I shall be doing another Post about Norham, this time on the railway stations, shops and services and pubs and inns in the parish in 1861).


Below you can see part of the announcement about the new Website. Any queries about this can be sent to:

“A set of dog-eared and characterful handwritten books record some fifteen thousand place-names from Abberwick to Youly Sike, with brief descriptions of the places, giving a fascinating overview of Northumberland (including most of Tyneside) around 1860, a time of great change. They are now accessible on the Northumberland Name Books website (, which went live on 1st September 2021.”

“The 104 Ordnance Survey Name Books for Northumberland (most housed in The National Archives, Kew) record the immense fieldwork project that lies behind the First Edition Six Inch-scale maps of the county, and all subsequent maps. The surveyors visited every corner of the county, consulting locals, describing the landscape and archaeological sites and recording gentlemen's residences, colliers' cottages, churches, chapels and now long-gone farms, ferries, wells, spas, pubs, mines and 'manufactories'."

"Thanks to the dedicated work of over thirty volunteers led by retired professor Diana Whaley, a full set of transcriptions and images, together with introductory sections, can now be freely searched and browsed on the website. For anyone interested in town and country, past and present, in names, or in the story behind our mapping, this is a treasure trove well worth exploring."

"Particular thanks to Irwin Thompson, Cornwell Internet, Explore, to principal funders the English Place-Name Society (Jim and Mary Ann Wilkes Fund), and to the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust.”



Background Article: Diana Whaley (2020). Northumberland through the eyes of the gallant Ordnance Surveyors, c.1860. The Northumbrian 176, 14-19.

Scottish Name Books: Ordnance Survey Name Books for Scotland:

Northumberland Name Books:

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Excellent new Liz and a fantastic resource.

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