Wooler and Glendale

Gateway to the Cheviot Hills



Historical Information

Ingram is a small village located in the Cheviots on the River Breamish, and on the edge of Northumberland National Park.

The valley through which the River Breamish runs is a very popular place with summer visitors and hill walkers. Driving past the village until coming to the public toilets and car park on the right, one reaches the starting point from which to climb the hills. Opposite the car park, halfway up the hill towards Brough Law, are the remnants of a Bronze Age settlement, easily missed, as it is merely an overgrown area surrounded by stones. Approximately half an hour is required to walk up the beaten path to the top of Brough Law and its Iron Age hillfort. The whole area around Ingram is crowded with prehistoric sites.

The Church of St Michael & All Angels dates back to the 11th Century. The oldest surviving part is the lower half of the tower. It was grafted onto the west end of the nave sometime in the 12th century. By 1300, however, St. Michael's was at its glory and two very distinguished Rectors William de Montford, Dean of St. Paul's (1291) and Walter Reginald (1306) who was later to become the Archbishop of Canterbury are both associated with Ingram. However, Border Wars following Edward 1's invasion of Scotland in 1296 wreaked havoc on the local villages and the church suffered from episodes of fires as well. In 1792 it shows in the records that parts of the church were demolished to save repair expenses so extensive were the damages.

Rector James Allgood and his sister undertook a complete restoration of St. Michael's between 1877 and 1879. Naves, aisles, and the extended chancel in the Early English style were rebuilt around the medieval shell. The only exception to this complete work was the tower which was undertaken by Chicele Chambre Vaughan, Rector in 1895. The tower is in Norman style with the bell dated 1746 and carrying the initials of the then church wardens. Mr. Allgood of Nunwick donated a fine gilded weathercock to set of the completed tower in 1905.

Some points of interest are the font, dated 1662, the Vaughan window, Isobel Purves brass on the vestry screen for her service to Rural Education, a brass plaque to Major William James Joicey for his generosity, a small sundial of 24 segments carved into the massive pillar at the east end of the south aisle.