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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Matfen village green (geograph 2374157).jpg

Matfen is located in Northumberland
Location within Northumberland
Population495 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid referenceNZ029719
Civil parish
  • Matfen
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNE20
Dialling code01661
AmbulanceNorth East
UK Parliament
List of places
55°02′28″N 1°57′14″W / 55.041°N 1.954°W / 55.041; -1.954

Matfen is a village and a civil parish in Northumberland, England, near the town of Hexham and the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. It is an example of a 19th-century planned estate village. It was the birthplace of the 7th Premier of British Columbia, William Smithe.


Matfen is a few miles north of Hadrian's Wall. About halfway between the two there is a prehistoric standing stone called Stob Stone, adjacent to Standing Stone Farmhouse. The stone is about seven feet high and decorated with cup marks.[2]

The place-name Matfen is first attested in the Pipe Rolls for 1159, where it appears as Matefen. The name means Matta's fen.[3] The civil parish was formed in 1955 from East Matfen, Fenwick, Ingoe, Kearsley, Ryal and West Matfen.[4]


Matfen Hall
Matfen Hall

Matfen Hall now houses a hotel and country club. The Grade II* listed building was built about 1828 by Sir Edward Blackett to replace an earlier, 17th-century house.[5]

The Devil's Causeway passes the village less than 2 miles (3 km) to the west. The causeway is a Roman road, which starts at Port Gate on Hadrian's Wall, north of Corbridge, and extends 55 miles (89 km) northwards across Northumberland to the mouth of the Tweed at Berwick-upon-Tweed.[6]

Notable people

  • Thomas Bates (1775–1849), an eminent stockbreeder, was born in Matfen.
  • William Smithe (1842–1887), the 7th premier of British Columbia, was born in Matfen.
  • Lorna Hill (1902–1991), a writer of over 40 books for children, was the wife of the rector of Matfen.

See also


  1. ^ Office for National Statistics: Neighbourhood Statistics
  2. ^ Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northumberland, p. 387.
  3. ^ Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p. 318.
  4. ^ "Matfen CP through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Matfen Hall (1155328)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  6. ^ "The Devil's Causeway". Retrieved 17 December 2008.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 May 2020, at 13:38
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