Church History

The town was originally called South Wallerick. After the Danish invasion in AD 875 the town was re-named Neubegang or Newbegining, with several different spellings until we have the present Newbiggin. There is evidence of an ancient Saxon Chapelry here. This chapel of ease is supposed to have been built by the monks of Lindisfarne and used by them in their mission to Northumbria and also on their journeys to and from Tynemouth Priory and Whitby.

Present church has thirteenth century origins. Once the 'daughter' church in the parish of Woodhorn with Newbiggin, St. Bartholomew's was made the 'mother' church of the parish when St. Mary's, Woodhorn was declared redundant in 1973. St. Bartholomew's is in a remarkably impressive situation away from the town, in a treeless churchyard very close to the sea. [The Newcastle Diocesan Gazetteer (1982), page 118.]


The chapelry of NEWBIGGING-BY-THE-SEA, has the township of North Seaton on the south, that of Woodhorn on the west and north, and on the east "the curled waters" of the "stormy main." A large portion of it consists of an uninclosed tract called the Links, or Newbigging Moor, on which the proprietors of the other part of the chapelry have cattle stints in various proportions. An unsightly and profitless marsh, called the Carr, which is formed by the little brook which comes past Woodhorn, and a stream from the north overflowing it, runs along the south side of the Moor, and stands in great need of improvement. The whole chapelry consists of only one township; and, in 1821, contained 82 houses inhabited by 434 persons, the greater part of whom were fishermen - a fine race of people, whose occupation makes them intrepid, but subjects them to perils that often bereave their families of their support.

[Hodgson's History of Northumberland Part II, Vol. 2.]


The crews of five boats belonging to this place, and Blyth, and Hartley, and consisting in all of nineteen men, perished in a violent storm at sea in 1808. One family belonging to Newbigging, and of the name of Robinson, lost their father, three of his sons, and two nephews. This accident strongly excited the public sympathy, and collections and subscriptions to the amount of £1701 were raised for the benefit of the families of the sufferers - to the judicious distribution of which, a committee of gentlemen, of whom the late rev. John Smith, vicar of Newcastle, was an active member, paid great and meritorious attention.

[Hodgson's History of Northumberland Part II, Vol. 2.]