The Cheviot Hills, Northumberland National Park\n© Simon Fraser

Ingram : Village Layout

Medieval Earthworks at Ingram © NNPAEarthworks at IngramEarthworks at Ingram © NNPAEarthworks at Ingram

In gauging the layout of the medieval settlement, we have relatively little reliable evidence to help us. The earliest detail map dates to c. 1820 by which time many changes to the settlement pattern, land tenure and farming practices had occurred. The church remains an obvious fixed point, however. The towerhouse mentioned in various sources from 1509 onwards probably lay close by as it was reported to be the residence of the parson in 1541 (see Selected Sources and Surveys no.6) and an 18th Century observer, George Marks, reports a the remains of an old tower called Lumphaugh lay at a pistol shot's distance from the church (Hodgson Hinde 1869, 82).

It may well have lain within the churchyard, perhaps on the site of the present rectory or possibly somewhat closer to the river since it was reportedly threatened with being washed away in 1541. It is entirely unclear whether the tower occupied the same site as Geoffrey de Lucy 'the capital messuage' or manorial building complex probably including a manor house of some kind. The mill probably occupied the same site as the present dwelling labelled Ingram Mill, downstream of the main settlement.

The most plausible candidate for the site of the medieval village is provided by the area to the west of the church. The estate map of c. 1820 (NRO ZAN Bell 67/6; Aln Cas O XV 7) shows a leaf-shaped area or set of enclosures in this area to the west of the church. The map depicts relatively few buildings, but they all lay in this leaf-shaped area.

It is possible that many of these buildings represent post-medieval encroachment on what had originally been an open, leaf-shaped green. The access from the settlement at its the west end narrows then widens out again in a pattern commonly found in medieval village layouts with a pinch point at the point of transition from the village green to the access corridor leading to the unenclosed pasture beyond the townships arable fields.

Two fields to the south of the suggested green and the access corridor were labelled 'Tofts' on the 1820 map strengthening the hypothesis that there had formerly been a row of tenements along their northern edge, bordering the green. Indeed, traces of the foundations of former cottages are evident on the south side of the green at this end of the settlement. A further row, perhaps comprising cottage smallholder tenements may conceivably have fringed the northern edge of the green.

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