Alnham : Parish and Township
The 19th century parish of Alnham, which forms the basic framework for the historical summary set out in volume XIV of the Northumberland County History edited by Madeleine Hope Dodds (NCH XIV (1935), 560-82), embraced the townships of Scrainwood, Prendwick and Unthank, as well that of Alnham itself.
These are recorded as separate localities in the feudal aid of 1242 preserved in the Book of Fees and may therefore be considered territorial vills or townships by this date (Liber Feodorum II, 1117-9, 1126-7). At the late 13th century zenith of medieval settlement expansion the parish appears to have incorporated a further vill, Alnhamsheles, which as its name suggests, probably originated as a summer seasonal settlement, inhabited by transhumant shepherds.
It was covered much of the southern Breamish catchment, the settlement lying near the present Alnham Moor Farm on the northern edge of the parish. Following the settlement’s abandonment in the late medieval period the township was reabsorbed by Alnham. Of all these townships, Alnham was by far the largest, covering an area of 9353 acres in the 19th century (acreage provided by NCH XIV (1935) Dixon 1985, II, 24 gives 9405 acres), making up the bulk of Alnham Parish. Scrainwood and Prendwick covered 1071 acres and 1611 acres respectively, whilst Unthank was tiny (only 172 acres).