Westnewton and Kirknewton, Northumberland
Kirknewton and Westnewton are discussed together here, for convenience, as their early histories are so closely interlinked and much of the source material is common to both, notably the Laing Charters which are reproduced in Appendix 1
Indeed the two communities probably originated as a single township, perhaps centred around the parish church, which was later subdivided in response to the pressure of an expanding population and intensifying cultivation in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The villages of Kirknewton and Westnewton are situated in the Glendale in the north of Northumberland, on the northern edge of the Northumberland National Park. The villages are located about 1km apart in Glendale, approximately 8km south of the border with Scotland, and about 8km west of Wooler.
Today the settlement of Westnewton is centred around a junction where the road running up the College Valley (towards Hethpool) joins the road from Wooler (in the east) Kirk Yetholm (in the west).
This is also the point where the College Burn converges on the Bomont Water before the latter heads east, and passes Kirknewton about 1km down stream.
The present settlement of Kirknewton lies to the east of the church, near the aforementioned road running from Wooler towards Kirk Yetholm. Both settlements are overlooked on the south by the northern extremes of the Cheviot Hills, while they sit on the edge of the more open border area that spreads out to the north.