Old trade directories only list 'gentry' and businesses.

The main business was farming, some other occupations were:- grocers, blacksmiths, boot and shoemakers and repairers, and tailors.

In the mid 1800s there were PUBS AND TAVERNS listed as
  • 1828 Crown and Thistle at High Seat, John Dobson,
             Lamb & Butcher (Church House) Robert Harrison,
             Three Tuns John Hogg,
  • 1834 Lamb and Butcher Belonged to Robert Harrison,
             Blue Bell Tavern Hannah Nesbit,
             Three Tuns John Hogg.
  • 1855 Three Tuns Jane Hogg,
    John Whitfield.
  • 1864 Swan John Whitfield,
             Three Tuns Thomas Hogg.
  • 1886 Three Tuns William Armitage,
             French Arms James Bell,
             Swan Robert Thompson,


  • In 1828, William Gilhespey and John Hogg
  • In 1834, William Gilhespey and Thomas Hogg
  • In 1855, Joseph Gilhespey and Thomas Hogg
  • In 1864, Joseph Gilhespey and Thomas Hogg
  • In 1886, William Armitage
  • By the turn of the century BLACKSMITHS were Henry Amos and George Armitage.


The names of some of the farms have changed over the years.
  • West Bank Farm and Heslops Low Buildings are now Heddon Banks Farm and Low Farm.
  • Mount Pleasant Farm or East Bank Farm is now Heddon Hall.
  • East House farm was beside the Roman Wall.
  • FARMERS during the 1800s were Frederick Freeman, John Armstrong, John Atkinson Armstrong and William Armstrong who all farmed at Bays Leap between 1828 and 1886. Henry Armitage was at Birks East Farm, John Laws at Brecon Hill Farm, Jonathon Laws at East Heddon Farm,and Mary Laws at Heddon Laws Farm. During the period 1828 - 1902 Heddon Banks Farm was run at various times, by George Armstrong, John Heslop and Isabella Lamb. Mount Pleasant Farm (Heddon Hall) in 1828 belonged to John Moor Bates and West Heddon Farm was run by Robert Howd and Joseph Stoppard.


The business of GROCERS AND SHOPKEEPERS seem to have been passed down in the family as the same surname keeps appearing.

  • In 1828 there was Peter Wilkinson
  • in 1834 Ann Wilkinson.
  • In 1855 Ann Wilkinson
  • in 1864 Ann Wilkinson
  • In 1886 Henry Angus Wilkinson and Miss Elizabeth Sarah Wilkinson.

In 1894 Elizabeth Sarah Wilkinson was the only female to be elected to serve on the first Parish Council together with six men from the village. Daniel Carberry was elected chairman at this meeting.

Between 1828 and 1925 other SHOPKEEPERS AND GROCERS were named as Robert Harrison, Charlton Gowans, Alice Gilhespey, Joseph Harrison, Jane Robson, Jane Stobert, John Taylor, William Charlton (Frenchmans Row), William Gibson, Lydia Moore, Mark Reay, Mary Ann Purvis, Mary Ann Waugh, Sarah Hunter, Annie Straughan, and Dorothy Wilkinson. Unfortunately the directories do not give any indication where the shops were as most of them were in peoples houses.
The only ones known today are a sweet shop on Mushroom Row run by Mrs Graham, and Mr Tully sold papers from a house also on Mushroom Row. Bread and teacakes were sold by Mrs Charlton from her house on Station Road and her son also had a van and delivered bread and sweets around Heddon, East Towne Farm and 'Waughs' on Hexham Road, and a Post Office on Clayton Terrace. Mrs Eddy was also known to sell small amounts of necessary goods such as black lead and butter from her house in the Square Yard, one of the Wilkinson family sold sweets from her house at Houghton and Wilkinsons also had East Town Farm.

The first mention of a post office is in 1864 with Mrs Sarah Robson as postmistress, in 1881 Ralph Robson had the post office and in 1902 the post and money order office on Jubilee Terrace was run by John Wright. This became a post office and shop in 1914 and in 1925 the parish council enquired about the installation of a public telephone box at the post office on Clayton Terrace
After Mr Waugh died the family moved to Haddocks Hole (beside Three Tuns) and Mrs Waugh used to sell lemonade from a window facing on to Military Road to any cyclists or walkers travelling that way. They eventually bought the house on Hexham Road which is now known as the Old Post Office and ran the business of post office and general dealers from there.
The people who lived in Garden House used to sell some of their spare produce to villagers. It was possible to buy 2d of 'potstuff' from them and also a bag of apples or pears for 1d. The horse and cart was used to collect and deliver orders from Throckley Co-op and also a cart came from Wylam Mill to collect orders for flour. Hannah Gibson used to be the carter from Heddon (Carters Cottages?) taking goods from Heddon to Newcastle with her horse and cart and bringing back any packages to be collected from her house by the residents of the village. She lived in the cottages beside the Swan. Another person popular with the men was the bookie. This was in the Square Yard then Hexham Road. All was done on the quiet but everyone knew about it.

The new co-operative society store was opened on 5th October 1924 beside the Three Tuns where the blacksmiths used to be. The new shopping centre and co-op were opened in December1962.

Slight changes in spelling surnames make it difficult to be certain that you are tracing the same family. TAILORS are listed as John Falkes and John Falkous as well as Matthew Hunter, William Charlton and William Howden.


SHOEMAKERS are Thomas Fewters and Robert Futers as well as John Ramsey, John Taylor, Edward Hawkins and Edward Shipley at Frenchmans Row.
From the churchyard tombstone inscriptions we know that there was a shoemaker by the name of Robert Smith who died in 1752.

Mr Westgarth was a COBBLER who had a wooden hut on the corner of the Square Yard and eventually Mr George Clark had his cobblers business on Station Road


There were STONEMASONS listed as George Hunter, George Lawson, William Johnson, Stephen Lawson, and Robert Hunter,and in 1881 William Jackson is listed as Stonemason and Grocer.


HEDDON STATION opened in 1885 and Andrew Tait Watson was named as Station Master. The station eventually closed in September 1958.


One of the constant occupations in Heddon from early times was the Vicar.

  • from 1796 the vicar was Thomas Allason,
  • 1830 John Alexander Blackett,
  • 1848 John Jackson,
  • 1850 Michael Maxwell Heron
  • 1873 Charles Boulker,
  • 1895 Ernest William Walters,
  • 1905 William George Pringle,
  • 1932 Samuel E.R. Fenning,

Their ministry in Heddon lasted from 1 year to 34 years during this time.


At the entrance to St. Andrews Church is a stone seat on each side of the porch, this represents the first seat of learning in the parish where in medieval times those who were willing and able to afford it, would come for instruction from the priest or monks in charge of the church. The earliest mention in records of a schoolmaster in Heddon was Walter Salvin in 1656. In 1823 Mrs Bewicke opened a school at Houghton for the children of Close House and Houghton.In 1828 Charles Watson was the schoolmaster there. There are records of the acadamy in Houghton in 1834 run by John Young and also at Heddon by Jane Hogg.
The school at Heddon was opened in 1852, it was built by local craftsmen including the masters house, at a cost of 732-4s-7d which was met by subscriptions from the landed gentry and a grant of 200 and the deficit of 3 was made up by the vicar giving his fee from the marriage of Miss Stephenson of Throckley House with Mr George Scott as Master and he received the vast sum of 55 per annum. There seems to have been a problem with keeping teachers as they had six in the first 5 years. In 1858 Mr James Phorson was schoolmaster at Heddon with Mrs Margaret Phorson as schoolmistress. In 1858 Thomas Hopper was schoolmaster and he is still mentioned in 1864. By 1886 John Edward Hall was schoolmaster and Miss M. Lomas was schoolmistress. There were about 133 children attending the school during 1888.


An early mention of COAL MINING was in 1784 when it was noted that a pit at Heddon was the first to use 'screening' for coals, seperating the pieces by size. In 1788 a pit on the south side of Hexham Road between the Great Hill and French Arms was worked to 30 fathoms. The Margaret pit at Heddon was both a deep mine and a drift mine. In 1902 it was sold by Cadwaller Bates to Throckley Coal company and early in the 1930s it was closed. There was also mining in 1957 when the National Coal Board bought Bays Leap, Towne House and Heddon Mill for opencast mining.


We can also find from the tombstone inscriptions that there was a Marmaduke Marr who was a HOUSE SURGEON and died in 1869, Robert Stevenson who was a DOCTOR and died in 1828, and William Elliott who was also a DOCTOR and died in 1851.


JOINERS were known as John Burn and John Robson, Mr Duke who was Turkish and lived on Hexham Road next to the vicarage, and there is also at a later date Tulip and Murray.

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