About the Parish

About the Parish

The local government reorganisation of 1894 created the civil parishes of Hazon and Hartlaw, Newton on the Moor, Whittle, Greens and Glantlees and  Swarland. Only in Swarland’s case was a parish council also created. This situation was quite common across the whole of Northumberland: there were about 600 parish areas, but only about 60 or 70 parish councils.

In the first half of the 1950s, the County Council conducted a series of reviews of parish arrangements, taking each rural district council area in turn. This resulted in the making of an Order in 1955 which merged a number of hitherto-separate parishes and created the current parish area with its own parish council. It was originally titled Newton on the Moor Parish Council, but in the late 1980s it changed its name to the current Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council.

From 1955 until about 2012 the ‘new’ parish was divided into two parish wards for electoral purposes, whereby councillors were elected by only the electors of that ward, to represent that parish ward. Subsequently, the County Council (at the parish council’s request) dissolved the two wards so that from then-on, parish elections have been for the whole parish.

Geographically, the parish boundaries meet with those of Longframlington, Denwick, Shilbottle and Felton, and as shown in the Parish Map, several lines of demarcation which today seem curious actually follow the eighteenth century ownership lines of the Enclosure Award of 1754.

There are two ecclesiastical parishes within the civil parish, that of Shilbottle, which includes Newton on the Moor, and of Felton, which includes Swarland.

The villages have increased significantly in population and buildings since the 1970’s and the overall population in the parish is now just under 1,000 (2021). Swarland is the larger of the two villages and also has the Percy Wood caravan park on it’s edge. Newton on the Moor was designated a Conservation Area in 1972. The farmsteads of Hazon and Hartlaw are now hamlets, as farm buildings have been converted to residential dwellings.

Both Newton on the Moor and Swarland have a village hall. In addition Newton on the Moor has a pub – the Cook and Barker, and Swarland has the licenced Swarland Club, and Nelson’s cafe.

Proximity to Alnwick, Morpeth and Newcastle via the A1, and to the railway station at Alnmouth mean that the parish is well connected to its surroundings.

The ten Parish Councillors work to represent the needs and views of local residents and to liaise with the District Councillor who represents the wider area on the unitary authority of Northumberland County Council.