The history of Kirkley Hall is a complex and fascinating one. Its location in one of England’s Border Counties ensures a turbulent past. The Hall’s past occupants have not only shaped the regions history but have also made an impact on the nation. Members of the Ogle family have been………………
• Physician to the Army (Fighting with Simon de Montford against Henry III)
• Sheriff of Northumberland
• Governor of Newcastle
• Lord Steward of the Kings Household
• Constable of Dover Castle
• Dean of Winchester
• Admiral of the Fleet
Nathaniel Ogle, when he was 20 years old eloped with a 17 year old Quaker girl. Rumours of the time suggest a fellow army officer who masqueraded as a clergyman by wearing a surplice conducted a marriage ceremony.
The Quarter Session of Easter 1723 recorded an “attempted adultery”, concerning John Robson and Francis Charlton both of Kirkley. The two had been out drinking after church and on their return to Francis’s house found her husband in bed. John Robson ‘laid his arms about her waist’ and said he had a great desire to lay with her, whereupon Francis called for help. The outcome is not documented.
The ‘strange robbery’ at Kirkley Hall on 3 April 1809 when the sum of £1,157. 13s 6d was stolen. Most of the money was mysteriously found in various gardens around the Estate. James Charlton was suspected, brought to trial, found guilty and sentenced to death. The sentence was later commuted. Charlton’s fate and the identity of the real culprit remains a mystery.
Sir William Noble, a staunch Presbyterian posed a threat to the Vicar of Ponteland who wrote to the Bishop of Newcastle and warned of “difficulties ahead” saying that Sir William “was not very friendly to him”. Sir William parked a bus outside the Parish Church at Evensong in an attempt to ‘poach’ parishioners from Ponteland to his Kirkley Chapel, St. Barnabas.
The relationship sank to an all time low when Sir William exhumed his wife’s body from the Parish churchyard and moved her to the grounds of the unconsecrated Chapel at Kirkley where Sir William was also buried on his death. The Chapel has now become a dwelling house and the memorial stone relating to the Nobles was stolen in recent years.
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