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Humshaugh House - - 98929.jpg
Humshaugh House
Northumberland UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Northumberland
Population622 (2011) [1]
OS grid reference NY919712
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Hexham
Postcode district NE46
Dialling code 01434
Police Northumbria
Fire Northumberland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
List of places
55°02′00″N2°08′00″W / 55.0333°N 2.1333°W / 55.0333; -2.1333 Coordinates: 55°02′00″N2°08′00″W / 55.0333°N 2.1333°W / 55.0333; -2.1333

Humshaugh ( /ˈhʌmzhʌf/ ) is a parish near Hexham in Northumberland, England. This small village is just north of Chollerford, which is located near Chesters Fort (Cilurnum) on Hadrian's Wall and is about 21 miles west of Newcastle upon Tyne. The village of Humshaugh lies just off the military road running from Newcastle to Carlisle which was built by General Wade during the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. Other nearby villages include Low Brunton and Walwick. For those who are new to the area, Humshaugh is usually pronounced Humz-hoff, although some genuine locals have been heard calling it Humz-haff. [2]

Hexham market town and civil parish in Northumberland, England

Hexham is a market town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, south of the River Tyne, and was the administrative centre for the Tynedale district from 1974 to 2009. In 2011, it had a population of 11,829.

Northumberland County of England

Northumberland is a unitary authority and a Historic county in North East England. The northernmost county of England, The unitary authority borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham and Tyne and Wear to the south and the Scottish Borders to the north. To the east is the North Sea coastline with a path 103 kilometres (64 mi) long. The county town is Alnwick, although the county council is based in Morpeth.

Chollerford village in United Kingdom

Chollerford is a village in Northumberland, England. It is situated approximately four miles to the north of Hexham on the B6318, the Military Road, not far from Hadrian's Wall. There is a roundabout in the village where the B6318 and B6320 roads meet, and the traffic light-controlled Chollerford Bridge crosses the River North Tyne. Beside the river is The George Hotel.


The paper mill near Humshaugh, on the River North Tyne close to Barrasford, among other mills in various rural locations around England, was used during the Napoleonic Wars to make the paper that was used to print fake French money in a bid to flood France with the forged notes, which was intended to cause a marked devaluation of the currency. [3]

River Tyne river in North East England

The River Tyne is a river in North East England and its length is 73 miles (118 km). It is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the North Tyne and the South Tyne. These two rivers converge at Warden Rock near Hexham in Northumberland at a place dubbed 'The Meeting of the Waters'.

Barrasford village in United Kingdom

Barrasford is a village in Northumberland, England. It is situated to the north of Hexham, on the North Tyne. Barrasford is an ancient village that lies within the shadow of Haughton Castle. The village is notable for being the location of a Bronze Age burial site where the Reaverhill Dagger was excavated in 1964. Today Barrasford is noted for its quarry.

Napoleonic Wars Series of early 19th century European wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).

It is also attributed as the site of the first official Scout camp, held in August 1908, a year after the more famous experimental camp on Brownsea Island. [4] [5] However, this is misleading, Humshaugh was a large Parish, before sub division, and the Scouts took the train to Chollerford, the nearest station to Humshaugh, and walked up through Walwick and the woods to the site, which is known as Look Wide! The actual site is on land belonging to Park Shields Farm (grid reference NY 885 697), near to Fourstones, and is now marked by a cairn commemorating the event. [6] [7]

Scouting World-wide movement for the education of youth, founded by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907

Scouting or the Scouts The Scout Movement is a voluntary non-political educational movement for young people open to all without distinction of gender, origin, race or creed, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method conceived by the Founder, Baden Powell. The purpose of the Scout Movement is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities. During the first half of the twentieth century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups for boys and, in 1910, a new organization, Girl Guides, was created for girls. It is one of several worldwide youth organizations.

Brownsea Island Scout camp

The Brownsea Island Scout camp began as a boys' camping event on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, southern England, organised by Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell to test his ideas for the book Scouting for Boys. Boys from different social backgrounds participated from 1 to 8 August 1907 in activities around camping, observation, woodcraft, chivalry, lifesaving and patriotism. Recognised as the world's first Scout camp, the event is regarded as the real origin of the worldwide Scout movement.

Fourstones village in the United Kingdom

Fourstones is a village in Northumberland, England. The village lies on the north bank of the River South Tyne about 4 miles (6 km) west of Hexham.

First official Scout camp

While Brownsea Island was the site of the experimental camp run by Baden-Powell in 1907, Humshaugh hosted what is recognised as the first official Scout camp from 22 August to 4 September 1908. The difference between the two camps is that the 1907 event was not attended by any invested members of Scouting, since there was no movement at the time. The Humshaugh camp saw 30 invested Boy Scouts from around the United Kingdom who were members of recognised Scout Troops who followed the Scout Method and Scout Law as developed by Baden-Powell and published in his Scouting for Boys . [8] [9]

Scout (Scouting) member of scout movement

A Scout is a child, usually 10–18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group into a junior and a senior section. Scouts are organized into troops averaging 20–30 Scouts under the guidance of one or more Scout Leaders. Troops subdivide into patrols of about 6–8 Scouts and engage in outdoor and special interest activities. Troops may affiliate with local, national, and international organizations. Some national Scouting associations have special interest programs such as Air Scouts, Sea Scouts, outdoor high adventure, Scouting bands, and rider Scouts.

<i>Scouting for Boys</i> book

Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship is a book on Boy Scout training, published in various editions since 1908. Early editions were written and illustrated by Robert Baden-Powell with later editions being extensively rewritten by others. The book was originally a manual for self-instruction in observation, tracking and woodcraft skills as well as self-discipline and self-improvement, about the Empire and duty as citizens with an eclectic mix of anecdotes and unabashed personal observations and recollections. It is pervaded by a degree of moral proselytizing and references to the author's own exploits. It is based on his boyhood experiences, his experience with the Mafeking Cadet Corps during the Second Boer War at the Siege of Mafeking, and on his experimental camp on Brownsea Island, England.


The camp was advertised in the first issue of The Scout [ clarification needed ] magazine in April 1908. The magazine asked the question "Who of you would want to spend a fortnight under canvas with a Troop of other boys, and under the care of General Baden-Powell?", which was met with great enthusiasm by the members of the fledgling movement. However, there was a catch – there were only thirty places available for Scouts on the camp, and they were to be selected by a voting system. Each issue of the magazine included a coupon which was to be sent back to the publisher with the name of a Scout being nominated to attend the camp. [8] [10]

First official Scout Camp
LocationCarr Edge, Humshaugh, Northumberland
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date1908-08-22 to 1908-09-04
WikiProject Scouting fleur-de-lis dark.svg  Scouting portal

This voting scheme was not the choice of Baden-Powell, but rather that of the magazine's publisher, C. Arthur Pearson, and many consider the idea to be a cynical marketing scheme designed to increase the sales of the magazine. Baden-Powell himself wrote "There is something in it which I fear will put off some readers of the better sort". [10] However, this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Scouts themselves. Lists were published in each issue, building up to the event, allowing Scouts to see who was in the top fifty nominees. When the voting had closed, the first placed Scout, F. D. Watson, had gained nominations from over 29,000 "friends".

Sir Arthur Pearson, 1st Baronet Journalist; publisher

Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson, 1st Baronet,, was a British newspaper magnate and publisher, best known for founding the Daily Express.

Baden-Powell personally awarded the top fifty nominees a special edition "Scout" camera, along with a free copy of Scouting for Boys to the next fifty. [8]


The thirty nominated participants became known as the "Gallant Thirty". They were divided into five Patrols, and joined by a further six Scouts who were invited by Baden-Powell himself, including his own nephew, Donald Baden-Powell (who was also a participant of the Brownsea Island camp).

A number of adults also participated in the camp, many of whom were to become key figures in the Scout Movement in the years following the camp:

It is also believed that there were two instructors from the United States, but very few details are known about these participants. [8]


The camp participants visited many local sites of interest, including Haughton Castle, Hexham Abbey, and Walwick Grange. They also spent time exploring the nearby stretches of Hadrian's Wall. [6]

However, much of the programme was based around the gully in which the camp was sited, and saw many of the Scout games and Scoutcraft activities which Baden-Powell and his fellow instructors had developed for the Movement.

Centenary commemoration

Jamboree 2008 at Carr Edge 2008.JPG

In August 2008 Jamboree 2008 was held at a campsite close to Carr Edge, and was attended by groups from the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association, a Scout group from Portugal and members of The Scout Association. This event included the several features of the original camp, including a visit to Hexham Abbey and other local attractions.

On 22 August these Scouts retraced Baden-Powell's route from the former Fourstones railway station to the Carr Edge site, where a commemorative service was held (pictured). [12] [13]

Scouting's Sunrise

In 2007, Scouts from Ingleborough and Settle used the site to mark the centenary of the Scouting movement. [14] They held a ceremony for Scouting's Sunrise on 1 August.


An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward stretches north almost to Bellingham and south almost to Acomb with a total population taken at the 2011 census of 4,568. [15]

Famous residents

Eric Boswell, composer of the Christmas song "Little Donkey" and many other popular and folk songs, lived in Humshaugh from 1985 to 2009 and often played organ for services at St Peter's Church.

Kevin Whately, actor famous for playing Lewis, grew up in Humshaugh.


The name is recorded in 1279 as "Hounshale" and seems to come from Anglo-Saxon Hūnes halh = "Hūn's nook of land".

See also

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  1. "Parish population 2011" . Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  3. "Humshaugh". Northumberland Communities. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  4. Walker, Johnny. "Scouting Milestones – Brownsea Island". Scouting Milestones. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  5. Walker, Colin (2007). Brownsea:B-P's Acorn: The World's First Scout Camp. Write Books. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008.
  6. 1 2 "Where It All Began". Archived from the original on 7 July 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  7. "Lookwide Camp 1908". Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Humshaugh: – A Fortnight in Baden-Powell's Holiday Camp". "Johnny" Walker's Scouting Milestones. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  9. Walker, Colin (2008). The Dawn of the World Scout Movement. Write Books. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008.
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  11. Scouting Milesones Biographies - Dennis Colbron Pearse
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Jamboree 2008 site
  13. Diary entries for Jamboree 2008
  14. "Sunrise at 'Look Wide'". The Scout Association. 16 August 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  15. "Ward population 2011" . Retrieved 29 June 2015.