Highgreen Manor, Tarset, NorthumberlandA stone house of relatively modest size that gives the impression of being much larger than it is because of an agglomeration of cottages and outbuildings set around an informal courtyard at the rear. It was built on the site of an earlier farmhouse, parts of which may be incorporated in the outbuildings, and one source says there was a medieval pele tower on the site, although the evidence for this is unclear.
|Highgreen Manor: the site in 1896, from the OS 25" map|
|Highgreen Manor: the site in 1862 from the OS 6" map|
|Highgreen Manor: the principal front, with the addition of 1894 on the right. Image: Oliver Dixon. Some rights reserved.|
Descent: built for Sir Charles William Bell (later Morrison-Bell) (1833-1914), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Claude William Hedley Bell (later Morrison-Bell) (1867-1943), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir Charles Reginald Francis Morrison-Bell (1915-67), 3rd bt. ; to son, Sir William Hollin Dayrell Morrison-Bell (b. 1956), 4th bt.
Otterburn Hall, Northumberland
|Otterburn Hall: the sadly neglected east front today.|
|Otterburn Hall: the south front from an early 20th century postcard.|
Bell (later Morrison-Bell) family of Highgreen Manor and Otterburn Hall, baronets
(1) Sir Charles William Bell (later Morrison-Bell) (1833-1914), 1st bt.;
(2) William Morrison Bell (1834-1900), born 1 July and baptised at Bishopwearmouth (Co. Durham), 30 July 1834; an officer in the 3rd Light Dragoons (Cornet, 1854; Lt., 1857; Capt., 1858; Maj., 1864; retired, 1869); a partner with his brother in the family colliery and lead mining business, though he was probably never an active partner; after leaving the army he made a trip round the world with friends in 1869-70, documented in his handwritten diaries and in his two-volume book, Other Countries (1872); lived at Birchington (Kent) and Bonchurch (IoW); died unmarried at Bonchurch, 6 April 1900, and was buried there, where he is commemorated by a wall plaque; will proved 15 May 1900 (estate £236,317);(3) James Hampson Bell (b. & d. 1836), baptised at Bishopwearmouth (Co. Durham), 26 August 1836; died in infancy, 1836.
(1) Sir Claude William Hedley Bell (later Morrison-Bell) (1867-1943), 2nd bt. (q.v.);(2) Evelyn Beatrice Bell (later Morrison-Bell) (1869-1927), born 18 October 1869; married, 10 December 1924 at St Margaret, Westminster, Henry Dixon, son of John Dixon, barrister-at-law; died without issue, 24 July 1927; will proved 15 December 1927 (estate £228,949);(3) twin, Sir Arthur Clive Bell (later Morrison-Bell) (1871-1956), 1st bt., of Harpford House (Devon), born 19 April 1871; educated at Eton and RMA Sandhurst; an officer in the Scots Guards (2nd Lt., 1890; Maj., 1908; retired 1908 but returned to colours 1914 and retired 1918) who served in the Boer War and First World War (prisoner of war, 1915-18); Conservative MP for Honiton (Devon), 1910-31; Parliamentary Private Secretary to First Lord of the Admiralty, 1920-23, to the Lord Privy Seal, 1923, and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1924-26; noted for his use of cartographic visualisations of political issues, such as the Tariff Walls Map; created a baronet, 18 July 1923; married, 21 November 1912 at St Margaret, Westminster, Hon. Lilah Katherine Julia (1888-1981), daughter of Mervyn Wingfield (1836-1904), 7th Viscount Powerscourt, and had issue three daughters; died 16 April 1956, when his baronetcy became extinct; his will was proved 8 August 1956 (estate £46,708);(4) twin, Ernest Fitzroy Bell (later Morrison-Bell) (1871-1960), born 19 April 1871; educated at Eton; an officer in the 9th Lancers (2nd Lt., 1891; Lt., 1894; Capt., 1901; Maj., 1914; Lt-Col., 1917; retired 1919), who served in the Boer War (mentioned in despatches) and First World War; appointed OBE, 1919; JP and DL for Gloucestershire; MP for Ashburton (Devon), 1908-10, 1910-18; married, 12 November 1902 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Maud Evelyn (1871-1960), daughter of Lt-Col. Frank Henry of Elmestree House, Tetbury (Glos), and had issue four daughters; lived latterly at The Close, Long St., Tetbury; died 20 October 1960; will proved 30 January 1961 (estate £74,707);(5) Muriel Blanche Gwendoline Bell (1872-1919), born 30 June and baptised at Winterslow (Wilts), 2 August 1872; one of the founders of the Christian Scientist Church, Sevenoaks; married, 10 May 1899 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Col. John Middleton Rogers DSO (1864-1945) of Riverhill House, Sevenoaks (Kent) (who m2, 1921, Hilda Rudd Stevenson (1871-1945)), and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 25 December 1919 and was buried at Sevenoaks; will proved 30 March 1920 (estate £77,753).(6) Eustace Widdrington Bell (later Morrison-Bell) (1874-1947), born 10 February and baptised at Winterslow, 18 March 1874; an officer in the Rifle Brigade (2nd Lt., 1894; Lt., 1897; Capt., 1900; retired 1907) who served on the NW Frontier in India, and the Boer War; from 1908 in the 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Capt., 1908; Maj. by 1914; Lt-Col. by 1919), and served in the First World War; member of London County Council for West Marylebone district, 1914-22?; polo player and yachtsman; married, 4 August 1914 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Hon. Harriet Margaret (1891-1975), sixth and youngest daughter of Charles Henry Rolle Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis (1834-1904), 20th Baron Clinton, and had issue one son and two daughters; lived latterly on the Isle of Wight; died 13 December 1947; will proved 1 April 1948 (estate £226,800).
(1) Kathleen Frances Morrison-Bell (1906-2001), born 12 December 1906; an officer in the Women's Royal Army Corps (Maj.) in Second World War; County Councillor for Northumberland, 1952-57, 1974-80 (County Alderman, 1957-74); JP for Northumberland from 1957; died unmarried aged 94 on 10 March 2001; will proved 3 September 2001;(2) Daphne Frances Morrison-Bell (1908-83), born 24 April 1908; married, 12 May 1950, as his second wife, Brig. Brian Mortimer Archibald CBE DSO (1906-93), eldest son of Dr Thomas Dickson Archibald (1876-1951) of Toronto (Canada), and had issue one daughter; died 19 March 1983; will proved 23 June 1983 (estate £146,257);(3) Veronica Frances Morrison-Bell (1911-2001), born 27 February 1911; married, 17 July 1942 at Brockville, Ontario (Canada), Maj. John Jerome Stonborough (1912-2002)*, an intelligence officer in the Canadian army, younger son of Jerome Stonborough of New York (USA), and had issue two sons and one daughter; inherited Glendon from her parents and divided her time between England and Austria; died 28 January 2001;(4) Sir Charles Reginald Francis Morrison-Bell (1915-67), 3rd bt. (q.v.).
(1) Sir William Hollin Dayrell Morrison-Bell (b. 1956), 4th bt. (q.v.);(2) Julian Francis Tarret Morrison-Bell (b. 1959), born 14 February 1959; photographer, apprenticed to Gordon Bishop, and later farmer on the Highgreen estate; DL for Northumberland, 2021; director of Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust, 2000-22; Chairman of Northumberland National Park Development Committee, 2022-date; married 1st, 28 November 1984 (div.), Penelope Josephine (b. 1953), of Chipchase Castle (Northbld) (who m3, 1991, Paul Laszlo Torday (1946-2013), businessman and novelist), daughter of Lt-Col. Richard Ian Griffith Taylor DSO MC (d. 1984), of Chipchase Castle, and formerly wife of Robert John Elkington (b. 1949), and had issue one son; he married 2nd, 11 July 1991, Karenina A., daughter of Nigel O'Flaherty of Dublin, and had further issue one son and one daughter; now living.
(1) Thomas Charles Edward Morrison-Bell (b. 1985), born 13 February 1985; educated at Westminster School, Trinity College, Dublin (matriculated 2004; BA 2008) and University College, Dublin (MSc 2012); public affairs manager; heir apparent to the baronetcy;(2) Emily Prudence Collette Morrison-Bell (b. 1996), born 12 December 1996.
Location of archives
Coat of arms
Can you help?
- Does anyone know the source of the story that the site of Otterburn Hall was gifted to Lord James Murray by way of reparation for the death of his ancestor five hundred years earlier?
- Can anyone provide portraits of the people whose names appear in bold above, for whom no image is currently shown?
- If anyone can offer further information or corrections to any part of this article I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.