Elsdon is the perfect Northumbrian village, certainly the most complete example of a medieval settlement in the National Park. It has all the features that such a village should have: an ancient parish church, a tower house and a massive earthwork castle dominating the north end of the settlement. Elsdon village sits in a natural bowl overlooked by hills on all sides and surrounded by extensive ridge and furrow field systems.

It is clear that Elsdon was, in commercial and ecclesiastical terms, the most important settlement in the dale in the late 13th century, not only forming the site of the parish church but also possessing two markets and two fairs.

The severe problems of lawlessness and insecurity which affected border districts like Redesdale in the 16th and 17th centuries through frequent raids by Border Reivers are well-known and these troubles would have been very familiar to Elsdon residents of those times.

The drove roads entering and leaving the village to the north and the south also made Elsdon’s village green a natural gathering point for drovers moving their animals north and south and provided good business for the three public houses which then existed in the village, The Crown, The Bird in Bush and The Scotch Arms. Elsdon had the earliest statutory enclosure award for any Northumbrian township (dated to 1729). Above all Elsdon still remains a real community and local centre with a pub, a cafe, and a village hall, having avoided the fate which overtook many villages within the boundaries of the National Park of being reduced to a single planned farm, plus rows of workers' cottages. 

Northumberland National Park Historic Village Atlas - 2004