"The name Swinburn originates in Northumberland in the north of England. The Swin Burn is a stream rising at Carrycoats Moor and flowing through the township of East or Little Swinburn. Ulfchill de Swyneburne is the earliest known resident proprietor at East Swinburn. He is presumed to have been a man of considerable standing although he held his lands of the Lords of Gunnerton who were feudal tenants of the Baliols. Ulfchill's son, Adam was born about 1160. At West or Great Swinburn a Godfrey de Swinburne was given land by Ralph de Gunnerton in the late 12th century. The Swinburne's rose rapidly in wealth and influence from the end of the 13th century.
The spelling of SWINBURN is very inconsistent through almost every branch of the family. Different spellings for the same person will occur on birth, marriage and death registrations, census returns, parish registers, letters etc. The inclusion or omission of the final 'e' is the most common inconsistency and occurs very randomly. Some branches have adopted an 'o' and the variants SWINBOURNE, SWINBORN, SWINBORNE and SWINBOURN are most common in the Warwickshire and Essex branches. The census returns in particular, have many odd variants and Swinburns have been found under the names SWIMBURN, SWIMBURNE, SWINBARN, SWINBUN etc."(Source: The Swinburn(e) Family History Site [ http://webspace.webring.com/people/au/um_7035/] )
See also: Swinburne, Swinbourne, Swynborn, Swinbourne
“In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Swinbourne as a surname were the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name [of] someone who lived in Cumberland.
Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rule existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Swinbourne has been spelled Swinburn, Swinburne, Swinborn, Swinborne and others.
First found in Cumberland, where they held a family seat from ancient times, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
Motto: Semel et Semper (once and Always)”
(Source: [http://www.houseofnames.com/swinbourne-family-crest] )
The following is taken from Frank Graham's "Tynedale from Blanchland to Carter Bar" published by Frank Graham in 1978:
"Swinburn Castle is first mentioned un 1346 but of this medieval fortress nothing survives. It is said to have stood on the lawn of the present house. The two tunnel vaulted basements to the east are sometimes claimed to be part of the old castle. In the list of 1415 it is recorded as belonging to the son of Roger Widderington the founder. A wall around the castle is mentioned in 1479. In the Great Survey of 1541 it is described as a great tower with only the walls standing. About 1660 a manor house was built. ... Some time before 1760 the house we see today was built...In the park of Swinburn Castle is a remarkable standing stone or menhir. It is 11 feet high and 3 [and half] feet in breadth. Associated with it are three or four tumili or burial mounds and some prehistoric terraces used for agriculture."