|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is a quaint seaside town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, located on the North Sea coast. The town owes it's proud heritage to having once flourished as an important trade route for shipping grain from its port, as well as the coal produced from its mine. Ensuring that traditions are inherited through the generations, the original coal mine was converted into the Woodhorn Museum and heritage centre, which celebrates local art and historic relics. The architecture found in and around Ashington's seafront town is reminiscent of the past, paying homage to its original cottages, seeing them renovated into semi-modern B&Bs along the bay. Home to Sean Henry's infamous Couple Sculpture depicting a man and woman standing on a steel structure, staring out over the horizon, the bay is also well known for its idyllic beach as a tourist attraction.
Newbiggin derives its name from the Old English nīwe (new) + Middle English bigging (building, house),and may refer to an extension of the early settlement and parish of Woodhorn.
The church was for centuries a chapel only, with a tower surmounted by a spire which was originally used as a beacon.In the 14th century, Newbiggin was a very important maritime centre, called upon to support Edward III in his campaigns against the Scots. In the Middle Ages, Newbiggin was a major port for the shipping of grain, third in importance after London and Hull. Henry III granted a charter for a weekly market on Monday and an annual fair; in 1337, as a borough of note, it sent bailiffs to a council on matters of state, convened by the Bishop of Lincoln, the Earl of Warwick and other noblemen.
In 1805, two boats, with nineteen men, were lost in a storm off Newbiggin, after which £1,700 was donated by fundraising in the Newcastle region to relieve the bereaved families. As early as 1828, Newbiggin was a popular beach resort, with facilities to cater for visitors. The town had five public houses, one of which had a spa-like array of bathing facilities, several shops and lodging houses.The village featured a shore, which, being a fine smooth beach about a mile in length, was well suited for bathing, and, by 1848, was much frequented in warmer seasons. Several well-built guesthouses took hold. The bay gave good anchorage for small vessels, but even then was very little used, except for the numerous boats belonging to the fishery, in which most of the inhabitants were employed. The plentiful fish caught were herring, cod, ling, haddock, salmon, trout, turbot, halibut, soles, lobsters and crabs, not only for the supply of the neighbouring markets but the region; and buildings for the curing of herrings.
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea has a town council.
Under the Local Government Act 1972 Newbiggin-by-the-Sea became part of the local government district of Wansbeck in 1974. The local government district was abolished in 2009, with its responsibilities transferred to the Northumberland County Council unitary authority.
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is in the UK Parliamentary constituency of Wansbeck, which since the 2010 General Election has been represented at Westminster by Ian Lavery MP. Wansbeck is one of Northumberland's four Parliamentary constituencies.
The former local government district of Wansbeck and the Parliamentary constituency of Wansbeck both derive their names from the River Wansbeck which flows into the North Sea near Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
Fishing has always been associated with Newbiggin, although later many inhabitants were employed in coal mining. By the Victorian era, Newbiggin was Northumberland's favourite seaside town, attracting hundreds of visitors every day in the summer months.
In 1869, there were 142 cobles (fishing boats) in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
Newbiggin Colliery was sunk in 1908. The colliery closed in 1967, but at its peak in 1940, 1,400 men were employed there. The former Newbiggin Colliery Band is now the Jayess Newbiggin Brass Band, named for its president and former member, cornet legend James Shepherd.
To date, there are 89 active companies based in Newbiggin.
The town was at the end of the first telegraph cable from Scandinavia in 1868, and was laid from Jutland, Denmark. Attractions in Newbiggin today include the 13th-century parish church, million.and the flagship Newbiggin Maritime Centre, which has replaced the former heritage centre at a cost of £3
The lifeboat station was opened in 1851 following a fishing disaster in which ten Newbiggin fishermen lost their lives in stormy seas. It is the oldest operational boathouse in the British Isles.Celebrating over 160 years as a lifeboat station, Newbiggin has had 13 different station lifeboats over the years; today it operates an inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat. The crews have been presented with 16 awards for gallantry.
A £10 million renovation to rebuild and improve Newbiggin's rapidly eroding beach involved importing 500,000 tonnes of sand from Skegness, delivered by the trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Oranje and deposited on the beach through a pipe approximately 1 metre (39 in) in diameter. A new offshore breakwater was installed to accompany the matching breakwater on the opposite side of the bay. Also installed is a brass statue by sculptor Sean Henry named Couple, anchored in the centre of the bay.
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea boasts the longest promenade in Northumberland.Each spring and autumn, the promenade becomes a prime location for naturalists watching the North Sea seabird migratory passage.
The 13th century Parish Church of St Bartholomew, bleakly situated against a North Sea backdrop at Church Point, contains a notable collection of medieval gravestones. Eight complete cross slab grave covers have been reset in the walls of the north aisle which was rebuilt in 1912. The chancel, the east and western bays of arcades and the west tower are all 13th century, while the spire dates to the 14th century.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Woodhorn (commonly known as 'Woodhorn Church') is the oldest building in Wansbeck, with parts dating back to the 11th century, but has not functioned as a church since 1973. In recent decades, the building has housed at various times a museum and artists' studios. Newbiggin Town Council has set up the Woodhorn Church Working Group to discuss the future use of the now vacant building.
Woodhorn Church was once the mother church in the Parish of Woodhorn with Newbiggin. When she was declared redundant in 1973, that role passed to St Bartholomew's.
The Salvation Army has had a presence in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea since 1902 and its current premises consist of a worship hall on Front Street, opened in 1939, and a community hall on Vernon Place.The Salvation Army band features in the recollections of those who have grown up in Newbiggin or spent summer holidays there. Mary Heynes, who in her childhood was once head girl at the former West Junior School in Newbiggin, recalls that in the 1960s, "The Salvation Army would be on the Quay wall every Sunday doing a service and the band would play." In 1991 the Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Salvation Army Songster Brigade (the choir) recorded songs for BBC Radio.
St Mark's Church on Gibson Street was built in 1868 by the local stonemason William Gibson.Once a busy Presbyterian church, after the 1972 union of the Presbyterian and Congregational denominations in England St Mark's became a United Reformed church. St Mark's has now closed to worship. St Andrew's Methodist Chapel on Front Street was built in 1876. In 2010, the United Reformed and Methodist congregations in Newbiggin combined to form a single congregation in the South East Northumberland Ecumenical Area, meeting at St Andrew's which is now known as St Andrew's and St Mark's (Methodist/United Reformed) Church.
Prior to the building of St Andrew's in 1876, the Methodists used to meet in the Wesleyan Chapel on Robinson Square, which was built in 1844.In the early 20th century, the Robinson Square building was used by the Salvation Army before the Salvation Army acquired its current premises.
The Apostolic Church, whose beginnings can be traced to South Wales during the 1904-05 Welsh Revival, arrived in Newbiggin in 1936, initially hiring a room above the Co-operative store which still stands on Cleveland Terrace. Subsequently, the Apostolic Church acquired a building at 15–17 Gibson Street,but this closed to worship in 2010 and now houses the Newbiggin Boxing Club gym. After a long association with Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (Mary Heynes, former head girl of the West Junior School, reports that her father was an Apostolic preacher in the 1960s ), the Apostolic Church now has no congregation in the town.
St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, a small building on Front Street, is part of the Parish of St Aidan's in Ashington.
Until 2004 Newbiggin was host to a street fair that attracted thousands of people every year. In its final years, the fair was set out in the following format: starting at the beginning of the shopping area of Front Street, up to the Cresswell Arms public house flowing into Church Point car park and continuing along the seafront promenade. The lifeboat house and boatyard became the music venue. A stage replaced the boats and the lifeboat house opened its doors, serving food and afternoon tea. Appearances were made by Slade, Leo Sayer and TV show Gladiators star Michael Van Wijk.
Starting in 2010, the annual Old Ship Music Festival is attempting to bring back a summer event to the village. It invites bands from the region and worldwide to play, as well as local comedians, and raises money for charity with the help of local businesses. In 2010 it raised £700 for Help for Heroes, where in 2011, the chosen charity was the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, and raised £1,100.
John Braine was working at the library in Newbiggin (1954–56) when he wrote his best-selling novel Room at the Top .
Northumberland is a county and unitary authority in North East England. It is one of two English counties which border with Scotland. Notable landmarks in the county include Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Hadrian's Wall and Hexham Abbey.
Seaham is a seaside town in County Durham, England. Located on the Durham Coast, Seaham is situated 6 miles south of Sunderland and 13 miles (21 km) east of Durham. The town grew from the late 19th century onwards as a result of investments in its harbour and coal mines. The town is twinned with the German town of Gerlingen.
Bedlington is a town and former civil parish in Northumberland, England, with a population of 18,470 measured at the 2011 Census. Bedlington is an ancient market town, with a rich history of industry and innovative residents. Located roughly 10 miles north east of Newcastle and Newcastle Airport, Bedlington is roughly 10 minutes from the A1 road, in south-east Northumberland. Other nearby places include Morpeth to the north-west, Ashington to the north-east, Blyth to the east and Cramlington to the south. In 1961 the parish had a population of 29,403.
Amble is a town on the North Sea coast of Northumberland, England, at the mouth of the River Coquet; Coquet Island is visible from its beaches and harbour. In 2011, it had a population of 6,025.
Morpeth is a historic market town in Northumberland, North East England, lying on the River Wansbeck. Nearby towns include Ashington and Bedlington. In the 2011 census, the population of Morpeth was given as 14,017, up from 13,833 in the 2001 census. The earliest evidence of settlement is believed to be from the Neolithic period, and some Roman artifacts have also been found. The first written mention of the town is from 1080, when the de Merlay family was granted the barony of Morpeth. The meaning of the town's name is uncertain, but it may refer to its position on the road to Scotland and a murder which occurred on that road. The de Merlay family built two castles in the town in the late 11th century and the 13th century. The town was granted its coat of arms in 1552. By the mid 1700s it had become one of the main markets in England, having been granted a market charter in 1200, but the opening of the railways in the 1800s led the market to decline. The town's history is celebrated in the annual Northumbrian Gathering.
Schalksmühle is a municipality in district Märkischer Kreis, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the town with the highest rate of millionaires relating to the population in North Rhine-Westphalia(2004).
Ellington is a small village in the civil parish of Ellington and Linton, on the coast of Northumberland, England. Ellington is 4 miles (6 km) from Ashington, 6 miles (10 km) from Morpeth and 20 miles (32 km) north of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Port Isaac is a small fishing village on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall, England, in the United Kingdom. The nearest towns are Wadebridge and Camelford, each ten miles (16 km) away. A nearby hamlet, Port Gaverne, is sometimes considered to be part of Port Isaac. The meaning of the village's Cornish name, Porthysek, is "corn port", indicating a trade in corn from the arable inland district.
The River Wansbeck runs through the county of Northumberland, England. It rises above Sweethope Lough on the edge of Fourlaws Forest in the area known locally as The Wanneys ; runs through the town of Ashington before discharging into the North Sea at Sandy Bay near Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
Wansbeck is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Ian Lavery, a member of the Labour Party.
Ashington is a town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, with a population of 27,864 at the 2011 Census. It was once a centre of the coal mining industry. The town is 15 miles (24 km) north of Newcastle upon Tyne, west of the A189 and bordered to the south by the River Wansbeck. The North Sea coast at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is 3 miles (5 km) away.
Lynemouth Power Station is a biomass power plant which provides electricity for the UK National Grid. Until March 2012, it was the main source of electricity for the nearby Alcan Lynemouth Aluminium Smelter. It is located on the coast of Northumberland, north east of the town of Ashington in north east England. The station has stood as a landmark on the Northumberland coast since it opened in 1972, and had been privately owned by aluminium company Rio Tinto Alcan throughout its operation until December 2013, when RWE npower took over. In January 2016 it was acquired by Energetický a průmyslový holding.
Woodhorn is a village and former civil parish, now in the parish of Newbiggin by the Sea, in Northumberland, England, about 2 miles (3 km) east of Ashington. In 1931 the parish had a population of 219. The village is sometimes identified with Wucestre, given to St Cuthbert by King Ceolwulf when he gave up his throne in 737 to become a monk at Lindisfarne. A medieval bell at Woodhorn, inscribed "Ave Maria", is said to be one of the oldest in existence.
Ian Lavery is a British Labour Party politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wansbeck since 2010. He served as the Chair of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn from 2017 to 2020 and was President of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) from 2002 to 2010. He is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group parliamentary caucus.
Woodhorn, part of Museums Northumberland and formerly known as Woodhorn Colliery Museum, is located in Ashington, Northumberland, England. The museum depicts the lives of coal mine workers and features original buildings and equipment from the former colliery, including the two headframes, a winding house, other engine houses, a steam winding engine, stables, a building with ventilation equipment, a blacksmith and joiners shop, and the office. Several buildings contain original equipment and mining exhibits, while others have been converted to museum exhibit areas or wedding, conference and event facilities.
St Bartholomew's Church, Newbiggin-by-the-sea is a Church of England building in the Diocese of Newcastle.
The former Salvation Army Hall in Godalming, Surrey, England, now an office building known as Aurum House, has been used by three religious groups since its construction c. 1830. The ancient town in the English county of Surrey has a long and diverse history of Protestant Nonconformity, and three Nonconformst denominations are represented: at first it served Congregationalists, but when they built a larger chapel in the town it passed to the Methodist Church. In the 20th century it was occupied by The Salvation Army, but it closed in 2012 and was redeveloped for commercial use. The building has been listed at Grade II for its architectural and historical importance.
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea railway station, also referred to as Newbiggin station, served the town of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, England from 1872 to 1964 on the Blyth and Tyne Railway.