Northumberland

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Northumberland
Bamburgh MMB 55 Bamburgh Castle (edited, cropped).jpg
Morpeth Clock Tower July 2017 (cropped, edited).jpg
Blyth East Pier Lighthouse (48586306587).jpg
Bamburgh Castle; Morpeth Clock Tower; and the lighthouse on East Pier, Blyth
Northumberland UK locator map 2010.svg
Ceremonial Northumberland
Northumberland - British Isles.svg
Historic Northumberland
Coordinates: 55°10′N2°00′W / 55.167°N 2.000°W / 55.167; -2.000
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North East
Established Ancient
12th century
Time zone UTC±00:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+01:00 (British Summer Time)
Members of Parliament List of MPs
Police Northumbria Police
Largest town Blyth
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland
High Sheriff Colonel James Royds [1] (2022–23)
Area5,013 km2 (1,936 sq mi)
  Ranked 6th of 48
Population (2021)320,274
  Ranked 44th of 48
Density64/km2 (170/sq mi)
Ethnicity95.4% White British

At the 2001 UK Census Northumberland registered a population of 307,190, [17] estimated to be 309,237 in 2003, [18] The 2011 UK Census gave a population of 316,028. [19]

In 2001 there were 130,780 households, 10% of the population were retired, and one-third rented their homes. Northumberland has an ethnic minority population at 0.985% of the population, far lower compared to the average of 9.1% for England as a whole. In the 2001 UK Census, 81% of the population reported their religion as Christianity, 0.8% as "other religion", and 12% as having no religion. [20]

Being primarily rural with significant areas of upland, the population density of Northumberland is only 62 persons per square kilometre, giving it the lowest population density in England.

Economy

Housedon Hill Housedon hill.jpg
Housedon Hill

Northumberland's industry is dominated by some multinational corporations: Coca-Cola, MSD, GE and Drager all have significant facilities in the region. [21]

Tourism is a major source of employment and income in Northumberland. In the early 2000s the county annually received 1.1 million British visitors and 50,000 foreign tourists, who spent a total of £162 million.

Coal mining in the county goes back to Tudor times. Coal mines continue to operate today; many of them are open-cast mines. Planning approval was given in January 2014 for an open-cast mine at Halton Lea Gate near Lambley. [22]

A major employer in Northumberland is Hexham-based Egger (UK) Limited. [23] [24]

Pharmaceuticals, health care and biotechnology

Pharmaceutical, health care and emerging biotechnology companies form a very significant part of the county's economy. [25] Many of these companies are part of the approximately 11,000-worker [26] Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) and include Aesica Pharmaceuticals, [27] Arcinova, MSD, Piramal Healthcare, Procter & Gamble, Shire Plc (formerly SCM Pharma), [28] Shasun Pharma Solutions, [29] Specials Laboratory, [30] and Thermo Fisher Scientific. The cluster also includes Cambridge Bioresearch, GlaxoSmithKline, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotech, Leica Bio, Data Trial, High Force Research, Non-Linear Dynamics, and Immuno Diagnostic Systems (IDS). The towns of Alnwick, Cramlington, Morpeth, Prudhoe all have significant pharmaceutical factories and laboratories. [31]

Newcastle University and Northumbria University are the leading academic institutions nearby. The local industry includes commercial or academic activity in pre-clinical research and development, clinical research and development, pilot-scale manufacturing, full-scale active pharmaceutical ingredient/intermediate manufacturing, formulation, packaging, and distribution. [32]

Media

Having no large population centres, the county's mainstream media outlets are served from nearby Tyne and Wear, including radio stations and television channels (such as BBC Look North, BBC Radio Newcastle, ITV Tyne Tees and Metro Radio), along with the majority of daily newspapers covering the area ( The Journal , Evening Chronicle ). It is worth remembering however that although Northumberland, like many administrative areas in England, has been shorn of its geographical regional centre, that centre—Newcastle upon Tyne—remains an essential element within the entity we know as Northumberland. Newcastle's newspapers are as widely read in its Northumbrian hinterland as any of those of the wider county: the Northumberland Gazette , Morpeth Herald , Berwick Advertiser , Hexham Courant and the News Post Leader .

Lionheart Radio, a community radio station based in Alnwick, has recently[ when? ] been awarded a five-year community broadcasting licence by Ofcom.

Businesses

Ashington has the Alcan Lynemouth Aluminium Smelter, next to the Lynemouth Power Station. Hammerite and Cuprinol are made in Prudhoe by ICI Paints. A Procter & Gamble factory in Seaton Delaval makes Hugo Boss aftershave and Clairol and Nice 'n Easy hair dye at a site formerly owned by Shultons, who originated Old Spice and were bought by P&G in 1990. McQuay UK makes air conditioning systems on the Bassington Industrial Estate at the A1068/A1172 junction in Cramlington, and Avery Dennison UK make labels on the Nelson Industrial Estate off of the A192. Schweppes' Abbey Well mineral water is made by Coca-Cola in the east of Morpeth. The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) is at Blyth.

Settlements

Parishes

NOTE: New parishes have been added since 2001. These are missing from the list, see List of civil parishes in Northumberland.

Parishes of Northumberland [33]
NamePopulation (2001)Former district/borough
Acklington 467 Alnwick
Acomb 1,184 Tynedale
Adderstone with Lucker 195 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Akeld 82 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Allendale 2,120 Tynedale
Alnham 99 Alnwick
Alnmouth 562 Alnwick
Alnwick 7,767 Alnwick
Alwinton 71 Alnwick
Amble 6,044 Alnwick
Ancroft 885 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Bamburgh 454 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Bardon Mill 364 Tynedale
Bavington 99 Tynedale
Beadnell 528 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Belford 1,055 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Belsay 436 Castle Morpeth
Bewick 69 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Biddlestone 88 Alnwick
Bowsden 157 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Branxton 121 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Brinkburn 200 Alnwick
Callaly 150 Alnwick
Capheaton 160 Castle Morpeth
Carham 347 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Cartington 97 Alnwick
Chatton 438 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Choppington  ? Castle Morpeth
Cornhill-on-Tweed 318 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Craster 342 Alnwick
Cresswell 237 Castle Morpeth
Denwick 266 Alnwick
Doddington 146 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Earle 89 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Easington 139 Berwick-upon-Tweed
East Chevington 3,192 Castle Morpeth
Edlingham 196 Alnwick
Eglingham 357 Alnwick
Ellingham 282 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Ellington and Linton 2,678 Castle Morpeth
Elsdon 205 Alnwick
Embleton 699 Alnwick
Ewart 72 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Felton 958 Alnwick
Ford 487 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Glanton 222 Alnwick
Harbottle 235 Alnwick
Hartburn 198 Castle Morpeth
Hauxley 220 Alnwick
Haydon 2,184 Tynedale
Hebron 679 Castle Morpeth
Heddon-on-the-Wall 1,518 Castle Morpeth
Hedgeley 322 Alnwick
Hepple 139 Alnwick
Hepscott 898 Castle Morpeth
Hesleyhurst 30 Alnwick
Hexham 11,829 Tynedale
Hollinghill 90 Alnwick
Holy Island 162 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Horncliffe 374 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Ilderton 94 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Ingram 148 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Kilham 131 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Kirknewton 108 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Kyloe 323 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Lesbury 871 Alnwick
Lilburn 106 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Longframlington 979 Alnwick
Longhirst 446 Castle Morpeth
Longhorsley 798 Castle Morpeth
Longhoughton 1,442 Alnwick
Lowick 559 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Lynemouth 1,832 Castle Morpeth
Matfen 495 Castle Morpeth
Meldon 162 Castle Morpeth
Middleton 136 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Milfield 243 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Mitford 431 Castle Morpeth
Morpeth 13,833 Castle Morpeth
Netherton 194 Alnwick
Netherwitton 272 Castle Morpeth
Newton-by-the-Sea 242 Alnwick
Newton on the Moor and Swarland 822 Alnwick
Norham 536 Berwick-upon-Tweed
North Sunderland 1,803 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Nunnykirk 138 Alnwick
Ord, Northumberland 1,365 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Pegswood 3,174 Castle Morpeth
Ponteland 10,871 Castle Morpeth
Prudhoe 11,500 Tynedale
Rennington 305 Alnwick
Roddam 77 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Rothbury 1,740 Alnwick
Rothley 136 Alnwick
Shilbottle 1,349 Alnwick
Shoreswood 163 Berwick-upon-Tweed
Snitter 114 Alnwick
Stamfordham 1,047 Castle Morpeth
Stannington 1,219 Castle Morpeth
Thirston 510 Castle Morpeth
Thropton 409 Alnwick
Togston 340 Alnwick
Tritlington and West Chevington 218 Castle Morpeth
Ulgham 365 Castle Morpeth
Wallington Demesne 361 Castle Morpeth
Warkworth 1,493 Alnwick
Whalton 427 Castle Morpeth
Whittingham 406 Alnwick
Whitton and Tosson 223 Alnwick
Widdrington 158 Castle Morpeth
Widdrington Station and Stobswood 2,386 Castle Morpeth
Wooler 1,857 Berwick-upon-Tweed

Although not on this list, the population of Cramlington is estimated at 39,000.

Historic areas

Some settlements that are part historic county of Northumberland now fall under the county of Tyne and Wear:

Sport

Football

A precursor of modern football is still seen in the region at some annual Shrove Tuesday games at Alnwick. [34] In 1280 at Ulgham near Morpeth Northumberland, records show that Henry of Ellington was killed playing football when David Le Keu's knife went into Henry's belly and killed him. [35] [36] Organised football teams as we know today did not appear until the 1870s. Newcastle United Football Club was formed in 1892 by uniting Newcastle West End FC with Newcastle East End. [37]

Newcastle United were first division champions three times in the early 20th century, reaching the FA Cup Final three times before winning it at the fourth attempt in 1910. [38] Today top quality professional football remains in Northumberland. Since the 2017 – 18 season, Newcastle United is a Premier League team. St James' Park in Newcastle is a first class football venue, often used for international games at all levels. Blyth Spartans A.F.C. have had success and public attention through Football Association Cup runs.

Notable associated footballers

There are many notable footballers from the county, pre Second World War and immediate post war greats were George Camsell and Hughie Gallacher, these were described in the "Clown Prince of Football" by Len Shackleton. The author played for Newcastle United and Northumberland County Cricket Club. Shackleton's book was controversial when it was first published because chapter 9, named "The Average Director's Knowledge of Football", was produced as a blank page. [39] Notable players after the Second World War included Joe Harvey, Jackie Milburn, [40] Brian Clough [41] and Newcastle's Bobby Moncur who led his team to win the Inter City Fairs Cup in 1969. [42]

Two of Jackie Milburn's nephews from Ashington, Bobby Charlton and Jackie Charlton are perhaps the two most significant players for England. [43] [44] Bobby joined Manchester United and Jackie Leeds United both contributing much to the success and history of their respective clubs. They both became permanent fixtures in Alf Ramsey's 1966 England World Cup winning team. [45] Malcolm Macdonald was a successful Newcastle player of the 1970s. Great national players who played at Northumberland clubs in the 1980s and 1990s include Peter Beardsley, Paul Gascoigne, Chris Waddle and Alan Shearer. Shearer remains the highest scoring player in Premier League history with 260 goals in 441 appearances. [46]

Horseracing

Early races were held at Newcastle's Killingworth Moor from 1632 before moving to the Town Moor. The 'Pitmen's Derby' or Northumberland Plate was held from 1833 and moved to Gosforth in 1882. [47] Modern day horse racing still takes place at Newcastle Racecourse. [48]

Golf

Golf is a Scottish import to many countries but it is said to have been played in this region by St Cuthbert on the dunes of the Northumberland coast. The oldest club in Northumberland was at Alnmouth, founded in 1869, it is the fourth oldest in the country and is now Alnmouth Village Club and a 9 hole links course. [49]

There is one old links courses at Goswick. It is a James Braid design masterpiece which is widely acknowledged as a classic Northumberland links course [50] so much so, that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) chose Goswick as a regional qualifier for the Open Championship for five years from 2008.

During the English Civil War of 1642–1651, King Charles played 'Goff' in the Shield Fields suburb of Pandon during his imprisonment in the town. [51]

Today inland golf courses are abundant in the county, [52]

The county has a professional golfer who has played in many professional golf tour events: Kenny Ferrie from Ashington who has won events on the prestigious European Tour.

Other

A cricket ground in Bamburgh The Cricket Pavilion, Bamburgh, Northumberland - geograph.org.uk - 1945900.jpg
A cricket ground in Bamburgh

The annual Great North Run, one of the best known half marathons in which thousands of participants run from Newcastle to South Shields. In 2013 the 33rd Great North Run had 56,000 participants most of whom were raising money for charity.

Places of interest

Key
AP Icon.svg Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
UKAL icon.svg Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.png Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.svg Castle
Country parks.svg Country Park
EH icon.svg English Heritage
Forestry Commission
HR icon.svg Heritage railway
HH icon.svg Historic House
AP Icon.svg Places of Worship
Museum icon.svg
Museum icon (red).svg
Museum (free/not free)
NTE icon.svg National Trust
Drama-icon.svg Theatre
Zoo icon.jpg Zoo
Fortifications: Halls, museums and natural landmarks:

Education

Northumberland has a completely comprehensive education system, with 15 state schools, two academies and one independent school. Like Bedfordshire, it embraced the comprehensive ideal with the three-tier system of lower/middle/upper schools with large school year sizes (often around 300). This eliminated choice of school in most areas: instead of having two secondary schools in one town, one school became a middle school and another became an upper school. A programme introduced in 2006 known as Putting the Learner First has eliminated this structure in the former areas of Blyth Valley and Wansbeck, where two-tier education has been introduced. Although the two processes are not officially connected, the introduction of two tiers has coincided with the move to build academy schools in Blyth, with Bede Academy and in Ashington at Hirst. One response to these changes has been the decision of Ponteland High School to apply for Trust status.

Cramlington Learning Village has almost 400 pupils in each school year, making it one of the largest schools in England. The Blyth Academy in southeast Northumberland can hold 1,500 students throughout the building. Astley Community High School in Seaton Delaval, which accepts students from Seaton Delaval, Seaton Sluice and Blyth, has been the subject of controversial remarks from politicians claiming it would no longer be viable once Bede Academy opened in Blyth, a claim strongly disputed by the headteacher. Haydon Bridge High School, in rural Northumberland, is claimed to have the largest catchment area of any school in England, reputedly covering an area larger than that encompassed by the M25 motorway around London.

The county of Northumberland is served by one Catholic high school, St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy in Bedlington, which is attended by students from all over the area. Students from Northumberland also attend independent schools such as the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle.

Media

Television

The county is covered by BBC North East and Cumbria and ITV Tyne Tees which broadcast from Newcastle. Television signals are received from either the Pontop Pike [53] or Chatton TV transmitters. [54]

Radio

BBC Local Radio for county is served by BBC Radio Newcastle. County-wide commercial radio stations are Capital North East, Heart North East, Smooth North East, Metro Radio, Greatest Hits Radio North East and Lionheart Radio. Community based stations such as Koast Radio (covering South East Northumberland) [55] and Radio Borders (serving Berwick-upon-Tweed).

Newspapers

The county is served by these local newspapers:

Culture

Northumberland has traditions not found elsewhere in England. These include the rapper sword dance, the clog dance and the Northumbrian smallpipe, a sweet chamber instrument, quite unlike the Scottish bagpipe. Northumberland also has its own tartan or check, sometimes referred to in Scotland as the Shepherd's Tartan. Traditional Northumbrian music has more similarity to Lowland Scottish and Irish music than it does to that of other parts of England, reflecting the strong historical links between Northumbria and the Lowlands of Scotland, and the large Irish population on Tyneside.

The border ballads of the region have been famous since late mediaeval times. Thomas Percy, whose celebrated Reliques of Ancient English Poetry appeared in 1765, states that most of the minstrels who sang the border ballads in London and elsewhere in the 15th and 16th centuries belonged to the North. The activities of Sir Walter Scott and others in the 19th century gave the ballads an even wider popularity. William Morris considered them to be the greatest poems in the language, while Algernon Charles Swinburne knew virtually all of them by heart.

One of the best-known is the stirring "Chevy Chase", which tells of the Earl of Northumberland's vow to hunt for three days across the Border "maugre the doughty Douglas". Of it, the Elizabethan courtier, soldier and poet Sir Philip Sidney famously said, "I never heard the old song of Percy and Douglas that I found not my heart moved more than with a trumpet". Ben Jonson said that he would give all his works to have written "Chevy Chase".

Overall the culture of Northumberland, as with the North East of England in general, may have more in common with Scottish Lowland culture than with that of Southern England. Both regions have their cultural origins in the old Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria, a fact borne out by the linguistic links between the two regions. These include many Old English words not found in other forms of Modern English, such as bairn for child (see Scots language and Northumbrian dialect). [56] [57]

The lands just north or south of the border have long shared certain aspects of history and heritage; it is thus thought by some that the Anglo-Scottish border is largely political rather than cultural. [57] [58]

Attempts to raise the level of awareness of Northumberland culture have also started, with the formation of a Northumbrian Language Society to preserve the unique dialects (Pitmatic and other Northumbrian dialects) of this region, as well as to promote home-grown talent. [56] [57]

Northumberland's county flower is the bloody cranesbill ( Geranium sanguineum ) and its affiliated Royal Navy ship is its namesake, HMS Northumberland.

Flag

The flag of the historic county of Northumberland Flag of Northumberland.svg
The flag of the historic county of Northumberland

The historic county of Northumberland has its own flag, which is a banner of the arms of Northumberland County Council. The shield of arms is in turn based on the arms medieval heralds had attributed to the Kingdom of Bernicia (which the first County Council used until it was granted its own arms). The Bernician arms were fictional but inspired by Bede's brief description of a flag used on the tomb of St Oswald in the 7th century. [59]

The current arms were granted to the county council in 1951, and adopted as the flag of Northumberland in 1995. [60]

Notable people

Railway engineer George Stephenson was born in Northumberland in 1781. GeorgeStephenson.PNG
Railway engineer George Stephenson was born in Northumberland in 1781.

Born in Northumberland

Ashington was the birthplace of three famous footballers: Bobby and Jack Charlton, born in 1937 and 1935 respectively, and Jackie Milburn, born in 1924. In 1978 the international cricketer Steve Harmison was born in the same town.

Mickley was the birthplace of Thomas Bewick, an artist, wood engraver and naturalist born in 1753, and Bob Stokoe, a footballer and F.A. Cup-winning manager (with Sunderland in 1973) born in 1930.

Other notable births include:

Linked with Northumberland

Algernon Charles Swinburne, the poet, was raised in Northumberland Algernon Charles Swinburne sketch.jpg
Algernon Charles Swinburne, the poet, was raised in Northumberland

See also

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