Notes on Northumberland Towns

These notes are extracted from the 9th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and 10th Edition Supplementary volumes. They were extracted by George Bell, whose own set of these volumes is lacking volumes 1 to 8.


Encyclopaedia Britannica 10th edition, vol.25 (1902), p.330.

Alnwick, a market-town, under an urban district council, and the county town of Northumberland, England, in the Berwick-upon-Tweed parliamentary division of the county, on the Aln, 34 miles N. by W. of Newcastle by rail. By prescription, Alnwick is a borough, and its freemen form a body corporate. This body has no authority over the affairs of the town, but, by the Alnwick Corporation Act, 1882, it is required to expend, out of corporate property, not less than £500 a year in payment of teachers' salaries, &c. in connexion with the corporation schools. The peculiar ceremonies long observed in the initiation of freemen are now discontinued. Area 4777 acres; population (1881), 6693; (1891), 6746; (1901), 6716. Area of parish, 16,985 acres; population (1881), 7440; (1891), 7428; (1901), 7385.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica 10th edition, vol.26 (1902), p.233.

Berwick-upon-Tweed, a seaport and municipal borough in the Berwick parliamentary division of Northumberland, England, on the northern bank of the Tweed, 47 miles E.S.E. of Edinburgh by rail. In 1899 307 vessels entered with 28,949 tons, and 305 cleared with 29,348 tons. Population of municipal borough (area, 6507 acres) (1881), 13,998; (1901), 13,437 (Berwick, 8277; Tweedmouth, 3086; Spittal, 2074).

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Encyclopaedia Britannica 9th edition, vol.11 (1880), p.784.

HEXHAM, a market-town of England, county of Northumberland, is situated on the south bank of the river Tyne, crossed there by a handsome stone bridge of nine arches, 20 miles west from Newcastle and 36 miles east from Carlisle, and on the line of railway connecting those towns. It is somewhat irregularly built, and consists chiefly of several narrow streets diverging from the market-place, a spacious square. Its defects in architecture and arrangement are, however, compensated for by its pleasant situation and the imposing remains of the old priory church. This church, begun by Wilfrid in 674, and completed by Acca, his successor, remained uninjured till 875, when every part of the monastery but the stone work was destroyed by the Danes. It was built of stones used in an earlier work, and many of them bear Roman inscriptions. Originally in dimensions and splendour it was unsurpassed on this side of the Alps, and doubtless had no small influence on ecclesiastical architecture in various parts of England. The building as renovated in the 12th century consisted of nave and transepts, choir and isles, and a massive central tower; but the nave was burned by the Scots in 1296, and has never been rebuilt. The style is Early English with Transition details. The crypt, discovered in 1726, is a fine example of Saxon architecture, of which there appear also to be some traces in the choir. Among the interesting old monuments which have been collected in the transept is a sculptured stone slab of Oswulf, king of Northumbria, of the date 788. To the west of the church there are still some remains of the conventual buildings. Near the market place are two old castellated towers. A vessel containing about 8000 Saxon coins was discovered in the churchyard in 1832. The "Seal", formerly the park of the monks, is now used as a promenade, and from an eminence within its bounds a fine view is obtained. Hexham possesses a new town-hall and corn exchange, erected in 1866 in the Italian style, and a large board school. A hydropathic establishment has recently been opened. Leather gloves are the principal manufacture of the town; and it has tanneries, wool-staplers' yards, a brewery, and an iron and brass foundry. In the neighbourhood there are extensive market gardens and nurseries. The population of the township in 1871 was 5331, and of the parish 6437.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica 10th edition, vol.29 (1902), p.268.

Hexham, a market-town and parish of England, county of Northumberland, on the south bank of the Tyne, 20 miles west of Newcastle, on the railway to Carlisle. In the neighbourhood there are barytes and coal mines. Since 1882 the town has belonged to the diocese of Newcastle. During the middle ages, Hexham enjoyed peculiar rights of sanctuary, formed a separate liberty down to the close of the 16th century. The Lancastrians were defeated by the Yorkists near here in 1463. Dr John Parker, the well-known London preacher, was born at Hexham in 1830, and gives particulars of his early life there in his book, A Preacher's Life. Hexham gives its name to one of the four parliamentary divisions of the county. Area of urban sanitary district, 5136 acres. Population (1891), 5945; (1901), 7071.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica 9th edition, vol.17 (1884), pp.377-79.

Newcastle, or in full, for the sake of distinction, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a city (with a constitution of a county), municipal and parliamentary borough, market town, and seaport in the county of Northumberland, England, is situated on the north bank of the river Tyne, 8 miles above its mouth, and on the main line of the North-Eastern Railway, 275 miles north of London and 70 east of Carlisle. Some of the streets in the older portion of the town along the river side are narrow and steep, and still contain several of the quaint gable-fronted houses of the time of Elizabeth. The business portions of the town - principally erected from the plans of Richard Grainger - are characterized generally by spacious streets with imposing buildings and fine shops; and in the northern and western suburbs there are numerous terraces and villas inhabited by the wealthier classes. The important town of GATESHEAD (q.v.), on the south side of the river, is connected with Newcastle by three bridges - a high level bridge, an hydraulic swing bridge, and a suspension bridge. The high level bridge has already been described (see vol.iv. p.337). The hydraulic swing bridge, on the low level a little farther down the river, was built to replace a stone structure erected in 1781 on the site of a bridge dating from 1250, and destroyed by a flood in 1771. The Roman bridge, the Pons Aelii, probably built by the emperor Hadrian, is said to have spanned the river at the same point. The hydraulic bridge was begun in 1868, and opened for traffic 15th June 1876, at a cost of about £200,000. It consists of one large centre pier, two mid-stream piers, and two abutments; and its foundations are iron cylinders resting on the solid rock, 60 feet below the bed of the river. Two spans, which open simultaneously by machines impelled by steam, allow 103 feet of waterway for vessels going up and down the river. About half a mile farther up the stream is the Redheugh bridge, commenced in 1867, and opened in 1871 at a cost of £40,000.

Newcastle is well supplied with public parks and recreation grounds. To the north of the city is the Leazes ornamental park of 35 acres, and beyond this the town moor and racecourse, an extensive common, the survival of the pasture land of the township. Eastward from the town moor is Brandling Park. The picturesque grounds of Armstrong park to the north-east of the city extend to about 50 acres, the larger half of which was presented by Sir W.G. Armstrong, who also has presented the beautifully wooded grounds of Jesmond Dene. Elswick Park in the south-west of the city, extending to 8¾ acres, and including Elswick Hall, was purchased by the corporation and opened as a recreation ground in November 1878.

The earliest artificial method of water supply for Newcastle was by pipes of elmwood from Heworth and from springs about 3 miles north of the town. In 1845 a water company was formed to supply the town with water from Whittle Dene. The reservoirs of the company have been extended from time to time, and the water of various other streams utilized to meet the increasing necessities of the town. The gas supply is also in the hands of a company.

Of the old walls of the town, which, according to Leland, "for strength and magnificence far surpassed all the walls of the cities of England and of most of the towns of Europe", and the circuit of which was 2 miles 239 yards, there still remain some towers in good preservation, although the fortifications were allowed to go into disrepair after the union of Scotland and England. The castle, from which the town takes its name, stood on a slight elevation rising abruptly from the river, and was erected by Henry II. between 1172 and 1177 on the site of an older structure built in 1080 by Robert eldest son of the Conqueror. It was originally the strongest fortress in the north of England, and its keep is now one of the finest specimens of the Norman stronghold remaining in the country. While it was still incomplete, William the Lion was led within its walls after his capture at Alnwick; and within its great hall Baliol, on 26th December 1292, did homage for the crown of Scotland to Edward I. The area of the castle within its outer walls and fosse was 3 acres. Fragments of these walls, with the principle entrance or Blackgate (portions of which are, however, of later construction), and the Watergate or southern postern, still remain, but the inner wall surrounding the keep has been entirely removed. The massive keep, with walls 14 feet thick, is in a state of good preservation, as is also the chapel, a beautiful specimen of the Late Norman style, for some time used as the cellar of a public house. The castle was purchased by the corporation in 1809 for £600, and is now under the charge of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, who have fitted up a portion of it as an antiquarian museum. Near the castle is St Nicholas church, now forming the cathedral of the diocese of Newcastle (instituted in 1882). The church, which is principally Decorated, consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and transepts, the total length of the interior from east to west being 245 feet, and the width at the transepts 128 feet. The principal feature of the church is the lantern tower, a later addition and a very fine specimen of Early Perpendicular. The church has been frequently repaired, and underwent extensive renovation (1873-76) at a cost of £30,000. Among other interesting old churches is St Andrew's church, erected in the 11th century, principally Norman, with a low square tower and a peal of six bells. During the siege by the Parliamentary army in 1644 it was greatly damaged. St John's church is a stone building of the 14th century with an ancient font. Of the nine conventual buildings at one time existing in Newcastle or its immediate neighbourhood, a few fragments of the monastery of the Black Friars still remain, and the chapel of the hospital of St Mary at Jesmond forms a picturesque ruin.

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The most important public buildings are the corporation buildings, including a large public hall, and a corn exchange, erected (1863) at a cost of £100,000; the guildhall, originally a hospital called the Maison de Dieu, and afterwards used as "the stately court of merchant adventurers", re-erected in 1658; the moot-hall (1810) for the meetings of assizes and sessions and the transaction of county business; the exchange (1860); the central news-room and art gallery (1838); the assembly-rooms (1774, re-erected 1876); the barracks (1806); the market (1835); the central railway station, opened 1849, at a cost of £130,000; the police courts (1874); the general post office (1876); the Wood memorial hall (1870), used for meetings of the North of England Institute of Engineers; the custom-house; the theatre royal; Trinity house, with a chapel dating from 1491; and the (branch) Bank of England.

The Grey monument in Grey Street, an Ionic column surmounted by a statue of Earl Grey, was erected in 1836 to commemorate the passing of the Reform Bill; the Stephenson monument near the railway station was erected in 1862.

The principal educational establishments are the colleges of medicine and of physical science, affiliated to the university of Durham; the royal free grammar school, founded in 1525, and rebuilt by the town council in 1870 out of the funds of the hospital of St Mary; the school of science and art in connexion with South Kensington, opened in 1879; and Allan's endowed schools, founded in 1705, and reorganized by the charity commissioners in 1877. Among the clubs and similar institutions are the Literary and Philosophical Society, founded in 1793, possessing buildings erected in 1825 at a cost of £16,000; the Society of Antiquaries, founded in 1813, with a museum in the castle; the Natural History Society; the Tyneside Naturalists' Club, established in 1846; the Mechanics' Institution, 1824; the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers, 1852; the Fine Arts Society; the Farmer's Club; the Northern Counties Club; the Union Club; and the University Club. There is a public library and news-room, erected at a cost of £20,000. The benevolent institutions include the infirmary (originally founded in 1751 and enlarged in 1801 and 1851), the dispensary (1777), the fever house (1803), the lying-in hospital (1760), the eye infirmary (1822), Trinity almshouses (1492), the hospital of Holy Jesus (1682), the keelmen's hospital (1701), the female penitentiary (1831), the Royal Victoria asylum for the blind (1838), the Northern Counties institution for the deaf and dumb (1839), The Northern Counties female orphan institution, and the Philipson memorial orphanage for boys (1876).

Newcastle owes its prosperity to its convenient situation on a tidal river, and to the immense stores of coal in the neighbourhood, which, besides being largely exported, have stimulated a great variety of industries which are dependent on their use. It began to export coal about the end of the 13th century, but the trade received a severe check by the Act of Edward I. which made the burning of it in London a capital offence. In the reign of Edward III. licence was granted to the inhabitants "to dig coals and stones in the common soil of the town without the walls thereof in the place called the Castle Field and the Forth." North and South Shields are both important ports at the mouth of the Tyne, and the whole of river to about 10 miles from its mouth is lined on both sides with quays, shipbuilding yards, chemical works, furnaces, and numerous manufactories. The quay in front of the town, extending from the hydraulic bridge to the Ouseburn, forms a fine thoroughfare of about a mile in length; and by means of dredging a depth of water has been obtained at the shore permitting vessels of large tonnage to approach, although the berths of the ocean steamers are a little farther down the river. The quay is supplied with the most improved mechanical appliances, and by a double line of rails has direct communication with the North-Eastern Railway.

In 1853 the number of sailing vessels in the coasting trade that entered with cargoes was 2132 of 164,440 tons, cleared 11,172 of 1,502,813 tons; of steamers - entered 399 of 81,886 tons, cleared 429 of 97,154 tons. In the same year, in the foreign and colonial trade, the entrances with cargoes were 2555 sailing vessels of 350,190 tons, and 70 steamers of 17,243 tons; the clearances 5396 sailing vessels of 864,291 tons, and 70 steamers of 17,243 tons. In the annual statement of the shipping of the United Kingdom for 1882 the returns for the coasting trade are not given for Newcastle separately; but for the Tyne ports, which include, in addition to Newcastle, North and South Shields, the numbers were - entered with cargoes and in ballast 10,152 of 3,377,108 tons, cleared 8214 of 2,361,248 tons. The following table gives similar details of the foreign and colonial trade of the Tyne ports for the same year:-

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In 1878 the value of the imports of foreign and colonial merchandise for Newcastle was £5,367,931, and for the whole Tyne ports £6,540,359; in 1882 the values were £7,650,085 and £9,028,925 respectively. The value of the exports of the produce of the United Kingdom for Newcastle in 1878 was £3,712,899, and in 1882 £4,597,700,- the value for the whole Tyne ports being £4,128,227 in 1878, and £5,337,983 for 1882. Besides coal, which is brought down the river in boats called keels, and of which 4,557,277 tons left Newcastle by sea in 1882, the principal exports are coke, iron machinery, chemicals, alkali, glass, hardware, earthenware, and pig and sheet lead. The imports include various ores and chemical substances, timber, corn, provisions, and cattle. There is regular steam communication with the principal British ports, the Baltic ports, Norway, Montreal, and New York. The number of vessels built at Newcastle in 1882 for British owners was 75 of 85,121 tons, of which 68 with a tonnage of 82,468 were iron, and 3 with a tonnage of 1785 were steel. In the same year there were built for foreigners 25 ships of 27,102 tons burden. The principal other industrial establishments of the town and neighbourhood are engineering and machinery shops, ordnance works, including the well-known Armstrong factory at Elswick, alkali manufactories, sheet and plate glass works, stained glass works, potteries for earthenware, coachbuilding yards, hat factories, chemical works, sail, cable, and anchor works, and manufactories of nails, files, and spades and shovels. Within the present century the population of Newcastle has more than quadrupled. In 1781 the houses numbered 2389, with an estimated population of 30,000. The census of 1801 gave the number of houses as 3141 and the population as 28,294; the numbers in 1821 were 4031 and 35,181; in 1871 they were 16,460 and 128,443; and in 1881 they had increased to 20,264 and 145,359. The number of males in 1881 was 71,000, and of females 74,259. The area of the municipal and parliamentary borough is 5371 acres.

History.- Newcastle owes its origin to the Pons Aelii mentioned above. The most important relics of Roman occupation are a well in the centre of the buildings of the old castle, a mutilated statue of Hercules and a figure of Mercury preserved in the castle, numerous coins, altars, and various specimens of Roman pottery. The foundations of the old Roman bridge, with the remains of the piers, were discovered during the dredging operations after the destruction of the old wooden bridge in 1771. On account of its position as a fortified town affording protection to the inhabitants of the monasteries of Tynemouth, Jarrow, Lindisfarne, and Wearmouth, Newcastle was known in early times as Monkceastre or Monkchester; along with these monasteries it was ravaged by the Danes, who massacred the monks and nuns within its walls. After the union of the kingdom under Egbert it continued till the Conquest to be the residence of the earls of Westmoreland and Northumberland. The town was destroyed by William the Conqueror in 1068, after he had defeated Edgar Atheling and Malcolm of Scotland on Gateshead Fell, but in 1080 a fortress was reared at it by Robert Courthose, eldest son of the Conqueror, which, in contradistinction to the old fortress, was named Newcastle, and formed the nucleus of the present town, burgesses being gathered round the fortress to defend the country against the Scots. After the conspiracy of the barons under Earl Mowbray the town was stormed and taken by William Rufus in 1695. After the death of Henry I. it was seized by the Scots under David, and it remained in their possession until 1157, when it was restored by treaty to Henry II., who established at it a mint. The town was under the three Edwards, the chief rendezvous of troops for the invasion of Scotland. In the reign of Edward I. it was surrounded by walls, after which it withstood attempts of the Scots to capture it in 1322, 1342, and 1389. In 1640 it was taken by the Scottish Covenanters under Leslie, who held it for a year, and are said to have destroyed most of the public documents. After the battle of Marston Moor, it was besieged and taken by the Scots in October 1644, from which time it was held by the Parliament till the close of the war. When Charles gave himself up to the Scottish army at Newark-upon-Trent, they took him to Newcastle, where he remained in their hands until, on the 28th January 1647, he was delivered up to the Parliament.

Newcastle is a borough by prescription, and was first incorporated by Henry II. In the reign of Henry III. the government was vested in a mayor chosen by the burgesses, in lieu of a provost appointed by the crown. In 1400 it obtained a charter from Henry IV. constituting it a county in itself, with lord-lieutenant, sheriff, and magistrates of its own. Its privileges were confirmed and extended by Queen Elizabeth in 1589. Though it still retains the constitution of a county, the old corporation was dissolved by the Municipal Act of 1835, and the government vested in a mayor, sixteen aldermen, and forty-eight town councillors. Since 1282 it has returned two members to parliament. The gross estimated rental of the borough in 1871 was £457,868, and the rateable value £402,030; in 1882 these were £803,961 and £714,470.

Among the eminent persons who have been connected with Newcastle are Ridley the martyr, Akenside the poet, Hutton the mathematician, Brand the antiquary, Lords Eldon and Stowell, Lord Collingwood, Thomas Bewick, and George and Robert Stephenson.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica 10th edition, vol.31 (1902), pp.139-140.

Newcastle-on-Tyne, a city of Northumberland, England, 273 miles north- north-west of London by rail, on the river Tyne, 8 miles from its mouth, with stations on the North-Eastern Railway and branch lines. The central station has received very extensive additions, and is connected with the south by a new railway bridge, and with the Blyth and Tyne stations by an underground line. Population (1881), 146,000; (1891), 186,300; (1901), 214,803; but in 1899 the area was increased largely east and west - following the course of the river - to 5400 acres. The rateable value of the union increased from £715,000 in 1881 to £1,279,713 in 1901. Newcastle is the largest individual parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, returning two members, with 35,983 voters. The government is vested in a mayor, 16 aldermen, and 48 town councillors. In 1899 there were 7780 births, 4887 deaths, and 2280 marriages; the birth-rate was 31.6 per 1000, the death-rate 20.9 per 1000. The water supply is in the hands of a company. The reservoirs have a water area of 854 acres and a capacity of 5,051,316,362 gallons, providing for 500,000 people. A gas company (rate, 2s. per 1000 cubic feet) and two electric light companies light the town. A system of electric tramcars is in operation. The corporation has organised an excellent police force and fire brigade, and established baths and wash-houses in populous districts. Clubs for working men, of which there are seven, are an interesting social feature. Very few of the old buildings remain. The Castle, Black Gate, and some Elizabethan houses on the Side and Sandhill are all that point to bygone days. Of churches, the cathedral of St Nicholas has been improved at a cost of £20,000; especially fine are the choir-stalls, chancel, and alabaster reredos. St George's, Jesmond, built by the late Mr Charles Mitchell, is a landmark for miles around, and is celebrated for its beautiful interior. Four other new Established churches have been erected, and the Nonconformists have also built many places of worship, especially in Jesmond, now the chief residential quarter. Among scientific institutions may be mentioned the Literary and Philosophical Society, the buildings of which, after being burnt down in 1893, have been restored and extended; the Antiquarian Society; the Mining Institute; the Natural History Museum; and the Tyneside Geographical Society. The Public Library has been in existence since 1880, and two branches have been established in populous suburbs. The total number of volumes, including patents, is over 110,000, with issues of the extent of 4,840,000 a year. In the news-room there were, in 1882, 420,000; in 1899, 1,550,000. Educational work has made great advances. The University of Durham has its colleges of medicine and science here. In the former, degrees in medicine and surgery are granted; in the latter, with which the school of art has been incorporated, degrees in science and literature. Both carry on their works in buildings replete with modern scientific apparatus. The Rutherford College and the Commercial Institute provide excellent technical and commercial education. The Royal Grammar School is being moved to new buildings in Jesmond, where there are also two public day-schools for girls. The school board has accommodation in its 21 schools for 23,036 children. The cost per head is £2, 11s. 7¾d., and the rate of 10d., as compared with an average rate of 10¼d. in the country (London included). There are also several voluntary schools, with seating for 15,762. The Royal Infirmary (1751) is being housed in a new building, to the cost of which the public subscribed £100,000, the late Mr John Hall £100,000, and Mr Watson-Armstrong £100,000. The hospital for sick children, Moor Edge, and the eye infirmary are additions to the charities of the town. The Theatre Royal in Grey Street was destroyed by fire in 1899 and the Vaudeville Theatre (the old art gallery) in 1900. Of open spaces there are the Town Moor, Castle Leazes, Nun's Moor, and recreation ground (1269 acres); and six well-laid-out parks. The Elswick Works, founded by Messrs Armstrong in 1847, have been largely extended, particularly since the amalgamation with Mitchell and Co., the shipbuilders; and the construction of ships of all sorts, including the largest ironclads with all their armour and guns, is now carried on. Shipping business is centred in the quayside, where every facility for loading and unloading ships is provided. A large grain warehouse is at the east end of the quay, from which ships run to all parts of the world. The new exchange is in the Guildhall. As regards trade, the vessels that go right up to Newcastle are often claimed at North or South Shields. Any statistics issued for Newcastle alone in this connexion would in consequence be misleading, and the figures given below are therefore those for the Tyne ports - Newcastle and North and South Shields. The shipping returns were as follows:-

The following table gives the value of imports and exports:-

                                         Exports of
 Year    Total Imports  Total Exports   Coal and Coke    
 1880      £8,505,156     £5,110,457     £2,041,175
 1890      £8,100,031     £7,711,649     £4,497,002
 1898      £8,959,906     £5,588,769     £3,122,006

The figures of the exports and imports of the Tyne for 1899 show a general increase in the trade of the port. Coal exports show an increase of 149,963 tons over the figures of 1898. General exports show an increase of 13,300 tons, most countries showing increases except Italy and the Netherlands. Chemicals, especially sulphate of soda, caustic soda, were exported in larger quantities in 1899 than usually. Pig-iron, iron work, steel, iron bars and plates, castings and machinery, fire-clay goods, and copper were largely exported. The chief imports are fruits, wheat, maize, oats, barley, iron and steel, petroleum, sulphur ore, timber and wood hoops, iron ore, potatoes. The value of imports in 1899 was £8,139,700. In 1899, 1235 British and 1711 foreign ships entered the port.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica 9th edition, vol.23 (1888), pp.675-76.

TYNEMOUTH, a municipal and parliamentary borough of England, in Northumberland, includes the townships of Chirton, Cullercoats, North Shields, Preston, and Tynemouth. This last, the principal watering-place on this part of the coast, is picturesquely situated on a promontory on the north side of the Tyne at its mouth. It is connected with Newcastle, 8 miles to the west-south-west, by a branch of the North-Eastern Railway; its distance from London is 273½ miles by rail. The town has rapidly increased within recent years, and contains many well-built streets, squares and villas. On the point of the promontory there is a small battery called the Spanish battery, and near it a monument has been erected to Lord Collingwood. Within the grounds to which the gateway of the old castle gives entrance are the ruins of the ancient priory of St Mary and St Oswin - the principal remains being those of the church. A pier, half a mile long, serves as a breakwater to the harbour. Among the principal public buildings are the assembly rooms and the aquarium (1872). The municipal buildings of the borough of Tynemouth are situated in North Shields, where there is also a customs house, a master mariners' home, a seamen's institute, and a sailors' home founded by the late duke of Northumberland. Shipbuilding is carried on, and there are rope and sail works. The fish trade is of considerable importance and employs several steam and sailing boats. The population of the municipal and parliamentary borough of Tynemouth (incorporated in 1849; area 4303 acres), divided into the three wards of North Shields, Percy, and Tynemouth, was 39,941 in 1871, and 44,118 in 1881.

Tynemouth was a fortress of the Saxons, and was anciently known as Penbal Crag, "the head of the rampart on the rock." From remains found in 1783 it is supposed to have been a Roman station. The first church was built of wood by Edwin, king of Northumbria, about 625, and was rebuilt in stone by his successor Oswald in 634. The body of Oswin, king of Deira, was brought hither for burial in 651, and on this account Tynemouth came to be in great repute as a place of burial both for royal and ecclesiastical persons. The monastery was repeatedly plundered and burnt by the Danes, especially during the 9th century. After its destruction by Healfdeane in 876 it was rebuilt by Tostig, earl of Northumberland, who endowed it with considerable revenue; but, having been granted in 1074 to the monks of Jarrow, it became a cell of Durham. Malcolm III., king of the Scots, and his son Edward, who were slain in battle at Alnwick on 13th November 1093, were both interred in the monastery. In 1095 Earl Mowbray, having entered into a conspiracy against William Rufus, converted the monastery into a castle, which he strongly fortified. By William Rufus the priory was conferred on St Albans abbey, Hertfordshire. It was surrendered to Henry VIII. on 12th January 1539, and the site and remains were granted by Edward VI. in 1550 to the earl of Warwick, afterwards duke of Northumberland. In 1644 the castle was taken by the Scots under the earl of Leven. The town enjoyed various immunities at a very early period, which were afterwards the subject of some dispute. Edward I. restored to it several free customs of which it had been deprived. Afterwards it received a confirmation of its various former charters by Edward II. and Richard II.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica 10th edition, vol.33 (1902), p.522.

Tynemouth, a municipal and parliamentary borough (including the townships of the well-known watering-place Tynemouth, North Shields, Chirton, Preston, and Cullercoats), at the mouth of the Tyne, north bank, 8 miles east of Newcastle by rail. The borough (area 4300 acres) was divided in 1889 into six wards, and the town council acts as the urban sanitary authority. The old priory and castle now serve as the headquarters of the Tyne Submarine Engineers. The lighthouse on the cliff, to the north-east of the castle, is no longer used, but a new one has been built on St Mary's Island, 2 miles north. A fine parade (1893), on which are the aquarium and winter gardens (£120,000), and a small park stretch along the seashore. A free library and school of art, and a new infirmary, have been opened at North Shields, which is the largest part of the borough and is a port of great importance. The corporation have erected a covered market for general trade, and at the fish quay, which cost £81,000, 14,000 tons of fish are landed annually. The exports are coal and coke, of the value of £1,259,692 in 1899, and imports are corn, timber, and esparto grass, of the value of 486,700. In the same year 1091 British ships of 956,022 tons, and 1021 foreign ships of 539,260 tons cleared the port. Tynemouth returns one member to Parliament. Population (1891), 46,588; (1901), 51,514.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica 9th edition, vol.14 (1888), p.326.

A town of Northumberland, England, on the north bank of the river Tyne, 2 miles east of Newcastle-on-Tyne, with which it is connected by railway. Christ Church, in the Perpendicular style, erected in 1848, consists of chancel, nave, aisles, and tower with beautiful illuminated clock erected in 1887. The windows of the church are all monumental stained glass. There is a large colliery, in which at one time was a salt spring, which was used in the manufacture of soda, begun by permission of the Government in 1795, by a company who may be regarded as the first producers of mineral alkali and soda in England. Along the banks of the Tyne are large iron and chemical works, coal staiths, ship- and boat-building establishments, and brick and tile works. The corporation of Newcastle-on-Tyne are lords of the manor. The town was formed of what were formerly the villages of Walker, Low Walker, and Walker Quay. It is governed by a local board of health of twelve members. The population of the urban sanitary district (area 1200 acres) in 1871 was 8888, and in 1881 it was 9527.

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