Friday, May 2, 2008

For other places with this name, see Northumberland (disambiguation)
Alan Beith (LD) Ronnie Campbell (L) Denis Murphy (L) Northumberland is a county in the North East of England. The non-metropolitan county of Northumberland borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham to the south and Tyne and Wear to the south east, as well as having a border with the Scottish Borders council area to the north, and nearly eighty miles of North Sea coastline. Since 1974 the county council has been located in Morpeth, situated in the east of the county at 55°10′07″N, 1°41′15″W; however, both Morpeth and Alnwick claim the title county town.
As the kingdom of Northumbria under King Edwin, the region's historical boundaries stretched from the Humber in the south to the Forth in the north. The historic boundaries of the county cover a different area, including Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the traditional county town, as well as Tynemouth and other settlements in North Tyneside, areas administered by Tyne and Wear since 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The historic boundaries of the county are sometimes taken to exclude Islandshire, Bedlingtonshire and Norhamshire (collectively North Durham), exclaves of County Durham which were incorporated into Northumberland in 1844.
Being on the border of Scotland and England, Northumberland has been the site of many battles. The county is noted for its undeveloped landscape of high moorland, a favourite with landscape painters, and now largely protected as a National Park.
Northumberland's county flower is the Bloody Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum) and her affiliated Royal Navy ship is her namesake, HMS Northumberland.

Blyth Valley
Castle Morpeth
Berwick-upon-Tweed History
The physical geography of Northumberland is diverse. It is low and flat near the North Sea coast and increasingly mountainous toward the northwest. The Cheviot Hills, in the northwest of the county, consist mainly of resistant Devonian granite and andesite lava. A second area of igneous rock underlies Whin Sill (on which Hadrian's Wall runs), an intrusion of carboniferous Dolerite. Both ridges support a rather bare moorland landscape. Either side of Whin Sill the county lies on carboniferous limestone, giving some areas of karst landscape.
Approximately a quarter of the county is protected as the Northumberland National Park, an area of outstanding landscape that has largely been protected from development and agriculture. The park stretches south from the Scottish border and includes Hadrian's Wall. Most of the park is over 800 feet (240 metres) above sea level. The Northumberland Coast is also a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Physical geography
There are a variety of notable habitats and species in Northumberland including: Chillingham Cattle herd; Holy Island; Farne Islands; and Staple Island.

Northumberland Ecology
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Northumberland at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Northumberland has a relatively weak economy amongst the counties and other local government areas of the United Kingdom..

See also: List of Parliamentary constituencies in Northumberland
Like most English shire counties Northumberland has a two-tier system of local government. It has a county council based in Morpeth and also has six districts, each with their own district council.
These districts are, Blyth Valley, Wansbeck, Castle Morpeth, Tynedale, Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed. The county and district councils are responsible for different aspects of local government.
The Department for Communities and Local Government have passed plans to reorganise Northumberland's administrative structure. Two proposals are being looked at - one to abolish all of the districts to create a Northumberland unitary authority; and one to create two separate unitary authorities, South East Northumberland (the area now covered by Blyth Valley and Wansbeck), and Rural Northumberland (the area now covered by the other four districts). The changes are planned to be implemented no later than 1 April 2009.
Northumberland is represented in the House of Commons by four Members of Parliament, of whom one is a Conservative, one is a Liberal Democrat and two are Labour.

Northumberland has traditions not found elsewhere in England, reflecting a mix of indigenous, Anglian, Celtic and Norse influences. These include the rapper sword dance, the Clog dance and the Northumbrian smallpipe. Northumberland also has its own kilt and tartan, sometimes referred to in Scotland as the Shepherd's Tartan. Traditional Northumberland music sounds similar to Scottish music, reflecting the strong historical links between Northumbria and Scotland.
In general, the culture of Northumberland, as with the north east of England, has much more it would seem in common with Scottish Lowland culture than with the rest of England, the two perhaps having more in common with each other in some respects, than with other parts of their respective countries. The links between Northumberland and Scotland are audible in the dialects of both, which include many Old English words, such as bairn for child. For further information, see Scots language and Geordie. 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 Northumbrian) of this region, as well as to promote home-grown talent.
Northumberland has its own flag, based on the design first used on the tomb of St Oswald in the 7th century. The current version was granted to the county council in 1951, and adopted as the flag of Northumberland county in 1995.[1]

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, Tyne Tees Television and Metro Radio), along with the majority of daily newspapers covering the area (The Journal, Evening Chronicle). Newspapers focusing exclusively on Northumberland or its districts include the Northumberland Gazette, Morpeth Herald, Berwick Advertiser, Hexham Courant and the News Post Leader.
Lionheart FM, a community radio station based in Alnwick, has recently been awarded a five-year community broadcasting license by OFCOM. Radio Borders covers Berwick and the rural north of the county.


Ashington was the birth place of the three famous footballers Bobby and Jack Charlton in 1937 and 1935 respectively; and Jackie Milburn previously in 1924. The basketballer Alan Hoyle was born here in 1983 whilst in 1978 Steve Harmison, an international cricketer was born here.
Mickley was the birth place of Thomas Bewick, an artist, wood engraver and naturalist in 1753 and Bob Stokoe, a footballer, F.A. Cup winning manager in 1930
Other notable births include:

Thomas Addison, a physician born at Longbenton in 1793
George Airy, an astronomer and geophysicist born at Alnwick in 1802
Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, landscape and garden designer born at Kirkharle in 1715
Josephine Butler, social reformer born at Milfield in 1828
Basil Bunting, a poet born at Scotswood-on-Tyne in 1900
Grace Darling, a heroine born at Bamburgh in 1815
Pete Doherty, a musician born at Hexham in 1979
Bryan Donkin, an engineer and industrialist born at Sandhoe in 1768
Robson Green, an actor and singer born at Hexham in 1964
Daniel Gooch, an engineer and politician born at Bedlington in 1816
Sir Alistair Graham (1942 -), noted public figure
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, British Prime Minister born at the family seat of Howick Hall in 1764
John Rushworth (1793-1860), an historian born at Acklington Park, Warkworth
George Stephenson, an engineer born at Wylam in 1781
Hugh Trevor-Roper, an historian born at Glanton in 1914
William Turner, ornithologist and botanist born at Morpeth in 1508
C. V. Wedgwood, an historian born in 1910 Northumberland Famous people born in Northumbria

Thomas Burt, one of the first working-class Members of Parliament and was secretary of the Northumberland Miners' Association in 1863
Ross Noble, a stand-up comedian raising in Cramlington in the 1970s and 1980s
Henry "Harry Hotspur" Percy (1365-1403), borders warlord and rebel
Billy Pigg, a 20th century musician who was vice-President of the Northumbrian Pipers Society
Algernon Swinburne, a poet raised at Capheaton Hall
Kathryn Tickell, a modern day player of the Northumbrian smallpipes
Mark Knopfler, the lead singer of Dire Straits released a song called "Fare Thee Well Northumberland" on his 2002 album, The Ragpicker's Dream. Settlements

Duke of Northumberland
List of places of interest and tourist attractions in Northumberland
List of Parliamentary constituencies in Northumberland
Anglo-Scottish border