Tynedale History


Tynedale, located in the north-east of England, is considered to be the second largest region in Britain. As such it is rich in history through the ages with strong links to the Romans and to the Vikings, for example. Its location also means that it has played a major part in the battles and skirmishes between England and Scotland over the years. Part of the region was, in fact, under Scottish rule until the late 1200s and some Scottish courts were regularly held in the area. Tynedale also played a part in the Battle of Heavenfield in the 600s where the Northumbrians fought the Welsh invaders.

Tynedale is home to one of the still standing sections of Hadrian's Wall and the Roman influence in the area is historically very strong. There are various forts in the region and also evidence of various Norman strongholds. Again Tynedale's position straddling England and Scotland made it an attractive area of fortification during the years.

This region was also one of the early adopters of Christianity in the country and the area is famous for a number of early Christian saints such as St Cuthbert. This was most evident in the Hexham area (home to Hexham Abbey) which was one of the first Anglo Saxon buildings to be made from stone. The builder of the abbey, St Wilfrid, actually used a lot of the stone from Hadrian's Wall to build his abbey.

Over the years Tynedale flourished in both agricultural and manufacturing terms during the Industrial Revolution. The area was home to various mines and was the birthplace of the 'Puffing Billy' engine which was invented by William Hedley in the early 1800s. In modern times much of the industry in the area died out or decreased and nowadays tourism plays a major part in the success of the region.