View of Alnmouth and the estuary of the River Aln
Alnmouth shown within Northumberland
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Located at the mouth of the River Aln, the village has been an important trading port in Northumberland's past, mainly involved in the export of grain, and smuggling. Due to the trade in grain, the village contained a number of granaries. The port declined after the river changed course during a violent storm in 1806. This incident also resulted in the original church which stood on Church Hill being destroyed. The church had already suffered much erosion by the river and was in a state of collapse. After the loss of the grain exports, the old granaries were converted to houses.
Today, Alnmouth is a tourist resort. It is within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The village boasts the fourth oldest golf course in England, the original course was established in 1869, it is believed that it was designed by Mungo Park who became the clubs first professional.
Adtwifyrdi or Adtuifyrdi ("at the two fords") is the name used by the Venerable Bede believed to describe the meeting of river and tributary at the mouth of the River Aln at Alnmouth. Here, according to Bede's account in Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, Book IV, ch. 28, Archbishop Theodore presided over a synod in 684 (in the presence of King Ecgfrith of Northumbria), at which bishop Tunberht of Hexham was deposed and St Cuthbert elected Bishop of Lindisfarne.
According to the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, Alnmouth was taken and fortified by the French during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Schooner Hotel was built in the 1600s and is reported to be one of the most haunted locations in the United Kingdom.
During the American War of Independence, Alnmouth was attacked by the American privateer John Paul Jones. On 23 September 1779, Jones fired a cannonball at the town; fortunately it missed the church tower and landed in a field before striking a farmhouse roof.
An exhaustive history of the village was written in 1851 by one William Dickson, entitled Four Chapters from the History of Alnmouth.
The village was in 1860 selected as one of fourteen weather stations, and equipped with barometer by the Duke of Northumberland acting as president of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The barometer and a chart of recent readings was kept on public display, to seek to provide fishermen with indications of likely weather patterns so as to assist in diminishing losses at sea. The barometer remains on display, in the window of a cottage facing on the main street, to this day. In November 1876 a new church, St John the Baptist on Northumberland Street was consecrated by the Bishop of Durham.
Alnmouth is served by Alnmouth railway station which is situated in Hipsburn, a mile inland to the west.
- John Wesley is reputed to have visited Alnmouth in 1742 and stayed at the Schooner Hotel and afterwards said about the village that it was famous for all kinds of wickedness.
- Arthur Campbell Walker founded Alnmouth Golf Club.
- Val McDermid The famous crime writer lives in Alnmouth.
- George Ernest Rochester (1898–1966) was born in Alnmouth, probably in Front Street. With his character Harry Davies, the 'Flying Beetle, Rochester became the most popular writer of air adventure stories during the 20s and early 30s, before the advent of W.E. Johns and Biggles. In 1924, he was living in Alnmouth at the same time as Johns was in residence down the coast in Whitley Bay.
- Neighbourhood Statistics
- Alnmouth Golf Club website Gives details golf course history.
- The Gentleman's Magazine, volume XXXVIII, 1852 page 500 from Google Book Search
- A brief History of Alnmouth
- Encyclopædia Metropolitana, volume XIV, 1845 page 349 from Google Book Search
- James Dugdale - The New British Traveller, J. Robins 1819, p.703
- The Yearbook of Facts in Science and Art 1861, pp.267-268
- "St John the Baptist Parish Church, Alnmouth", Church Leaflet (no author) No ISBN, Gives details of St John's church.
- "The beginnings of golf at Fleetwood". Retrieved 14 August 2012.
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