Prudhoe shown within Northumberland
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Prudhoe // is a medium sized town just south of the River Tyne, in the southern part of the county of Northumberland, England about 11 miles (18 km) west of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. The town is sited on a steep, north-facing hill in the Tyne valley and nearby settlements include Ovingham, Ovington, Wylam, Stocksfield, Crawcrook, Hedley on the Hill and Mickley. Prudhoe has a population of over 11,500. Today it has largely become a commuter town for nearby Newcastle.
Prudhoe was once a coal mining town.
The town has an industrial estate, which lies alongside the A695 road which now bypasses the town to the north.
Prudhoe has two large factories:
- SCA Hygiene, originally built by Kimberly-Clark, the mill was bought by SCA after the Monopolies Commission forced Kimberly-Clark to sell. The company makes paper products such as tissues at their Prudhoe Mill factory. The factory consists of the mill, housing the paper machines, converting lines, warehousing and Unifibres. Recently SCA allowed the local Explorer Scout group and Ranger unit to use the warehouses 40m high internal steps to climb the equivalent of the height of Everest, the participants began at 7:30 on Wednesday the 27th of June[when?] climbing the stairs about 16 times each to obtain a total ascent greater than that of Everest. The site where SCA stands was first used by ICI for producing agricultural fertiliser (sulphate and ammonium sulfate). In 1963 this plant closed leaving behind the "Spetchells" chalk hills - heaps of waste product which were subsequently turfed over. After ICI closed the site was owned by Cleveland Engineering which produced automobile parts, and following its closure in 1969 Kimberly-Clark opened.
- Hammerite Products owned by Akzo Nobel; producing paints and thinning products for Cuprinol, Hammerite and other brands.
Thompsons of Prudhoe Ltd (a large demolition, earthworks, quarrying and waste management company) are based on the Prudhoe Industrial Estate.
Prudhoe Castle is a Norman castle, which was for a long time involved in the border wars between England and Scotland. It was built by the de Umfraville family: the Norman Sir Robert de Umfraville was granted the freedom of Redesdale by William the Conqueror. For much of its history the castle was owned by the Percy family. It is now run by English Heritage.
The majority of the surviving building work dates from the 12th century, although the site of Prudhoe Castle has strong Norman origins. In the 14th/15th centuries, the tower was extended to provide an extra level with turrets. Only the southwest turret survives to this day.
Prudhoe Hall (built 1868-70) and the Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Cuthbert in Prudhoe (built 1890-91, but incorporating the Cottier windows from an earlier smaller chapel built 1868-70) have some of Daniel Cottier’s earliest stained glass. Matthew Liddell presumably commissioned Cottier to design the stained glass windows in both the main hall and the original chapel because his architect, Archibald Dunn, was impressed by the fact that Cottier had recently won a prize for the superb harmony of colours in his armorial window at the 1867 Paris International Exhibition. Indeed, Daniel Cottier has referred to his Paris prize in the graphite border of the large window in the main hall of Prudhoe Hall.
The stained glass in the small original chapel, which was opened on 19 October 1870, was eventually incorporated in the enlarged church of 1891 and then subsequently moved again a mile into the town of Prudhoe in 1904-05, when the Liddell family moved away from the area and could no longer support the Catholic mission, which Matthew Liddell had begun in 1870. The black and white photographs of the first chapel at Prudhoe Hall in Father Zielinski’s book, The Church That Moved, show exactly the same windows containing the Cottier glass that have been retained in the larger church that replaced it. This means that the Cottier windows have been moved twice from their original site, and this would explain the necessity for so much extra remedial lead-work within some of the panes of glass, presumably repairing damage caused by two removals and two re-installations.
The small windows at Prudhoe Hall depicting idyllic naturalistic scenes of a rising sun over a river are especially beautiful and seem to have a strong similarity to the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Made at around 1870, they pre-date by ten years or more the collaboration between Cottier and Tiffany in the 1880s in America. The swaying reeds in particular would seem to suggest that Cottier may well have been a significant influence on Tiffany before Tiffany returned the compliment as it were, and Cottier brought some of his ideas back into his own artistic creations in Scotland.
There is a memorial stone to John Wesley set in a low wall in South Road.
Prudhoe is linked to Newcastle upon Tyne and the A1 by the A695 which used to pass through the centre of the town along Front Street. The A695 road now bypasses the town to the north through the industrial estate at Low Prudhoe. The better transport links of the new bypass have allowed the industrial estate to expand alongside the new road to the east.
Northumberland County Council sought a significant landmark feature adjacent to the new bypass, and commissioned the Prudhoe Badger under their 'percent for art' policy. The sculpture is 30m long, and was constructed with the help of drystone wallers in stone and marble. It was designed to integrate with the rural environment, create awareness about ecology and provide a link with the nearby Countryside Centre. The badger is sited adjacent to the roundabout on the A695 road at Low Prudhoe.
The town is served by Prudhoe railway station on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, also known as the Tyne Valley Line. The line was opened in 1838, and links the city of Newcastle upon Tyne with Carlisle. The line follows the course of the River Tyne through Northumberland. Passenger services on the Tyne Valley Line are operated by Northern Rail and First ScotRail. The line is also heavily used for freight.
- St Matthew's Catholic Primary.
- Highfield Middle School.
- Eastwood Middle School (closed in 2006)
Tyne Riverside Country Park in Low Prudhoe lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne. The park includes the artificial chalk hills known as the "Spetchells" which have attracted some natural chalk-loving flora and fauna not normally found in the region. It has been proposed that they be made 'sites of scientific interest'. A public bridleway runs from the country park to Hagg Bank, over the Points Bridge to Wylam. Now forming a traffic-free part of National Cycle Network Route 72, it runs on the bed of a disused railway line to Newburn, Tyne and Wear, Newcastle upon Tyne, and on to the coast at Tynemouth.
Prudhoe Town Football Club play in the Second Division of the Arngrove Northern League. The future of the club has recently been in doubt following the loss of its ground.
Prudhoe Waterworld provides swimming and other fitness activities and is the home of Prudhoe Millennium Tapestry.
Prudhoe Golf Club is an 18-hole golf club to the east of the town.
The town has a skatepark, called Highfield Park, which is located at the top of Prudhoe.
Prudhoe is home to the North East Ferret Rescue, which helps unwanted and abandoned ferrets. It is the only active ferret rescue in the North East of England. See http://www.northeastferretrescue.co.uk
- - Prudhoe Bay, an area of Alaska containing the largest oil field in the USA is named indirectly after Prudhoe. The explorer, John Franklin, who discovered the area, named it after his good friend, Baron Prudhoe of Prudhoe.
- "Prudhoe Online Homepage". Prudhoe Community Partnership. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "Cumbria Contemporary Arts". Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "Prudhoe Castle First School". Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- "Prudhoe West First School". Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- "St Matthew's Catholic Primary School". Retrieved 2009-12-29.
- "Highfield Middle School (Prudhoe)". Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- "Prudhoe Community High School". Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- Prudhoe Online Community Website
- Prudhoe Castle
- Prudhoe Dolphins Local Swimming Club
- Prudhoe Methodist Church
- Prudhoe Catholic Church