St. Cuthbert's Church, Bedlington
Bedlington shown within Northumberland
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Bedlington is a town situated in South East Northumberland, United Kingdom, with a population of roughly 15,400, measured at 18,470 at the 2011 Census. It is a former mining town roughly 10 miles (16 km) north of the nearest city, Newcastle upon Tyne and 4.5 miles (7 km) southeast of the county town of Morpeth. Other nearby places include Ashington to the north northeast, Blyth to the east and Cramlington to the south.
Bedlington and the hamlets belonging to it were bought by Cutheard, bishop of Durham, between 900 and 915, and although locally situated in the county of Northumberland, it became part of the county palatine (from Lat. palatium, a palace) of Durham, over which Bishop Walcher was granted royal rights by William the Conqueror.
When these rights were taken from Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham, in 1536, Bedlington among his other properties, lost its special privileges, but was confirmed to him in 1541 with the other property of his predecessors. Together with the other lands of the see of Durham, Bedlington was made over to the ecclesiastical commissioners in 1866. Bedlingtonshire was made part of Northumberland for civil purposes by acts of parliament in 1832 and 1844.
Bedlington became an industrial town with an iron works and several coal mines, however subsequent closure of this industries in the latter half of the 20th century caused the town to undergo many changes, becoming more of a dormitory town for those working in the surrounding areas.
The most important historic building in Bedlington was Bedlington Old Hall, which consisted of a fifteenth-century pele tower with a long early eighteenth-century stone block adjoining, occupying a prime location on the high street. It was scandalously demolished in 1959, and replaced with council offices.
A weekly market is held on Thursdays at the market place. The number of market stalls is now also starting to decline.
Bedlington is served by two secondary schools: Bedlingtonshire Community High School and St Benet Biscop Catholic High School, which was recently awarded Business and Enterprise College status, and is sponsored by the Co-operative Group. Pupils may also commute around 13 miles (21 km) south to Newcastle upon Tyne if they choose to attend an independent school.
One of the most important surviving historic buildings is the Anglican parish church, which is dedicated to St Cuthbert. It is reputed that the church takes its dedication from an event that occurred December 12, 1069: fleeing northwards from the Conqueror's army, the monks of Durham are said to have rested the body of St Cuthbert in Bedlington Church. The building, originally of Saxon design, was rebuilt about a hundred years later. Little of either the Saxon or the Norman church has survived.
There is a Roman Catholic congregation who worship in a relatively new church called St Bede's. In addition, there is a Salvation Army church.
Local newspapers include The Evening Chronicle, The Journal, which also cover Tyneside and the rest of south east Northumberland. The Newspost Leader is weekly and covers most of the former district of Wansbeck. The community-run Bedlington Website Bedlington.co.uk was started in 1998. It has been active in many of the recent initiatives to promote the town.
There are also several radio regional stations provide local broadcasts. Local news on television is provided by ITV Tyne Tees and BBC Look North. These TV stations cover most of the north east, County Durham, Teesside, Tyneside and Northumberland.
Bedlington has reached news as far as the United States with a recent investment by the worlds 488th richest man choosing to invest in Bedlington Terriers Football Club after tracing his family roots to the town.
- John Birkinshaw, railway engineer
- Daniel Gooch (1816–1889), railway and cable engineer
- John Viret Gooch (1812–1900), railway mechanical engineer
- Thomas Longridge Gooch (1808–1882), civil engineer
- Jayne Middlemiss, television presenter and former glamour model
- Denis Murphy (1948–), Labour Party MP for Wansbeck
- Mary Weightman MBE (1906–2005), pianist and animal welfare worker
- Kenneth Pearson (1951-), cricketer
- Matthew Raisbeck, (1988-), BBC Newcastle radio sport presenter.
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- "Population 2011,East Bedlington". Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "West Bedlington population 2011". Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- In the early 1820s, a breeder named Joseph Aynsley started the breed and eventually in 1873 the first Stud Book of The Kennel Club listed 30 Bedlingtons: Muriel P. Lee "Bedlington Terrier"; Interpet Pub., Surrey, 2001. The Bedlington Terrier was developed as a breed in the early 19th century in a village called Bedlington, Northumberland. Folklore has it that the Bedlingtons where used by Romani people of the Rothbury Forest to hunt silently for small game and the livestock of the landowners: Kerry V. Kern, "The Terrier Handbook"; Barron's Edu. Ser., 2005 New York.
- The Westminster: Road To Ruin Sports Illustrated, February 8, 1960
- Ekwall, Eilert (1960). Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names (4th ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 34. OCLC 400936.
- "Bedlington Country Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Map of Bedlington Country Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Bedlington Website
- Bedlington Terriers F.C.
- Wansbeck District Council
- Bedlington Photos
- GENUKI (Accessed: 5 November 2008)
- Northumberland Communities (Accessed: 5 November 2008)