Market Place, Corbridge town centre
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Corbridge was known to the Romans as something like Corstopitum or Coriosopitum, and wooden writing tablets found at Vindolanda suggest it was probably locally called Coria (meaning a tribal centre). According to Bethany Fox, the early attestations of the English name Corbridge 'show variation between Cor- and Col-, as in the earliest two forms, Corebricg and Colebruge, and there has been extensive debate about what its etymology may be. Some relationship with the Roman name Corstopitum seems clear, however'.
Roman fort and town
The first fort was established c. AD 85, although there was a slightly earlier base nearby at Beaufront Red House. By the middle of the 2nd century AD, the fort was replaced by a town with two walled military compounds, which were garrisoned until the end of the Roman occupation of the site. The best-known finds from the site include the stone Corbridge Lion and the Corbridge Hoard of armour and sundry other items. In Rudyard Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, the town of Hunno on the Wall, is probably based on Corstopitum.
The Roman Town is now managed by English Heritage on behalf of HM Government. The site has been largely excavated and features a large museum and shop. The fort is the top-rated attraction in Corbridge and is open daily between 10 and 6 in the summer and at weekends between 10 and 4 in the winter.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Andrew is thought to have been consecrated in 676. Saint Wilfrid is supposed to have had the church built at the same time as Hexham Abbey. It has been altered several times since, with a Norman doorway, and a lychgate built as a First World War memorial. The Church is built largely from stone taken from Hadrian's Wall, and the entrance to the Church is through glass doors given by Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder and Mr. Bean) and etched in memory of his mother. (Information obtained during a recent visit to the town and the Church.)
There are only three fortified vicarages in the county, and one of these is in Corbridge. Built in the 14th century, the Vicar's Pele is to be found in the south-east corner of the churchyard, and has walls 1.3 metres (4 ft) in thickness. The register for St. Andrews dates from 1657. Later on in the town's history, Wesleyan, Primitive and Free Methodist chapels were all built too.
Even older than the Vicar's Pele is Corbridge Low Hall, dating from the late 13th or early 14th century with one end converted to a pele tower in the 15th century. The main block was remodelled in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the building restored c1890.
A number of fine Victorian mansions were developed on Prospect Hill to house successful industrialists and local businessmen in the late 19th century.
Corbridge suffered, as did many other settlements in the county, from the border warfare which was particularly prevalent between 1300 and 1700. Raids were commonplace, and it was not unusual for the livestock to be brought into the town at night and a watch placed to guard either end of the street for marauders. A bridge over the Tyne was built in the 13th century, but this original has not survived. The present bridge, an impressive stone structure with seven arches, was erected in 1674.
Corbridge is in the parliamentary constituency of Hexham. An electoral ward of the same name exists. This ward includes Corbridge and Sandhoe. It had a total population taken at the 2011 census of 4,191.
Corbridge is bypassed to the north by the A69 road, linking it to Newcastle and Carlisle. It is also linked to Newcastle and the A1 by the A695 which passes about 1 mile (1.6 km) away on the south side of the River Tyne.
The town is served by Corbridge 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 in Tyne and Wear with Carlisle in Cumbria. The line follows the course of the River Tyne through Northumberland.
The railway station is about 1 mile (1.6 km) away on the south side of the River Tyne.
Fairs and shows
Stagshaw Bank Fair, traditionally held on 4 July, was one of the most famous of the country fairs. It included a huge sale of stock, and was proclaimed each year by the bailiff to the Duke of Northumberland. Today the Northumberland County Show, an agricultural event, is held in the fields outside Corbridge each year, a very popular rural event, drawing people from all over Northumberland as well as further afield.
The Fastlane show is a supercar show which exhibits supercars from around the world.
Corbridge Steam Fair and Vintage Rally
The Corbridge Steam Fair and Vintage Rally is held every year in June to celebrate steam engines. There are also classic cars, trucks and tractors.
- Ruth Ainsworth (1908–84), children's writer of the Rufty Tufty Golliwog series
- John Blackburn (1923–93), thriller writer
- Born at Corbridge
- Alan Brown (footballer) (1914–96), professional footballer and manager
- Steve Bruce (born 1960), English football manager
- Lived at Corbridge
- "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Bethany Fox, 'The P-Celtic Place-Names of North-East England and South-East Scotland', The Heroic Age, 10 (2007), http://www.heroicage.org/issues/10/fox.html (appendix at http://www.heroicage.org/issues/10/fox-appendix.html).
- Corbridge Low Hall at British Listed Buildings Online
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 27 June 2011.
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