Morecambe Bay is a large estuary in northwest England, just to the south of the Lake District National Park. It is the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the United Kingdom, covering a total area of 310 km2. In 1974, the second largest gas field in the UK was discovered 25 miles west of Blackpool, with original reserves of over 7 trillion cubic feet. At its peak, 15 % of Britain's gas supply came from the bay, it one of the homes of the high brown fritillary butterfly. The rivers Leven, Keer and Wyre drain into the Bay, with their various estuaries making a number of peninsulas within the bay. Much of the land around the bay is reclaimed. Morecambe Bay is an important wildlife site, with abundant birdlife and varied marine habitats, there is a bird observatory at Walney Island; the bay has rich cockle beds. There are seven main islands in all to the north. Walney is larger than the others, with its southern tip marking the north-western corner of the Bay. Sheep, Piel and Foulney Islands are tidal and can be walked to at low tide with appropriate care.
Local guidance should be sought if walking to Chapel or Piel islands as fast tides and quicksand can be dangerous. Roa Island is linked to the mainland by a causeway, while Barrow Island has been connected to the mainland as part of the docks system at Barrow-in-Furness; the extensive sandflats are the remains of a vast sandur or outwash plain established by meltwaters as the last ice age waned. Sea-level was still some 3m below present day levels at the start of the Holocene some 11,000 years ago; the Greek geographer and astronomer Claudius Ptolemy referred in his writings to Morikambe eischusis as a location on Britain's west coast, lying between the Ribble and the Solway. Sixteenth century scholar William Camden identified the locality as being near Silloth, hence the similar name of that bay but the eighteenth century antiquarian John Horsley who translated Ptolemy into English in 1732 favoured it being the bay on the Lancashire/Cumberland border. In 1771 historian John Whitaker took up this latter suggestion and the name appeared on maps subsequently.
The first recorded to do so being one associated with Father Thomas West's Antiquities of Furness of 1774. Camden believed the name originated with two words meaning crooked sea whilst West offered up white/beautiful haven though current thought is that it refers to a curve of the sea. There have been royally appointed local guides for crossing the bay for centuries; this difficulty of crossing the bay added to the isolation of the land to its north which, due to the presence of the mountains of the Lake District, could only be reached by crossing these sands or by ferry, until the Furness Railway was built in 1857. This skirts the edge of the bay; the London-Glasgow railway briefly runs alongside the bay - the only place where the West Coast Main Line runs alongside the coast. The bay is notorious for its quicksand and fast moving tides. On the night of 5 February 2004, at least 21 Chinese immigrant cockle pickers drowned after being cut off by the tides; this tragedy led some commentators to suggest that the cockle beds should be closed until improved safety measures could be introduced.
Morecambe Bay is home to several of the UK's offshore wind farms: West of Duddon Sands, Burbo Bank, Walney and Ormonde. Some 319,100 people live along the coastline of Morecambe Bay, with many of these people residing in the towns listed in the table below; the largest town in the vicinity of the bay is Barrow-in-Furness located to its west, whilst the town which adopted its name from the bay follows. Morecambe relied on the bay for many years, as a popular seaside holiday destination, whilst Barrow still relies on the seas for a large percentage of its economy - ship and submarine construction; the bay has Britain's second-largest natural gas field, in the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone with a seal of Mercia Mudstone and a Carboniferous source. The South Morecambe Field, covering an area of 32 square miles, was discovered in 1974 and the first gas came ashore in 1985; the North Morecambe Field, found in 1976, 8 miles to the north, is 11 square miles and started production in 1994. Both are operated by Centrica Energy.
They are 25 miles west of Blackpool in 30 metres of water. The combined gas reserves on discovery were estimated at 179 billion cubic metres. A further 0.65tcf is recognised in the satellite fields of Bains, Dalton, Millom East and Millom West, a number of smaller fields have been identified. The gas is landed at three terminals at Westfield Point in Barrow-in-Furness, collectively referred to as the Rampside Gas Terminal; the South Morecambe Central Processing Complex is connected via a 36-inch pipeline to the South Morecambe terminal. North Morecambe gas has a different composition so the unmanned Drilling and Production Platform is linked by a separate 36" wet sealine to the North Morecambe Terminal, where it is stripped of water, CO2 and nitrogen; the Rivers Terminal has a dedicated pipeline for sour gas from the Calder field, which must be stripped of hydrogen sulphide before processing by the North Morecambe Terminal. The hydrogen sulphide is converted to sulphuric ac
George Biddell Airy
Sir George Biddell Airy was an English mathematician and astronomer, Astronomer Royal from 1835 to 1881. His many achievements include work on planetary orbits, measuring the mean density of the Earth, a method of solution of two-dimensional problems in solid mechanics and, in his role as Astronomer Royal, establishing Greenwich as the location of the prime meridian, his reputation has been tarnished by allegations that, through his inaction, Britain lost the opportunity of priority in the discovery of Neptune. Airy was born at Alnwick, one of a long line of Airys who traced their descent back to a family of the same name residing at Kentmere, in Westmorland, in the 14th century; the branch to which he belonged, having suffered in the English Civil War, moved to Lincolnshire and became farmers. Airy was educated first at elementary schools in Hereford, afterwards at Colchester Royal Grammar School. An introverted child, Airy gained popularity with his schoolmates through his great skill in the construction of peashooters.
From the age of 13, Airy stayed with his uncle, Arthur Biddell at Playford, Suffolk. Biddell introduced Airy to his friend Thomas Clarkson, the slave trade abolitionist who lived at Playford Hall. Clarkson had an MA in mathematics from Cambridge, examined Airy in classics and subsequently arranged for him to be examined by a Fellow from Trinity College, Cambridge on his knowledge of mathematics; as a result, he entered Trinity in 1819, as a sizar, meaning that he paid a reduced fee but worked as a servant to make good the fee reduction. Here he had a brilliant career, seems to have been immediately recognised as the leading man of his year. In 1822 he was elected scholar of Trinity, in the following year he graduated as senior wrangler and obtained first Smith's Prize. On 1 October 1824 he was elected fellow of Trinity, in December 1826 was appointed Lucasian professor of mathematics in succession to Thomas Turton; this chair he held for little more than a year, being elected in February 1828 Plumian professor of astronomy and director of the new Cambridge Observatory.
In 1836 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1840, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1859 he became foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences; some idea of his activity as a writer on mathematical and physical subjects during these early years may be gathered from the fact that previous to this appointment he had contributed no less than three important memoirs to the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, eight to the Cambridge Philosophical Society. At the Cambridge Observatory Airy soon showed his power of organisation; the only telescope in the establishment when he took charge was the transit instrument, to this he vigorously devoted himself. By the adoption of a regular system of work, a careful plan of reduction, he was able to keep his observations up to date, published them annually with a punctuality which astonished his contemporaries. Before long a mural circle was installed, regular observations were instituted with it in 1833.
In the same year the Duke of Northumberland presented the Cambridge observatory with a fine object-glass of 12-inch aperture, mounted according to Airy's designs and under his superintendence, although construction was not completed until after he moved to Greenwich in 1835. Airy's writings during this time are divided between mathematical astronomy; the former are for the most part concerned with questions relating to the theory of light arising out of his professorial lectures, among which may be specially mentioned his paper On the Diffraction of an Object-Glass with Circular Aperture, his enunciation of the complete theory of the rainbow. In 1831 the Copley Medal of the Royal Society was awarded to him for these researches. Of his astronomical writings during this period the most important are his investigation of the mass of Jupiter, his report to the British Association on the progress of astronomy during the 19th century, his work On an Inequality of Long Period in the Motions of the Earth and Venus.
One of the sections of his able and instructive report was devoted to "A Comparison of the Progress of Astronomy in England with that in other Countries" much to the disadvantage of England. This reproach was subsequently to a great extent removed by his own labours. One of the most remarkable of Airy's researches was his determination of the mean density of the Earth. In 1826, the idea occurred to him of attacking this problem by means of pendulum experiments at the top and bottom of a deep mine, his first attempt, made in the same year, at the Dolcoath mine in Cornwall, failed in consequence of an accident to one of the pendulums. A second attempt in 1828 was defeated by a flooding of the mine, many years elapsed before another opportunity presented itself; the experiments took place at the Harton pit near South Shields in northern England in 1854. Their immediate result was to show that gravity at the bottom of the mine exceeded that at the top by 1/19286 of its amount, the depth being 383 m.
From this he was led to the final value of Earth's specific density of 6.566. This value, although in excess of that found by different methods, was held by Airy, from the care and completeness with which the observations were carried out and discussed, to be "entitled to compete with the others on, at least, equal terms." The accepted value for Earth's density is 5.5153 g/cm³. In 1830, Airy calculated the lengths of the polar radius and equatorial radius of the earth using measurements taken in the UK. Although his measurements were superseded by more accurate radius figures (such as those used
Centre of Scotland
There is some debate as to the location of the geographical centre of Scotland. This is due to different methods of calculating the centre, whether surrounding islands are included. In 2002, the Ordnance Survey calculated the centre using a mathematical centre of gravity method; this is the mathematical equivalent of calculating the point at which a cardboard cut-out of Scotland could be balanced on the tip of a pin. It becomes complicated; the centre point including islands was found to be at grid reference NN6678471599. This is on a hillside near Loch Garry, between Dalwhinnie and Blair Atholl and close to the A9 road and the railway line. Nearby, it is claimed that the centre lies a few miles from the village of Badenoch, it is marked by a stone set into a wall. The Ordnance Survey calculated that the centre of Mainland Scotland is at NN7673153751; the point is 5 km east of the mountain of Schiehallion, sometimes claimed to be at the centre of Scotland. Another cruder method is to take the intersection between the line of latitude midway between the most northerly and southerly points on the Scottish mainland, the line of longitude midway between the most easterly and westerly points.
In the days when Corrachadh Mòr in Ardnamurchan was undisputedly the most westerly point, this produced 56 degrees 39 minutes N, 4 degrees 0 minutes W near the summit of Schiehallion. However the construction of the Skye Bridge, arguably turning Skye into part of the Scottish mainland, may have upset some of these calculations. Less credible candidates for the centre of Scotland exist; the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1908 suggested the megalithic Faskally Cottages Standing Stones. The Society were aware of other contenders of the centre of Scotland: "Various spots have been so designated: a site at Struan, several miles to the N. W. of Faskally. Matthew Paris's map of 1247 shows a clear north-south divide to Scotland. Proverbially Stirling is the strategically important "Gateway to the Highlands", it has been said that "Stirling, like a huge brooch clasps Highlands and Lowlands together". There is and east-west divide as told in the story as recorded by Boece who relates that in 855 Scotland was invaded by two Northumbrian princes and Ella.
They united their Northumberian Anglian forces with the Lowland Strathclyde Britons in order to defeat the Highland Pictish Scots. Having secured Stirling castle, they built the first stone bridge over the Forth. On the top they raised a crucifix with the inscription: "Anglos, a Scotis separat, crux ista remotis, it may be the stone cross was a tripoint for the three kingdom's marches. In this way the stone cross in the centre of Stirling Bridge was the heart of Scotland; the centre of the Central Belt may be a point of interest. The Heart of Scotland services known as Harthill is close to the centre of the M8 motorway, Scotland's main road linking East with West. Cumbernauld in the Central Belt, is a watershed with one of its rivers flowing to the east and the other flowing west; this watershed test could apply to other sites like the summit of Ben Lomond being on the line of the Scottish watershed but Cumbernauld arguably has this property in its name. A map of Scotland's watershed has been produced for walkers.
There have been other centres suggested, such as the furthest point from salt water including sea lochs. A site centred about 8 miles north of the village of Calvine on the A9 west of Blair Atholl has been suggested; as with other topics like defining the location of the North Pole the answer depends on which criteria you choose. Some have claimed Gartincaber Tower for the title; some Stirlingshire residents consider it ahead of Stirling Bridge. Extreme points of Scotland Geographical centre of Europe Centre points of the United Kingdom heart of Scotland using qgis
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2, it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan; the island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago. The island is dominated by a maritime climate with quite narrow temperature differences between seasons. Politically, Great Britain is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutes most of its territory. Most of England and Wales are on the island; the term "Great Britain" is used to include the whole of England and Wales including their component adjoining islands. A single Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland by the 1707 Acts of Union.
In 1801, Great Britain united with the neighbouring Kingdom of Ireland, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, renamed the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" after the Irish Free State seceded in 1922. The archipelago has been referred to by a single name for over 2000 years: the term'British Isles' derives from terms used by classical geographers to describe this island group. By 50 BC Greek geographers were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a collective name for the British Isles. However, with the Roman conquest of Britain the Latin term Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, Roman-occupied Britain south of Caledonia; the earliest known name for Great Britain is Albion or insula Albionum, from either the Latin albus meaning "white" or the "island of the Albiones". The oldest mention of terms related to Great Britain was by Aristotle, or by Pseudo-Aristotle, in his text On the Universe, Vol. III. To quote his works, "There are two large islands in it, called the British Isles and Ierne".
Pliny the Elder in his Natural History records of Great Britain: "Its former name was Albion. Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne; the French form replaced the Old English Breoton, Bryten, Breten. Britannia was used by the Romans from the 1st century BC for the British Isles taken together, it is derived from the travel writings of the Pytheas around 320 BC, which described various islands in the North Atlantic as far north as Thule. Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, described the island group as αἱ Πρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι; the peoples of these islands of Prettanike were called the Priteni or Pretani. Priteni is the source of the Welsh language term Prydain, which has the same source as the Goidelic term Cruithne used to refer to the early Brythonic-speaking inhabitants of Ireland; the latter were called Picts or Caledonians by the Romans. Greek historians Diodorus of Sicily and Strabo preserved variants of Prettanike from the work of Greek explorer Pytheas of Massalia, who travelled from his home in Hellenistic southern Gaul to Britain in the 4th century BC.
The term used by Pytheas may derive from a Celtic word meaning "the painted ones" or "the tattooed folk" in reference to body decorations. The Greco-Egyptian scientist Ptolemy referred to the larger island as great Britain and to Ireland as little Britain in his work Almagest. In his work, Geography, he gave the islands the names Alwion and Mona, suggesting these may have been the names of the individual islands not known to him at the time of writing Almagest; the name Albion appears to have fallen out of use sometime after the Roman conquest of Britain, after which Britain became the more commonplace name for the island. After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a historical term only. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae refers to the island as Britannia major, to distinguish it from Britannia minor, the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany, settled in the fifth and sixth centuries by migrants from Britain; the term Great Britain was first used in 1474, in the instrument drawing up the proposal for a marriage between Cecily the daughter of Edward IV of England, James the son of James III of Scotland, which described it as "this Nobill Isle, callit Gret Britanee".
It was used again in 1604, when King James VI and I styled himself "King of Great Brittaine and Ireland". Great Britain refers geographically to the island of Great Britain, it is often used to refer politically to the whole of England and Wales, including their smaller off shore islands. While it is sometimes used to refer to the whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, this is not correct. Britain can refer to either all island
West Riding of Yorkshire
The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding, was based on the historic boundaries; the lieutenancy at that time included the City of York and as such was named West Riding of the County of York and the County of the City of York. Its boundaries correspond to the present ceremonial counties of West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the Craven and Selby districts of North Yorkshire, along with smaller parts in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and, since 1996, the unitary East Riding of Yorkshire; the West Riding encompasses 1,771,562 acres from Sheffield in the south to Sedbergh in the north and from Dunsop Bridge in the west to Adlingfleet in the east. The southern industrial district, considered in the broadest application of the term, extended northward from Sheffield to Skipton and eastward from Sheffield to Doncaster, covering less than one-half of the riding. Within this district were Barnsley, Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Keighley, Morley, Pontefract, Rotherham, Sheffield and Wakefield.
Major centres elsewhere in the riding included Ripon. Within the industrial region, other urban districts included Bingley, Bolton on Dearne, Cleckheaton, Featherstone, Hoyland Nether, Mexborough, Normanton, Rothwell, Shipley, Sowerby Bridge, Swinton, Wath-upon-Dearne and Worsborough. Outside the industrial region were Goole, Ilkley and Selby; the West Riding contained a large rural area to the north including part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The subdivision of Yorkshire into three ridings or "thirds" is of Scandinavian origin; the West Riding was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Unlike most English counties, being so large, was divided first into the three ridings and the city of York; each riding was divided into wapentakes, a division comparable to the hundreds of Southern England and the wards of England's four northern-most historic counties. Within the West Riding of Yorkshire there were ten wapentakes in total, four of which were split into two divisions, those were— Claro, Skyrack and Tickhill and Staincliffe.
The wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley was created with two divisions but was split into two separate wapentakes. A wapentake known as the Ainsty to the west of York, was until the 15th century a wapentake of the West Riding, but since has come under the jurisdiction of the City of York The administrative county was formed in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888, covered the historic West Riding except for the larger urban areas, which were county boroughs with the powers of both a municipal borough and a county council. There were five in number: Bradford, Huddersfield and Sheffield; the City of York was included in the county for lieutenancy purposes. The number of county boroughs increased over the years; the boundaries of existing county boroughs were widened. Beginning in 1898, the West Riding County Council was based at the County Hall in Wakefield, inherited by the West Yorkshire County Council in 1974; the Local Government Act 1888 included the entirety of Todmorden with the West Riding administrative county, in its lieutenancy area.
Other boundary changes in the county included the expansion of the county borough of Sheffield southward in areas in Derbyshire such as Dore. Fingerposts erected in the West Riding. At the top of the post was a roundel in the form of a hollow circle with a horizontal line across the middle, displaying "Yorks W. R.", the name of the fingerpost's location, a grid reference. Other counties, apart from Dorset, did not display a grid reference and did not have a horizontal bar through the roundel. From 1964, many fingerposts were replaced by ones in the modern style, but some of the old style still survive within the West Riding boundaries. By 1971 1,924,853 people lived in the administrative county, against 1,860,435 in the ten county boroughs; the term West Riding is still used in the names of the following clubs, organisations: 33rd Foot, First Yorkshire West Riding Regiment, a re-enactment group based in Halifax who depict this Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars 49 Signal Squadron, a squadron of 34 Signal Regiment based at Carlton Barracks in Leeds 51st Light Infantry, a re-enactment group based in the West Midlands who depict this Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars 106 Field Squadron, a squadron of 72 Engineer Regiment based in Greenhill and Manningham Lane, Bradford 269 Bat
Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston; the county has an area of 1,189 square miles. People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians; the history of Lancashire begins with its founding in the 12th century. In the Domesday Book of 1086, some of its lands were treated as part of Yorkshire; the land that lay between the Ribble and Mersey, Inter Ripam et Mersam, was included in the returns for Cheshire. When its boundaries were established, it bordered Cumberland, Westmorland and Cheshire. Lancashire emerged as a major industrial region during the Industrial Revolution. Liverpool and Manchester grew into its largest cities, with economies built around the docks and the cotton mills respectively; these cities dominated the birth of modern industrial capitalism. The county contained the collieries of the Lancashire Coalfield. By the 1830s 85% of all cotton manufactured worldwide was processed in Lancashire. Accrington, Bolton, Bury, Colne, Manchester, Oldham, Preston and Wigan were major cotton mill towns during this time.
Blackpool was a centre for tourism for the inhabitants of Lancashire's mill towns during wakes week. The historic county was subject to a significant boundary reform in 1974 which created the current ceremonial county and removed Liverpool and Manchester, most of their surrounding conurbations to form the metropolitan and ceremonial counties of Merseyside and Greater Manchester; the detached northern part of Lancashire in the Lake District, including the Furness Peninsula and Cartmel, was merged with Cumberland and Westmorland to form Cumbria. Lancashire lost 709 square miles of land to other counties, about two fifths of its original area, although it did gain some land from the West Riding of Yorkshire. Today the ceremonial county borders Cumbria to the north, Greater Manchester and Merseyside to the south, North and West Yorkshire to the east; the county palatine boundaries remain the same as those of the pre-1974 county with Lancaster serving as the county town, the Duke of Lancaster exercising sovereignty rights, including the appointment of lords lieutenant in Greater Manchester and Merseyside..
The county was established in 1182 than many other counties. During Roman times the area was part of the Brigantes tribal area in the military zone of Roman Britain; the towns of Manchester, Ribchester, Burrow and Castleshaw grew around Roman forts. In the centuries after the Roman withdrawal in 410AD the northern parts of the county formed part of the Brythonic kingdom of Rheged, a successor entity to the Brigantes tribe. During the mid-8th century, the area was incorporated into the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria, which became a part of England in the 10th century. In the Domesday Book, land between the Ribble and Mersey were known as "Inter Ripam et Mersam" and included in the returns for Cheshire. Although some historians consider this to mean south Lancashire was part of Cheshire, it is by no means certain, it is claimed that the territory to the north formed part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It bordered on Cumberland, Westmorland and Cheshire; the county was divided into hundreds, Blackburn, Lonsdale and West Derby.
Lonsdale was further partitioned into Lonsdale North, the detached part north of the sands of Morecambe Bay including Furness and Cartmel, Lonsdale South. Lancashire is smaller than its historical extent following a major reform of local government. In 1889, the administrative county of Lancashire was created, covering the historic county except for the county boroughs such as Blackburn, Barrow-in-Furness, Wigan and Manchester; the area served by the Lord-Lieutenant covered the entirety of the administrative county and the county boroughs, was expanded whenever boroughs annexed areas in neighbouring counties such as Wythenshawe in Manchester south of the River Mersey and in Cheshire, southern Warrington. It did not cover the western part of Todmorden, where the ancient border between Lancashire and Yorkshire passes through the middle of the town. During the 20th century, the county became urbanised the southern part. To the existing county boroughs of Barrow-in-Furness, Bolton, Burnley, Liverpool, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, St. Helens and Wigan were added Warrington and Southport.
The county boroughs had many boundary extensions. The borders around the Manchester area were complicated, with narrow protrusions of the administrative county between the county boroughs – Lees urban district formed a detached part of the administrative county, between Oldham county borough and the West Riding of Yorkshire. By the census of 1971, the population of Lancashire and its county boroughs had reached 5,129,416, making it the most populous geographic county in the UK; the administrative county was the most populous of its type outside London, with a population of 2,280,359 in 1961. On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the administrative county was abolished, as were the county boroughs; the urbanised southern part became part of two metropolitan counties and Greater Manchester. The new county of Cumbria incorporates the Furness exclave; the boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, St. Helens and Sefton were included in Merseyside. In Greater Manchester the successor boroughs were
Haltwhistle is a small town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, 10 miles east of Brampton, near Hadrian's Wall. It had a population of 3,811 at the 2011 Census. Stone-built houses are a feature of Haltwhistle, it is one of two settlements in Great Britain which claim to be the exact geographic centre of the island, along with Dunsop Bridge in Lancashire, 71 miles to the south. The name Haltwhistle has nothing to do with a railway stop. Early forms of the name are Hautwesel, Hawtewysill, Haltwesell; the second part -twistle relates to two streams or rivers. It derives from two Old English words twicce or twise,'twice','division into two' and wella,'stream, brook'; the second word is reduced in the compound word to ull, making twisella. All but one of the examples in place names represent a high tongue of land between two streams where they join; the first part is derived from Old English hēafod, here'hill-top', in general,'head','headland','summit','upper end' or'source of a stream'. If so, it describes the hill-top on which Holy Cross Church and the oldest part of Haltwhistle was built, enclosed on the north-east and west by Haltwhistle Burn and on the south by the South Tyne.
Rowland suggests Hal from'hill' An suggestion is French haut-, meaning'high', since the settlement existed long before the Norman Conquest. Haltwhistle was in existence in Roman times, as it is one of the closest approaches of the River South Tyne in its upland reaches to Hadrian's Wall; the old Roman road or Stanegate passes just two miles to the north of the town. The development of the town stemmed from its position on the main Newcastle to Carlisle road and on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway line; the expansion of Haltwhistle in the 18th and 19th centuries was due to coal mining in the area and to a lesser extent the use of Haltwhistle as a loading point for metal ores coming from the mines on Alston Moor. In 1836 while some workmen were quarrying stone for the Directors of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, on the top of Barcombe, a high hill in the township of Thorngrafton and Parish of Haltwhistle, one of them found a copper vessel containing 63 coins, 3 of them gold and 60 copper.
The gold coins were, one of Claudius Caesar, reverse Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus. The find is known as the Thorngrafton Hoard and the empty arm-purse can still be seen in the museum at Chesters Fort. More paint manufacture became a major commercial force in the town, but has now stopped major production. Current local employers include factories making de-icing products. In the 21st century, the tourist industry dominates the economy with Hadrian's Wall and walking and rambling counting among the principal interests of tourists. Haltwhistle lies within the now unitary Northumberland County Council and was up until April 2009 part of Tynedale district, it maintains an active Town Council which has succeeded in making a number of local improvements including the establishment in 1975 of a heated outdoor swimming pool complex, popular during the summer months. It is believed that Haltwhistle may be one of the smallest towns to have made such a provision in Great Britain. An electoral ward with the same name still exists.
This ward stretches from Hexham south up the R. South Tyne and has a total population taken at the 2011 Census of 4,832; the town is in the parliamentary constituency of Hexham. Haltwhistle was a market town for the exchange of local goods. In the 18th century two Quakers set up a baize manufactury and there was a weaving establishment. On the Haltwhistle Burn were fulling mills and spinning mills. A walk along this stream to the Roman Wall, shows that it must have been a hive of industry with quarries, coal mining and lime burning kilns; the Directory of 1822 gives a whole range of craftsmen and traders—60 in number, including makers of clogs. The weekly market was held on Thursdays and there were fairs on 14 May and 22 November for cattle and sheep. Hadrian's Wall to the north of the town is used as a major selling point for the town; the section of the wall closest to Haltwhistle is among the most spectacular and complete, with the wall striding eastwards from the lake at Crag Lough along the spine of the Whin Sill.
The remains of Haltwhistle Castle and the series of Bastles, Haltwhistle Tower. Haltwhistle claims to be at the geographic centre of Britain – equidistant from the sea as measured along the principal points of the compass. A hotel in the centre of Haltwhistle is named the Centre of Britain Hotel in recognition of this claim; the claim is rather tenuous as it requires that the northern extremity is taken to be Orkney rather than Shetland. Depending on how the centre of the island is calculated, the centre can be said to be Dunsop Bridge in Lancashire. See centre points of the United Kingdom. There are many historic properties nearby, including Featherstone Castle, Blenkinsop Castle, Unthank Hall, Bellister Castle, Coanwood Friends Meeting House, Thirlwall Castle. Haltwhistle Viaduct lies to the south of the railway station and was the first major feature on the Alston Line to Alston, Cumbria. Railway The town is served by Haltwhistle railway station on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway known as the Tyne Valley Line.
The line was opened in 1838, 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. Passenger services on the Tyne Valley Line are operated by Abellio ScotRail; the line is heavily used for freight. The railway station is on the south side of the town close by the River South Tyne; until 1976 the rai