Coat of Arms
Northumberland is a county in the North East of England. Once part of the Roman Empire and the scene of many wars between England and Scotland, Northumberland has a long and violent history. There are more castles here than anywhere else in England, including those at Alnwick, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and Warkworth.
The region of present-day Northumberland once formed the core of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia, which was later united with Deira south of the Tees to form Northumbria. Northumberland is often called the "cradle of Christianity" in England, because it was on Lindisfarne, a tidal island north of Bamburgh, also called Holy Island, that Christianity flourished when monks from Iona were sent to convert the English. Lindisfarne was the home of the Lindisfarne Gospels and Saint Cuthbert, who is buried in Durham Cathedral.
Northumberland played a key role in the industrial revolution. Coal-mines were once widespread in Northumberland, with collieries at Ashington, Ellington and Pegswood The region's coalfields fuelled industrial expansion in other areas of the country, and the need to transport the coal from the collieries to the Tyne led to the development of the first railways. Ship-building and armaments manufacture were other important industries.