Bedlington - Encyclopedia

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BEDLINGTON, an urban district of Northumberland, England, within the parliamentary borough of Morpeth, 5 m. S.E. of that town on a branch of the North Eastern railway. Pop. (Igo I) 18,766. It lies on high ground above the river Blyth, 22 m. above its mouth. The church of St Cuthbert shows good transitional Norman details. Its dedication recalls the transportation of the body of the saintly bishop of Lindisfarne from its shrine at Durham by the monks of that foundation to Lindisfarne, when in fear of attack from William the Conqueror. They rested here with the coffin. The modern growth of the town is attributable to the valuable collieries of the neighbourhood, and to manufactures of nails and chains. It is one of the most populous mining centres in the county. On the south bank of the river is the township and urban district of Cowpen (pop. 17,879), with collieries and glass works; coal is shipped from this point by river.

Bedlington (Betlingtun) 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 became part of the county palatine 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 property 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.

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