Tyne - Encyclopedia

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TYNE, a river in the north-east of England, flowing eastward to the North Sea, formed of two main branches, the North Tyne and South Tyne. The North Tyne rises in the Cheviot Hills, at their south-western extremity, near the Scottish border. The valley soon becomes beautifully wooded. At Bellingham it receives the Rede, whose wild valley, Redesdale, was one of the chief localities of border warfare, and contains the site of the battle of Otterburn (1388). The South Tyne rises in the south-eastern extremity of Cumberland, below Cross Fell in the Pennine Chain, and flows north past Alston as far as the small town of Haltwhistle, where it turns east. The valley receives from the south the picturesque Allendale, in which the lead mines were formerly important. The two branches of the Tyne join at Warden, a little above the town of Hexham, with its great abbey, and the united stream continues past Corbridge, where a Roman road crossed it, in a beautiful sylvan valley. The united course from the junction to the sea is about 30 m. The length from the source of the North Tyne is 80 m., and the drainage area is 1130 sq. m. In its last 15 m. the Tyne, here the boundary between Northumberland and Durham, is one of the most important commercial waterways in England. Sea-going vessels can navigate up to Blaydon, and collieries and large manufacturing towns line the banks - Newburn, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Wallsend and North Shields on the Northumberland side; Gateshead, Jarrow and South Shields on the Durham side, with many lesser centres, forming continuous lines of factories and shipbuilding yards. The growth of the great shipbuilding and engineering companies; now amalgamated, of which the Armstrong firm at Elswick is the most famous, necessitated the dredging of the river so as to form a deep waterway. At high-water spring tides there are 40 ft. of water at Shields Harbour at the mouth, and 31 at Newcastle, 8 m. up river. Dangerous rocks outside the mouth have been partially removed and the remainder protected, and the Tyne forms a very safe harbour of refuge.

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