Bedlington is an ancient market town, with a rich history of industry and innovative residents. Located approximately 10 miles northeast of Newcastle and Newcastle Airport, Bedlington is roughly 10 minutes from the A1 motorway. Situated in South East Northumberland, it is home to over 20,000 people.
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The town has evidence of habitation from the Bronze age, with a burial site being located just behind what is now the main Front Street. A cluster of Bronze age cist burials were discovered during the excavation of the site in the 1930s.
St Cuthbert's Church is the longest-standing building in the town, with parts of this dating back to the 11th century it recently celebrated being 1000 years old. The church is situated 200m from the Lairds House, in the heart of the original sandstone conservation town centre.
Most of the medieval town has disappeared with many of the historic buildings and factories being demolished over the years, but there are still nods to the medieval street layout. The main Front Street is currently made up of Georgian and Victorian buildings.
Welcome to Bedlington Sign photo credit: © Copyright Graham Robson
Today Bedlington is probably best known for being the home of the Bedlington Terrier, a dog that has taken the town’s name across the planet…not for the first time! At key points in history, before and during the industrial revolution, goods made in Bedlington made it to all corners of the globe.
With a large industry-first in Bedlington over 250 years ago in the form of its world-renowned ironworks, the industry remained at the heart of the town until the closure of the pit mines in the 1980s. Today Bedlington’s Front Street is host to a number of well-established eating and drinking venues and there is an emergence of new establishments in the town.
Bedlington is home to notable residents including:
The Bedlington Terrier – world-renowned breed described as “a dog with a lions heart but the appearance of a lamb”
Sir Daniel Gooch – engineered and built trains and was also queen Victoria’s driver. He laid the first trans-Atlantic cable from the UK to the US.
John Birkenshaw – Inventor of the modern railway line that allowed trains to operate at a much faster speed, which was key during the Industrial Revolution.
Ironworks – an integral part of the town’s history; here significant parts of the first locomotive, made by George Stephenson, were produced. The first train to depart Kings Cross, when the station opened in 1852, was hauled by a loco built at the Bedlington Engine Works. The ironworks and Engine Works also produced the first locomotives to help build railway systems as far and wide as Russia, Holland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, France and Persia. Replicas of the first locos are on display at museums in Naples and Utrecht.