Northumbria
Overview
 
Northumbria was a medieval kingdom of the Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

, in what is now Northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 and South-East Scotland
South of Scotland (Scottish Parliament electoral region)
South of Scotland is one of the eight electoral regions of the Scottish Parliament which were created in 1999. Nine of the parliament's 73 first past the post constituencies are sub-divisions of the region and it elects seven of the 56 additional-member Members of the Scottish Parliament...

, becoming subsequently an earl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

dom in a united Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 kingdom of England. The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary.

Northumbria was formed by Æthelfrith
Æthelfrith of Northumbria
Æthelfrith was King of Bernicia from c. 593 until c. 616; he was also, beginning c. 604, the first Bernician king to also rule Deira, to the south of Bernicia. Since Deira and Bernicia were the two basic components of what would later be defined as Northumbria, Æthelfrith can be considered, in...

 in central Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 in Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 times. At the beginning of the 7th century the two kingdoms of Bernicia
Bernicia
Bernicia was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by Anglian settlers of the 6th century in what is now southeastern Scotland and North East England....

 and Deira
Deira
Deira was a kingdom in Northern England during the 6th century AD. Itextended from the Humber to the Tees, and from the sea to the western edge of the Vale of York...

 were unified.
Encyclopedia
Northumbria was a medieval kingdom of the Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

, in what is now Northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 and South-East Scotland
South of Scotland (Scottish Parliament electoral region)
South of Scotland is one of the eight electoral regions of the Scottish Parliament which were created in 1999. Nine of the parliament's 73 first past the post constituencies are sub-divisions of the region and it elects seven of the 56 additional-member Members of the Scottish Parliament...

, becoming subsequently an earl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

dom in a united Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 kingdom of England. The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary.

Northumbria was formed by Æthelfrith
Æthelfrith of Northumbria
Æthelfrith was King of Bernicia from c. 593 until c. 616; he was also, beginning c. 604, the first Bernician king to also rule Deira, to the south of Bernicia. Since Deira and Bernicia were the two basic components of what would later be defined as Northumbria, Æthelfrith can be considered, in...

 in central Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 in Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 times. At the beginning of the 7th century the two kingdoms of Bernicia
Bernicia
Bernicia was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by Anglian settlers of the 6th century in what is now southeastern Scotland and North East England....

 and Deira
Deira
Deira was a kingdom in Northern England during the 6th century AD. Itextended from the Humber to the Tees, and from the sea to the western edge of the Vale of York...

 were unified. (In the 12th century writings of Henry of Huntingdon
Henry of Huntingdon
Henry of Huntingdon , the son of a canon in the diocese of Lincoln, was a 12th century English historian, the author of a history of England, Historia anglorum, "the most important Anglo-Norman historian to emerge from the secular clergy". He served as archdeacon of Huntingdon...

 the kingdom was defined as one of the Heptarchy
Heptarchy
The Heptarchy is a collective name applied to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of south, east, and central Great Britain during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, conventionally identified as seven: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Wessex...

 of Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 kingdoms.) At its greatest the kingdom extended at least from just south of the Humber
Humber
The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank...

, to the River Mersey
River Mersey
The River Mersey is a river in North West England. It is around long, stretching from Stockport, Greater Manchester, and ending at Liverpool Bay, Merseyside. For centuries, it formed part of the ancient county divide between Lancashire and Cheshire....

 and to the Forth
Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south...

 (roughly, Sheffield
Sheffield
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

 to Runcorn
Runcorn
Runcorn is an industrial town and cargo port within the borough of Halton in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. In 2009, its population was estimated to be 61,500. The town is on the southern bank of the River Mersey where the estuary narrows to form Runcorn Gap. Directly to the north...

 to Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

) – and there is some evidence that it may have been much greater (see map).

The later (and smaller) earldom came about when the southern part of Northumbria (ex-Deira) was lost to the Danelaw
Danelaw
The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the "Danes" held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. It is contrasted with "West Saxon law" and "Mercian law". The term has been extended by modern historians to...

. The northern part (ex-Bernicia) at first retained its status as a kingdom but when it become subordinate to the Danish kingdom it had its powers curtailed to that of an earldom, and retained that status when England was reunited by the Wessex
Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

-led reconquest of the Danelaw
Danelaw
The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the "Danes" held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. It is contrasted with "West Saxon law" and "Mercian law". The term has been extended by modern historians to...

. The earldom was bounded by the River Tees
River Tees
The River Tees is in Northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar.-Geography:...

 in the south and the River Tweed
River Tweed
The River Tweed, or Tweed Water, is long and flows primarily through the Borders region of Great Britain. It rises on Tweedsmuir at Tweed's Well near where the Clyde, draining northwest, and the Annan draining south also rise. "Annan, Tweed and Clyde rise oot the ae hillside" as the Border saying...

 in the north (broadly similar to the modern North East England
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...

).

Much of this land was "debated" between England and Scotland, but the Earldom of Northumbria was eventually recognised as part of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 by the Anglo
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

-Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 Treaty of York
Treaty of York
The Treaty of York was an agreement between Henry III of England and Alexander II of Scotland, signed at York on 25 September 1237. It detailed the future status of several feudal properties and addressed other issues between the two kings, and indirectly marked the end of Scotland's attempts to...

 in 1237. On the northern border, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed or simply Berwick is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles south of the Scottish border....

, which is north of the Tweed but had changed hands many times, was defined as subject to the laws of England by the Wales and Berwick Act
Wales and Berwick Act 1746
The Wales and Berwick Act 1746 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which created a statutory definition of "England" as including England, Wales and Berwick-upon-Tweed. This definition applied to all acts passed before and after the Act's coming into force, unless a given Act provided an...

 of 1746. The land once part of Northumbria at its peak is now divided by modern administrative boundaries:
North East England
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...

 includes Anglian
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

 Bernicia
Bernicia
Bernicia was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by Anglian settlers of the 6th century in what is now southeastern Scotland and North East England....

Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber is one of the nine regions of England and formally one of the government office regions. It covers most of the historic county of Yorkshire, along with the part of northern Lincolnshire that was, from 1974 to 1996, within the former shire county of Humberside. The...

 includes Anglian
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

 Deira
Deira
Deira was a kingdom in Northern England during the 6th century AD. Itextended from the Humber to the Tees, and from the sea to the western edge of the Vale of York...

 and Celtic Elmet
Elmet
Elmet was an independent Brythonic kingdom covering a broad area of what later became the West Riding of Yorkshire during the Early Middle Ages, between approximately the 5th century and early 7th century. Although its precise boundaries are unclear, it appears to have been bordered by the River...

North West England
North West England
North West England, informally known as The North West, is one of the nine official regions of England.North West England had a 2006 estimated population of 6,853,201 the third most populated region after London and the South East...

 includes Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

, though Cumbria was more of a Northumbrian colony with its own client kings for most of its history in the Early Medieval era
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...


Scottish Borders
Scottish Borders
The Scottish Borders is one of 32 local government council areas of Scotland. It is bordered by Dumfries and Galloway in the west, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian in the north west, City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian to the north; and the non-metropolitan counties of Northumberland...

, West Lothian
West Lothian
West Lothian is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland, and a Lieutenancy area. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire....

, Edinburgh, Midlothian
Midlothian
Midlothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy area. It borders the Scottish Borders, East Lothian and the City of Edinburgh council areas....

 and East Lothian
East Lothian
East Lothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy Area. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Midlothian. Its administrative centre is Haddington, although its largest town is Musselburgh....

 cover the extreme north


Northumbria is also used in the names of some regional institutions: particularly the police force (Northumbria Police
Northumbria Police
Northumbria Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing the areas of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear in North East England. The service is the sixth largest police force in England and Wales. The current Chief Constable is Sue Sim who was appointed by Northumbria Police...

, which covers Northumberland and Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear is a metropolitan county in north east England around the mouths of the Rivers Tyne and Wear. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972...

) and a university (Northumbria University
Northumbria University
Northumbria University is an academic institution located in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. It is a member of the University Alliance.- History :...

) based in Newcastle. The local Environment Agency office, located in Newcastle Business Park, also uses the term Northumbria to describe its patch. Otherwise, the term is not used in everyday conversation, and is not the official name for the UK and EU region of North East England.

Kingdom (654–954)

See also: List of monarchs of Northumbria and Timeline of Northumbria
Timeline of Northumbria and Northumberland
This timeline summarizes significant events in the history of Northumbria and Northumberland.-600:* 604 Aethelfrith unites Bernicia and Deira to form Northumbria.* 625 Paulinus is consecrated as Bishop of York....


Northumbria was originally composed of the union of two independent kingdoms, Bernicia
Bernicia
Bernicia was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by Anglian settlers of the 6th century in what is now southeastern Scotland and North East England....

 and Deira
Deira
Deira was a kingdom in Northern England during the 6th century AD. Itextended from the Humber to the Tees, and from the sea to the western edge of the Vale of York...

. Bernicia covered lands north of the Tees
River Tees
The River Tees is in Northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar.-Geography:...

, while Deira corresponded roughly to modern-day Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

. Bernicia and Deira were first united by Aethelfrith, a king of Bernicia who conquered Deira around the year 604. He was defeated and killed around the year 616 in battle at the River Idle
River Idle
The River Idle is a river in Nottinghamshire, England. Its source is the confluence of the River Maun and River Meden, near Markham Moor. From there, it flows north through Retford and Bawtry before entering the River Trent at Stockwith near Misterton...

 by Raedwald of East Anglia
Raedwald of East Anglia
Rædwald ; also Raedwald or Redwald, was a 7th century king of East Anglia, a long-lived Anglo-Saxon kingdom which today includes the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. He was the son of Tytila of East Anglia and a member of the Wuffingas dynasty , who were the first rulers of the East Angles...

, who installed Edwin
Edwin of Northumbria
Edwin , also known as Eadwine or Æduini, was the King of Deira and Bernicia – which later became known as Northumbria – from about 616 until his death. He converted to Christianity and was baptised in 627; after he fell at the Battle of Hatfield Chase, he was venerated as a saint.Edwin was the son...

, the son of Aella
Aella of Deira
Ælla , is the first certain king of Deira. One of his sons was Edwin of Northumbria and his daughter Acha married Æthelfrith of Bernicia....

, a former king of Deira, as king.

Edwin, who accepted Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in 627, soon grew to become the most powerful king in England: he was recognized as Bretwalda
Bretwalda
Bretwalda is an Old English word, the first record of which comes from the late 9th century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. It is given to some of the rulers of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms from the 5th century onwards who had achieved overlordship of some or all of the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms...

 and conquered the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

 and Gwynedd
Kingdom of Gwynedd
Gwynedd was one petty kingdom of several Welsh successor states which emerged in 5th-century post-Roman Britain in the Early Middle Ages, and later evolved into a principality during the High Middle Ages. It was based on the former Brythonic tribal lands of the Ordovices, Gangani, and the...

 in northern Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. He was, however, himself defeated by an alliance of the exiled king of Gwynedd, Cadwallon ap Cadfan and Penda
Penda of Mercia
Penda was a 7th-century King of Mercia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is today the English Midlands. A pagan at a time when Christianity was taking hold in many of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Penda took over the Severn Valley in 628 following the Battle of Cirencester before participating in the...

, king of Mercia
Mercia
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries in the region now known as the English Midlands...

, at the Battle of Hatfield Chase
Battle of Hatfield Chase
The Battle of Hatfield Chase was fought on October 12, 633 at Hatfield Chase near Doncaster, Yorkshire, in Anglo-Saxon England between the Northumbrians under Edwin and an alliance of the Welsh of Gwynedd under Cadwallon ap Cadfan and the Mercians under Penda. The site was a marshy area about 8...

 in 633.

King Oswald

After Edwin's death, Northumbria was split between Bernicia, where Eanfrith
Eanfrith of Bernicia
Eanfrith was briefly King of Bernicia from 633 to 634. He was the son of Æthelfrith, a Bernician king who had also ruled Deira to the south before being killed in battle around 616 against Raedwald of East Anglia, who had given refuge to Edwin, an exiled prince of Deira.Edwin became king of...

, a son of Aethelfrith, took power, and Deira, where a cousin of Edwin, Osric
Osric of Deira
Osric was a King of Deira in northern England. He was a cousin of king Edwin of Northumbria, being the son of Edwin's uncle Aelfric...

, became king. Cumbria tended to remain a country frontier with the Britons
Britons (historical)
The Britons were the Celtic people culturally dominating Great Britain from the Iron Age through the Early Middle Ages. They spoke the Insular Celtic language known as British or Brythonic...

. Both of these rulers were killed during the year that followed, as Cadwallon continued his devastating invasion of Northumbria. After the murder of Eanfrith, his brother, Oswald
Oswald of Northumbria
Oswald was King of Northumbria from 634 until his death, and is now venerated as a Christian saint.Oswald was the son of Æthelfrith of Bernicia and came to rule after spending a period in exile; after defeating the British ruler Cadwallon ap Cadfan, Oswald brought the two Northumbrian kingdoms of...

, backed by warriors sent by Domnall Brecc
Domnall Brecc
Domnall Brecc was king of Dál Riata, in modern Scotland, from about 629 until 642...

 of Dál Riata
Dál Riata
Dál Riata was a Gaelic overkingdom on the western coast of Scotland with some territory on the northeast coast of Ireland...

, defeated and killed Cadwallon at the Battle of Heavenfield
Battle of Heavenfield
The Battle of Heavenfield was fought in 633 or 634 between a Northumbrian army under Oswald of Bernicia and a Welsh army under Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd. The battle resulted in a decisive Northumbrian victory. The Annales Cambriae record the battle as Bellum Cantscaul in 631...

 in 634.
Oswald expanded his kingdom considerably. He incorporated Gododdin
Gododdin
The Gododdin were a Brittonic people of north-eastern Britain in the sub-Roman period, the area known as the Hen Ogledd or Old North...

 lands northwards up to the Firth of Forth
Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south...

 and also gradually extended his reach westward, encroaching on the remaining Cumbric speaking kingdoms of Rheged
Rheged
Rheged is described in poetic sources as one of the kingdoms of the Hen Ogledd , the Brythonic-speaking region of what is now northern England and southern Scotland, during the Early Middle Ages...

 and Strathclyde
Kingdom of Strathclyde
Strathclyde , originally Brythonic Ystrad Clud, was one of the early medieval kingdoms of the celtic people called the Britons in the Hen Ogledd, the Brythonic-speaking parts of what is now southern Scotland and northern England. The kingdom developed during the post-Roman period...

. Thus, Northumbria became not only part of modern England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

's far north, but also covered much of what is now the south-east of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. King Oswald re-introduced Christianity to the Kingdom by appointing St. Aidan
Aidan of Lindisfarne
Known as Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, Aidan the Apostle of Northumbria , was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. A Christian missionary, he is credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria. Aidan is the Anglicised form of the original Old...

, an Irish monk from the Scottish island of Iona
Iona
Iona is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquility and natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination and a place for retreats...

 to convert his people. This led to the introduction of the practices of Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity refers broadly to certain features of Christianity that were common, or held to be common, across the Celtic-speaking world during the Early Middle Ages...

. A monastery
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 was established on Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the north-east coast of England. It is also known as Holy Island and constitutes a civil parish in Northumberland...

.

War with Mercia continued, however. In 642, Oswald was killed by the Mercians under Penda at the Battle of Maserfield
Battle of Maserfield
The Battle of Maserfield , Welsh: "Maes Cogwy", was fought on August 5, 641 or 642, between the Anglo-Saxon kings Oswald of Northumbria and Penda of Mercia, ending in Oswald's defeat, death, and dismemberment...

. In 655, Penda launched a massive invasion of Northumbria, aided by the sub-king of Deira, Aethelwald, but suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of an inferior force under Oswiu
Oswiu of Northumbria
Oswiu , also known as Oswy or Oswig , was a King of Bernicia. His father, Æthelfrith of Bernicia, was killed in battle, fighting against Rædwald, King of the East Angles and Edwin of Deira at the River Idle in 616...

, Oswald's successor, at the Battle of Winwaed. This battle marked a major turning point in Northumbrian fortunes: Penda died in the battle, and Oswiu gained supremacy over Mercia, making himself the most powerful king in England.

Religious union and eventual decline

In the year 664 the Synod of Whitby
Synod of Whitby
The Synod of Whitby was a seventh century Northumbriansynod where King Oswiu of Northumbria ruled that his kingdom would calculate Easter and observe the monastic tonsure according to the customs of Rome, rather than the customs practised by Iona and its satellite institutions...

 was held to discuss the controversy regarding the timing of the Easter festival. Much dispute had arisen between the practices of the Celtic church in Northumbria and the beliefs of the Roman church. Eventually, Northumbria was persuaded to move to the Roman practice and the Celtic Bishop Colman of Lindisfarne
Colmán of Lindisfarne
Colmán of Lindisfarne also known as Saint Colmán was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 661 until 664. He succeeded Aidan and Finan. Colman resigned the Bishopric of Lindisfarne after the Synod of Whitby called by King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to calculate Easter using the method of the First...

 returned to Iona.

Northumbria lost control of Mercia
Mercia
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries in the region now known as the English Midlands...

 in the late 650s, after a successful revolt under Penda's son Wulfhere
Wulfhere of Mercia
Wulfhere was King of Mercia from the end of the 650s until 675. He was the first Christian king of all of Mercia, though it is not known when or how he converted from Anglo-Saxon paganism. His accession marked the end of Oswiu of Northumbria's overlordship of southern England, and Wulfhere...

, but it retained its dominant position until it suffered a disastrous defeat at the hands of the Picts
Picts
The Picts were a group of Late Iron Age and Early Mediaeval people living in what is now eastern and northern Scotland. There is an association with the distribution of brochs, place names beginning 'Pit-', for instance Pitlochry, and Pictish stones. They are recorded from before the Roman conquest...

 at the Battle of Dun Nechtain in 685; Northumbria's king, Ecgfrith
Ecgfrith of Northumbria
King Ecgfrith was the King of Northumbria from 670 until his death. He ruled over Northumbria when it was at the height of its power, but his reign ended with a disastrous defeat in which he lost his life.-Early life:...

 (son of Oswiu), was killed, and its power in the north was gravely weakened. The peaceful reign of Aldfrith
Aldfrith of Northumbria
Aldfrith sometimes Aldfrid, Aldfridus , or Flann Fína mac Ossu , was king of Northumbria from 685 until his death. He is described by early writers such as Bede, Alcuin and Stephen of Ripon as a man of great learning, and some of his works, as well as letters written to him, survive...

, Ecgfrith's half-brother and successor, did something to limit the damage done, but it is from this point that Northumbria's power began to decline, and chronic instability followed Aldfrith's death in 704.

In 867 Northumbria became the northern kingdom of the Danelaw
Danelaw
The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the "Danes" held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. It is contrasted with "West Saxon law" and "Mercian law". The term has been extended by modern historians to...

, after its conquest by the brothers Halfdan Ragnarsson
Halfdan Ragnarsson
Halfdan Ragnarsson was a Viking chief and one of the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok with Aslaug. It has been suggested that Halfdan is the same person as Ragnar's son Hvitserk....

 and Ivar the Boneless
Ivar the Boneless
Ivar Ragnarsson nicknamed the Boneless , was a Viking leader and by reputation also a berserker. By the late 11th century he was known as a son of the powerful Ragnar Lodbrok, ruler of an area probably comprising parts of modern-day Denmark and Sweden.-Invader:In the autumn of AD 865, with his...

 who installed an Englishman, Ecgberht
Ecgberht I of Northumbria
Ecgberht was king of Northumbria in the middle of the 9th century. This period of Northumbrian history is poorly recorded, and very little is known of Ecgberht....

, as a puppet king. Despite the pillaging of the kingdom, Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 rule brought lucrative trade to Northumbria, especially at their capital York. The kingdom passed between English, Norse and Norse-Gaelic kings until it was finally absorbed by king Eadred after the death of the last independent Northumbrian monarch, Erik Bloodaxe, in 954.

Ealdormanships and earldoms in Northumbria (954–1217)

After the English regained the territory of the former kingdom, Scots invasions reduced Northumbria to an earldom stretching from the Humber to the Tweed. Northumbria was disputed between the emerging kingdoms of England and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. The land north of the Tweed was finally ceded to Scotland in 1018 as a result of the battle of Carham
Battle of Carham
The Battle of Carham was a battle between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Northumbrians at Carham on Tweed in 1018 or possibly 1016. It is also sometimes known as the Battle of Coldstream, from the town of Coldstream...

. Yorkshire and Northumberland were first mentioned as separate in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great...

 in 1065.

Norman invasion and partition of the earldom

William the Conqueror became king of England in 1066. He realised he needed to control Northumbria, which had remained virtually independent of the Kings of England, to protect his kingdom from Scottish invasion. To acknowledge the remote independence of Northumbria and ensure England was properly defended from the Scots William gained the allegiance of both the Bishop of Durham and the Earl and confirmed their powers and privileges. However, anti-Norman rebellions followed. William therefore attempted to install Robert Comine
Robert Comine
Robert Comine was very briefly earl of Northumbria. His name suggests that he originally came from Comines, then in the County of Flanders, and entered the following of William the Conqueror. He was sent to the north as earl from 1068 to 1069 after the deposition of Gospatric...

, a Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 noble, as the Earl of Northumbria
Earl of Northumbria
Earl of Northumbria was a title in the Anglo-Danish, late Anglo-Saxon, and early Anglo-Norman period in England. The earldom of Northumbria was the successor of the ealdormanry of Bamburgh, itself the successor of an independent Bernicia. Under the Norse kingdom of York, there were earls of...

, but before Comine could take up office, he and his 700 men were massacred in the city of Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

. In revenge, the Conqueror led his army in a bloody raid into Northumbria, an event that became known as the harrying of the North
Harrying of the North
The Harrying of the North was a series of campaigns waged by William the Conqueror in the winter of 1069–1070 to subjugate Northern England, and is part of the Norman conquest of England...

. Ethelwin
Ethelwin
Æthelwine was the last Anglo-Saxon bishop of Durham, the last who was not also a secular ruler, and the only English bishop at the time of the Norman Conquest who did not remain loyal to King William the Conqueror.-Life:Æthelwine was consecrated bishop in...

, the Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Durham, tried to flee Northumbria at the time of the raid, with Northumbrian treasures. The bishop was caught, imprisoned, and later died in confinement; his seat was left vacant.

Rebellions continued, and William's son William Rufus decided to partition Northumbria. William of St. Carilef
William of St. Carilef
William de St-Calais was a medieval Norman monk, abbot of the abbey of Saint-Vincent in Le Mans in Maine, who was nominated by King William I of England as Bishop of Durham in 1080. During his term as bishop, St-Calais replaced the canons of his cathedral chapter with monks, and began the...

 was made Bishop of Durham, and was also given the powers of Earl for the region south of the river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s Tyne
River Tyne
The River Tyne is a river in North East England in Great Britain. It is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the North Tyne and the South Tyne. These two rivers converge at Warden Rock near Hexham in Northumberland at a place dubbed 'The Meeting of the Waters'.The North Tyne rises on the...

 and Derwent
River Derwent, North East England
The River Derwent is a river on the border between County Durham and Northumberland in the north east of England. It broadens into the Derwent Reservoir, west of Consett. The Derwent is a tributary of the River Tyne, which it joins near the MetroCentre...

, which became the County Palatine of Durham
County Palatine of Durham
The County Palatine of Durham was an area in the North of England that was controlled by the Bishop of Durham.-Liberty of Durham:The territory was originally the Liberty of Durham under the control of the Bishop of Durham. The liberty was also known variously as the "Liberty of St Cuthbert's...

.

The remainder, to the north of the rivers, became Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

, where the political powers of the Bishops of Durham were limited to only certain districts, and the earls continued to rule as clients of the English throne. The city of Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 was founded by the Normans in 1080 to control the region by holding the strategically important crossing point of the river Tyne.

Subsequent history

The Northumbrian region continued a history of revolt and rebellion against the government, as seen in the Rising of the North
Rising of the North
The Rising of the North of 1569, also called the Revolt of the Northern Earls or Northern Rebellion, was an unsuccessful attempt by Catholic nobles from Northern England to depose Queen Elizabeth I of England and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots.-Background:When Elizabeth I succeeded her...

 in Tudor
Tudor dynasty
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised...

 times. A major reason was the strength of Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 in the area after the Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

. Rural, thinly populated, and sharing a border with an often hostile Scotland, the region became a wild place where reivers raided across the border and outlaws took refuge from justice. However, after the union of the crowns of Scotland and England under King James VI and I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 peace was largely established. After the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, many inhabitants of the Northumbrian region supported the Jacobite
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 cause.

Flag

The flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

 of the kingdom was "a banner made of gold and purple" (or red), first recorded in the 8th century as having hung over the shrine of King Oswald
Oswald of Northumbria
Oswald was King of Northumbria from 634 until his death, and is now venerated as a Christian saint.Oswald was the son of Æthelfrith of Bernicia and came to rule after spending a period in exile; after defeating the British ruler Cadwallon ap Cadfan, Oswald brought the two Northumbrian kingdoms of...

. This was later interpreted as vertical stripes. A modified version (with broken vertical stripes) can be seen in the coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 and flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

 used by Northumberland County Council
Northumberland County Council
Northumberland County Council is a unitary authority in North East England. It was originally formed in 1889 as the council for the administrative county of Northumberland and reformed in 1974 to cover a the newly formed non-metropolitan county of Northumberland...

.

Culture

Northumbria during its "golden age" was the most important centre of religious learning and arts in the British Isles. Initially the kingdom was evangelized
Hiberno-Scottish mission
The Hiberno-Scottish mission was a mission led by Irish and Scottish monks which spread Christianity and established monasteries in Great Britain and continental Europe during the Middle Ages...

 by Irish monks from the Celtic Church, based at Iona
Iona
Iona is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquility and natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination and a place for retreats...

 in modern Scotland, which led to a flowering of monastic life. Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the north-east coast of England. It is also known as Holy Island and constitutes a civil parish in Northumberland...

 on the east coast was founded from Iona by Saint Aidan
Aidan of Lindisfarne
Known as Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, Aidan the Apostle of Northumbria , was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. A Christian missionary, he is credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria. Aidan is the Anglicised form of the original Old...

 in about 635, and was to remain the major Northumbrian monastic centre, producing figures like Wilfrid
Wilfrid
Wilfrid was an English bishop and saint. Born a Northumbrian noble, he entered religious life as a teenager and studied at Lindisfarne, at Canterbury, in Gaul, and at Rome; he returned to Northumbria in about 660, and became the abbot of a newly founded monastery at Ripon...

 and Saint Cuthbert
Cuthbert of Lindisfarne
Saint Cuthbert was an Anglo-Saxon monk, bishop and hermit associated with the monasteries of Melrose and Lindisfarne in the Kingdom of Northumbria, at that time including, in modern terms, northern England as well as south-eastern Scotland as far as the Firth of Forth...

. The nobleman Benedict Biscop
Benedict Biscop
Benedict Biscop , also known as Biscop Baducing, was an Anglo-Saxon abbot and founder of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Priory and was considered a saint after his death.-Early career:...

 had visited Rome and headed the monastery at Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

 in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 and his twin-foundation
Double monastery
A double monastery is an institution combining a separate monastery for monks and an abbey for nuns. Examples include Coldingham Monastery in Scotland, and Einsiedeln Abbey and Fahr Abbey in Switzerland, controlled by the abbot of Einsiedeln...

 Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey
Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey
Wearmouth-Jarrow is a twin-foundation English monastery, located on the River Wear in Sunderland and the River Tyne at Jarrow respectively, in the Kingdom of Northumbria . Its formal name is The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Wearmouth-Jarrow...

 added a direct Roman influence to Northumbrian culture, and produced figures such as Ceolfrith and Bede
Bede
Bede , also referred to as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede , was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, England, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow , both in the Kingdom of Northumbria...

. Northumbria played an important role in the formation of Insular art
Insular art
Insular art, also known as Hiberno-Saxon art, is the style of art produced in the post-Roman history of Ireland and Great Britain. The term derives from insula, the Latin term for "island"; in this period Britain and Ireland shared a largely common style different from that of the rest of Europe...

, a unique style combining Anglo-Saxon, Celtic
Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity refers broadly to certain features of Christianity that were common, or held to be common, across the Celtic-speaking world during the Early Middle Ages...

, Pictish, Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 and other elements, producing works such as the Lindisfarne Gospels
Lindisfarne Gospels
The Lindisfarne Gospels is an illuminated Latin manuscript of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the British Library...

, the Ruthwell Cross
Ruthwell Cross
The Ruthwell Cross is a stone Anglo-Saxon cross probably dating from the 8th century, when Ruthwell was part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria; it is now in Scotland. Anglo-Saxon crosses are closely related to the contemporary Irish high crosses, and both are part of the Insular art tradition...

, and later the Book of Kells
Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier...

, which was probably created at Iona. After the Synod of Whitby
Synod of Whitby
The Synod of Whitby was a seventh century Northumbriansynod where King Oswiu of Northumbria ruled that his kingdom would calculate Easter and observe the monastic tonsure according to the customs of Rome, rather than the customs practised by Iona and its satellite institutions...

 in 664 Roman church practices officially replaced the Celtic ones but the influence of the Celtic style continued, the most famous examples of this being the Lindisfarne Gospels. The Venerable Bede (673–735) wrote his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
The Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum is a work in Latin by Bede on the history of the Christian Churches in England, and of England generally; its main focus is on the conflict between Roman and Celtic Christianity.It is considered to be one of the most important original references on...

(Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731) in Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, and much of it focuses on the kingdom. The devastating Viking raid on Lindisfarne in 793 marked the beginning of a century of Viking invasions that severely checked all Anglo-Saxon culture, and heralded the end of Northumbria's position as a centre of influence, although in the years immediately following confident works like the Easby Cross
Easby Cross
The Easby Cross is an Anglo-Saxon sandstone standing cross of 800–820, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It originally came from Easby near Richmond in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, where a plaster replica is kept in the church. Easby was then in the Kingdom of...

 were still being produced.

Northumbria has its own check or tartan, which is similar to many ancient tartans (especially those from Northern Europe, such as one found near Falkirk
Falkirk
Falkirk is a town in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies in the Forth Valley, almost midway between the two most populous cities of Scotland; north-west of Edinburgh and north-east of Glasgow....

 and those discovered in Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 that date from Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 times (and even earlier). Modern Border Tartans are almost invariably a bold black and white check, but historically the light squares were the yellowish colour of untreated wool, with the dark squares any of a range of dark grays, blues, greens or browns; hence the alternative name of "Border Drab". At a distance the checks blend together making the fabric ideal camouflage
Camouflage
Camouflage is a method of concealment that allows an otherwise visible animal, military vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed, by blending with its environment. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly...

 for stalking game.

Language

Apart from standard English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, Northumbria has a series of closely related but distinctive dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

s, descended from the early Germanic languages
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

 of the Angles, of which 80% of its vocabulary is derived, and Vikings with a few Celtic and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 loanwords. The Scots
Early Scots
Early Scots describes the emerging literary language of the Northern Middle English speaking parts of Scotland in the period before 1450. The northern forms of Middle English descended from Northumbrian Old English...

 language began to diverge from early Northumbrian Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

, which was called Ynglis as late as the early 16th century (until the end of the 15th century the name Scottis (modern form: Scots
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

) referred to Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic language
Scottish Gaelic is a Celtic language native to Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish, and thus descends ultimately from Primitive Irish....

). There are many similarities between Modern Scots
Modern Scots
Modern Scots describes the varieties of Scots traditionally spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster from 1700.Throughout its history, Modern Scots has been undergoing a process of language attrition, whereby successive generations of speakers have adopted more and more features from...

 dialects and those of Northumbria.

The major Northumbrian dialects are Geordie
Geordie
Geordie is a regional nickname for a person from the Tyneside region of the north east of England, or the name of the English-language dialect spoken by its inhabitants...

 (Tyneside), Northern (north of the River Coquet
River Coquet
The River Coquet runs through the county of Northumberland, England, discharging into the North Sea on the east coast of England at Amble. Warkworth Castle is built in a loop of the Coquet....

), Western (from Allendale
Allendale, Northumberland
Allendale is a large village in south west Northumberland, England. Allendale is within the - the second largest of the 40 AONBs in England and Wales...

 through Hexham
Hexham
Hexham is a market town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, located south of the River Tyne, and was the administrative centre for the Tynedale district from 1974 to 2009. The three major towns in Tynedale were Hexham, Prudhoe and Haltwhistle, although in terms of population, Prudhoe was...

 up to Kielder
Kielder, Northumberland
Kielder Village is a small settlement in North Tynedale, Northumberland, England. Located at the head of Kielder Water and in the north west of Kielder Forest, the village is from the Scottish border.-History:...

), Southern or Pitmatic
Pitmatic
Pitmatic , also colloquially known as "yakka", is a dialect of English used in the counties of Northumberland and Durham in England. It developed as a separate dialect from Northumbrian and Geordie partly due to the specialised terms used by mineworkers in the local coal pits...

 (the mining towns such as Ashington
Ashington
Ashington is a town and civil parish in Northumberland, England with a population of around 27,000 people; it was once a centre of the coal mining industry. The town is located some north of Newcastle upon Tyne off the A189. The south of the town is bordered by the River Wansbeck...

 and much of Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

), Mackem
Mackem
Mackem is a term that refers to the accent, dialect and people of the Wearside area, or more specifically Sunderland, a city in North East England. Spelling variations include "Mak'em", "Makem", and "Maccam".- Origin :...

 (Wearside
Wearside
Wearside is an area of north east England, centred on the continuous urban area formed by Sunderland, Seaham and other settlements by the River Wear. Mackems is a nickname used for the people of Wearside....

), Smoggie (Teesside
Teesside
Teesside is the name given to the conurbation in the north east of England made up of the towns of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar, Billingham and surrounding settlements near the River Tees. It was also the name of a local government district between 1968 and 1974—the County Borough of...

) and Tyke
Yorkshire dialect and accent
The Yorkshire dialect refers to the varieties of English used in the Northern England historic county of Yorkshire. Those varieties are often referred to as Broad Yorkshire or Tyke. The dialect has roots in older languages such as Old English and Old Norse; it should not be confused with modern slang...

 (Yorkshire). To an outsider's ear the similarities far outweigh the differences between the dialects. As an example of the difference in the softer South County Durham/Wearside the English 'book' is pronounced 'bewk', in Geordie it becomes 'bouk' while in the Northumbrian it is 'byuk'.

See also

  • History of Northumberland
    History of Northumberland
    Northumberland, England's northernmost county, is a land where Roman occupiers once guarded a walled frontier, Anglian invaders fought with Celtic natives, and Norman lords built castles to suppress rebellion and defend a contested border with Scotland. The present-day county is a vestige of an...

  • Northumbria's golden age
    Northumbria's Golden Age
    The Northumbrian Renaissance or Northumbria's Golden Age is the name given to a period of cultural flowering in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, broadly speaking from the mid-seventh to the mid-eighth centuries. It is characterised by a blend of insular art, Germanic art and Mediterranean...

  • Northumbrian music
  • Northumbrian smallpipes
    Northumbrian smallpipes
    The Northumbrian smallpipes are bellows-blown bagpipes from the North East of England.In a survey of the bagpipes in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University, the organologist Anthony Baines wrote: It is perhaps the most civilized of the bagpipes, making no attempt to go farther than the...

  • Northumbrian tartan
  • English of Northumbria
    English of Northumbria
    The Northumbrian language or Northumbria English is an English language or dialect of English , and a variant of Northern English with the Geordie...


Further reading

  • Higham, N.J., The Kingdom of Northumbria AD 350–1100 (1993) ISBN 0-86299-730-5
  • Rollason, D., Northumbria, 500–1100: Creation and Destruction of a Kingdom (2003) ISBN 0-521-81335-2

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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