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Cramlington

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Easting: 577600 Northing: 427760 Latitude:N55:05:31 Longitude: W1:33:59 Show Location Map
Cramlington, Mrs. Dormand with her washing

The town of Cramlington can be found in the southern portion of Northumberland, approximately nine miles north of Newcastle and 6 miles southeast of Morpeth. It is situated in a parish of the same name and within the deanery of Bedlington.

Cramlington in the early nineteenth century was described as a village in a fertile area of the county,"with a fine sea prospect";. The origin of the name Cramlington has been suggested to mean the homestead where the Scandinavians called Little Cram farmed. This would suggest that there have been settlements in the Cramlington area for many centuries. Certainly it is recorded that a chapel was established here as early as 1270.

The fortunes of the village seemed to centre around the development of mining; this district had rich seams of coal in it, so much so that new pits were sunk over many years. As a snapshot, at the turn of the twentieth century, the Cramlington Coal Company Ltd had a number of pits sunk and in operation, many with female names. The Cramlington Betsey Pit was an example of this. Others still remembered today include the High Pit and Lamb Pit. At Shankhouse there was the Amelia Pit. In 1896 Cramlington Pit had 420 men working underground and 116 men above ground, while Shankhouse had 488 underground and 97 above. J. H. B. Forster was the manager of all these pits in 1902. The company was taken over by Hartley Main Collieries Ltd., and even in 1930 Cramlington Pit had 509 men underground and 180 above ground. This large-scale mining brought an enormous amount of people to the area. The present Anglican church of St. Nicholas, built in the Gothic style, was consecrated in 1868, responding to the rapid increase of the population in the area. The clock in the tower was erected in 1873 at the cost of a staggering 1,000, paid for by the workmen of Cramlington colliery. Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist and Free Methodist chapels were all built in this period too, and there was a Church of England mission church at Shankhouse.

Like so many other settlements within the great northern coalfields, as the 1900s progressed the coal production declined, and Cramlington saw its fair share of struggles. Today it is a bustling town, with the old Anglican church as an important historic landmark in the heart of it. Much of modern Cramlington was built in the 1960's and 1970's when the area was developed as"New Town". Regeneration has played a large part in the recent history of the area, and new initiatives continue to happen. In the year 2000 the Cramlington Folk Fest was held as a day event to mark the millennium; it was such a success that it continues now as an annual three day weekend festival.