Haltwhistle

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Haltwhistle town is situated about 22 miles east of Carlisle, 36 miles west of Newcastle just off the A69 road.

Haltwhistle is a small town popular as a base for visitors to Hadrian's Wall that is situated about 2 miles north, often referred to as The Centre of Britain.

The image below is of the Railway Hotel situated on the west side of the town centre, the railway station is to the right in this image.

The road to the right leads to Hexham and Newcastle. The road to the left, named Westgate, leads to the town centre.

Haltwhistle Map . Hotels . B&Bs . Self Catering . Restaurants . Golf . Train Station .

Railway Hotel Haltwhistle image

The image below is of Haltwhistle War Memorial and Park on Westgate street leading to the town centre.

Haltwhistle War Memorial Park image

The image below is of Westgate street with the centre of Haltwhistle about 100 yards further on.

Haltwhistle Westgate street image

The image below is of the centre of Haltwhistle at the Market Place. There is a large stone here with a plaque showing the main attractions in the town such as the 1200s church by the market place, and Bastles (Defensive Houses) in the town.

The location of Haltwhistle saw Scottish and English armies passing through during the Scottish Wars of Independance from the late 1200s to mid 1300s.

The Border Raiders / Reivers, Scottish and English, raided farms and towns along the borders from the 1200s to the 1600s. From the early 1700s, the area became a safer place.

The Market Square used to hold the town gallows. There is another plaque here stating there was a young local girl hung at this location for marrying a Scotsman in 1597, the Scotsman was also hung.

Haltwhistle Centre image

The image below is from the Market Place looking east with the Centre of Britain Hotel on the left, and Manor House Inn on the right, both popular with tourists to the area.

Centre of Britain Hotel Haltwhistle image

Haltwhistle History

The earliest recorded history of Haltwhistle is of Paulinus (Roman missionary and the first Bishop of York) who tried to to convert the inhabitants of Haltwhistle and surrounding area to Christianity between 625 and 632.

1100s, the earliest parts of the Church of the Holy Cross are built in the town centre. The church holds the tomb of the crusader Thomas de Blenkinsopp, who died in 1388.

1200s, Haltwhistle and surrounding areas are regularly attacked by Border Reivers or Raiders. These raiders were Scottish and English, raiding farms and towns over the following 4 hundred years.

Many houses built in Haltwhistle up to the 1700s have fortifiactions.

1207, Haltwhistle is granted the right to hold weekly markets by King John. The market place becomes the centre of town, is used for bull bating, and holds gallows for puplic executions.

1306, King Edward I, stayed in the town while leading his army into Scotland to try and defeat Robert the Bruce, who had just claimed himself King of Scotland during the Scottish Wars of Independance.

1597, a young local woman and her Scottish husband are hung at the Market Square, as marriage between English and Scots was seen as unaceptable at the time.

1598, Haltwhistle is raided by the Scottish Border Reivers - the Armstrongs of Liddesdale, in daylight, burning houses, killing many residents, and making off with cattle.

1603, King James VI of Scotland is crowned King of England, becoming King James I of England, the start of the Stuart dynasty that ruled England until 1714.

King James I put an end to the Border Reivers, making the area a safer place.

1707, Queen Anne manages to pass the Acts of Union, that sees England and Scotland united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain.

The Acts of Union see Scotland and England become safer places, leading to more travel between the two countries, with greater wealth for the border towns.

1838, the Newcastle to Carlisle railway reached Haltwhistle.

1861, the Town Hall was built, now used by the County Police.

1944, a large military base is opened at Featherstone Castle by Haltwhistle for American troops during World Warr Two 1939 - 1945. These troops were amassing in England for the invasion of France in June 1944.

1945 - 1948, the military base at Haltwhistle is used as a German and Italian Prisoner of War Camp, holding around 7000 oficers and men.

Today, Haltwhistle is a quiet scenic town popular for tourists visiting Hadrian's Wall, or stopping off for a break while traveling between Carlisle and Newcastle.

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