Beadnell Beach, Beadnell, in north Northumberland. Photograph and text 2006 by Jacqueline Banerjee. [This image may be freely used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

Beadnell in north Northumberland is the only west-facing port on the east coast of England. It is very ancient (Bronze Age burial chambers have been found along the shore), its name possibly deriving from "Bede's Hall." The harbour was built in 1798, and the well-preserved lime-kilns there date from the turn of the century too. Smuggling, horse-racing (along the shore) and coal-mining were other activities here, though mining and horse-racing had ceased by Victorian times. By then it had become the main herring fishing village on the north-east coast. Although there were only 323 inhabitants in the 1841 census, and 326 in the 1851 census, fishermen from nearby Scotland and even from as far away as Cornwall and Ireland would put in here during the summer months. It is now better-known as a holiday resort, but has such a long sweep of shoreline that it remains largely unspoiled.

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Last modified 11 August 2006