St Nicholas, Cramlington
|Population:||39,000 (2004 est.)|
The village of East Cramlington lies east of the A189, on the B1326 road that connects Cramlington to Seaton Delaval.
The first record of the Manor of Cramlington is from a mention in 1135 when the land was granted to Nicholas de Grenville. A register of early chaplains begins with John the Clerk of Cramlington (c.1163-1180). The register continues to the present day.
From the 12th century onwards, its history has been mostly rural incorporating several farms and the parish church of St Nicholas (built at a cost of £3,000 during 1865-1868 in the Gothic style). During the early 19th century, coal mining with several mine shafts in the immediate vicinity (the first was sunk in 1824) began to change that. It remained small, however, until 1964.
During the Great War, the counties of Northumberland and Durham were protected by the No. 36 Home Defence Squadron. The squadron was formed at Cramlington on 1 February 1916 by Capt. R. O. Abercromby, with Cramlington subsequently becoming an important base for military planes and airships. The Airship Station was at Nelson Village. A reference to Cramlington airfield is made in W E Johns' 1935 book The Black Peril from the extremely popular Biggles series.
In 1964, Cramlington was proclaimed a New Town and developers such as William Leech and J T Bell developed large housing estates. Those estates have since been named Beaconhill, Collingwood, Eastfield, Mayfield, Shankhouse, Southfield, and Whitelea and the town has effectively become a commuter town for Newcastle and the towns of its conurbation.
During the BBC Domesday Project in 1986 it was recorded that Cramlington's population was around 30,000.
With the establishment of the new town, the area was arranged into estates, primarily with a designator of the part of the town in which the estate was to be found.
The estates are:
- Northburn (built between the late 1980s and the 1990s)
- Eastfield (built primarily in the late 1970s with an estate added in the mid-1990s)
- Westwood (built in the early 1980s)
- Southfield (built in the early 1970s)
- Southfield Gardens (built in the early 2000s)
- Mayfield (partially existing prior to the new town designation but with addition building in the late 1960s)
- Whitelea (one of the earliest of the new town estates, built in the late 1960s and early 1970s)
- Barns Park (built in the 1970s)
- Parkside (built in the 1970s)
- Beacon Hill (built in the 1970s)
- Beacon Lea (built in the 1970s)
The churches of Cramlington include:
- Church of England
- St Nicholas Parish Church
- St Andrew's (a plant from St Nicholas in the Beaconhill area of the town)
- St Peter's (a plant from St Nicholas in the Northburn area of the town)
- Doxford Place Methodist Church
- Welcome Methodist Church (formerly Station Terrace Methodist Church)
- Other evangelical:
- Church of the Nazarene
- Frontline Open Episcopal Church
- Roman Catholic: St Paul's
Sights of the town
Plessey Woods Country Park lies just to the north of Cramlington, with the River Blyth flowing through the country park. Northumberlandia, a huge land sculpture in the shape of a reclining female figure is found on the outskirts of Cramlington.
Cramlington Learning Village
In September 2008 Cramlington Community High School was renamed Cramlington Learning Village in line with the transfer from three to two tiers. The village has three sections: a Junior Learning Village (for Years 7 and 8), a Senior Learning Village (for Years 9 to 11) and an Advanced Learning Village (for Years 12 and 13).
There are several large industrial zones in Cramlington, most to the town's north-west near the sewage treatment plant, housing major pharmaceutical companies including Merck Sharp and Dohme. Other growing chemical companies including Aesica Pharmaceuticals are also present. The Officers Club menswear firm has its headquarters and supply warehouse in Cramlington, while other companies such as GE Oil & Gas also occupy large sites.
The Manor Walks shopping centre was constructed in the centre of the town in the 1970s, and was subsequently expanded in the mid-1990s and in 2003/4. The centre now includes retailers such as Argos, Asda, Boots, Next and Sainsbury's. In 2011, plans were put forward to revamp the main center and build a new cinema. The scheme also includes improved retail facilities, restaurants and cafes and more car parking spaces.
Provisional permissions were recently given to an open cast mining operation to the north-west of the town, however the fine detail of how much coal is to be extracted has yet to be agreed. In 2006 the plan for mining was dropped.
Cramlington's main leisure centre, Concordia, is situated in the town centre adjacent to the shopping mall and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1977. It consists of a leisure pool, originally designed as an indoor tropical paradise, indoor football pitches, tennis, badminton and squash courts, as well as a climbing wall. It also features a gymnasium, sauna, bowling green, and bar.
As part of the new town design, the town has a large cycle path network. A cycle route also connects the town to the nearest beach, in Blyth. As of late March 2007, Blyth Valley council have announced that the cycle network is to be extended to allow access to the neighbouring town of Bedlington.
The village square is home to four public houses, including the Grade II listed Blagdon Arms.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
- History of the No. 36 Home Defence squadron
- Northumberland Communities - Photos and maps of Cramlington from 1610-1910
- Cramlington United FC Children's and youth football
- Cramlington Learning Village
- "GE in the UK". http://www.ge.com/uk/company/factsheet_uk.html. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
- "Works starts on new Cramlington cinema". Newcastle Chronicle. http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/communities/cramlington/2012/05/05/work-starts-on-new-cramlington-cinema-72703-30907199/#ixzz290jB3qUC.
- "Cramlington £200m redevelopment 'to create 500 new jobs'". BBC NewS Online. 2011-12-22. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-16298650.
- Revised Opencast Plans - Northumberland County Council
- "Sculpture and pit plans scrapped". BBC News. 2006-07-04. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/5146544.stm. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- National Heritage List 1371415: The Blagdon Arms