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Northumberland is a county in the North East of England. The non-metropolitan county of Northumberland borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham to the south and Tyne and Wear to the south east, as well as having a border with the Scottish Borders council area to the north, and nearly eighty miles of North Sea coastline. Since the creation of Tyne and Wear in 1974, the county council has been located in Morpeth, situated in the east of the county; however, both Morpeth and Alnwick claim the title county town.
As the kingdom of Northumbria under King Edwin, the region's historical boundaries stretched from the Humber in the south to the Forth in the north. The historic boundaries of the county cover a different area, including Newcastle upon Tyne, the traditional county town, as well as Tynemouth and other settlements in North Tyneside, areas administered by Tyne and Wear since 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The historic boundaries of the county are sometimes taken to exclude Islandshire, Bedlingtonshire and Norhamshire (collectively North Durham), exclaves of County Durham which were incorporated into Northumberland in 1844.
Being on the border of Scotland and England, Northumberland has been the site of many battles. The county is noted for its undeveloped landscape of high moorland, a favourite with landscape painters, and now largely protected as a National Park. Northumberland is the most sparsely populated county in England, with only 62 people per square kilometre.
Northumberland's county flower is the Bloody Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum) and her affiliated Royal Navy ship is her namesake, HMS Northumberland.
Also see an older gazetteer description in http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps/index.jsp.
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When civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837, Northumberland was divided into a number of registration districts, each containing several parishes. The index to the civil records gives the name of the district where an event took place. Click here to see a list of the civil districts in Northumberland and the parishes covered by each. Read more about England Civil Registration.
See a list of the parishes of Northumberland with links to articles.
Before 1858, every town and parish in Northumberland was under the probate jurisdiction of several ecclesiastical courts. To read more about probate records and see a list of Northumberland towns and parishes and the probate courts that had jurisdiction over them, go to Northumberland Probate Records.
FreeFoto.com has pictures of Northumberland which can be downloaded or copied.