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David Ford, History EditorTours > Coquetdale > Rothbury

by David Nash Ford BA, Editor, History on Britannia

Rothbury Rothbury, the gateway to Northumberland National Park and capital of Coquetdale, is a delightful little town-cum-village nestling amongst the Simonside Hills. It has a good array of local shops in the traditional grey-stone houses along the main street and a number of excellent pubs. There is a large car park down by the river - a pleasant place to sit and watch the day go by. It is easy to see why, in the 19th century, Rothbury had been a popular health resort. In a previous era, it was famous as a cock-fighting centre.

The town was given its first charter by King John in 1201 and the right to hold a market, by Edward I in 1291. The old market cross - more like a covered shelter - was sadly demolished in 1827. It stood on the attractive market green at the town's centre, where the Earl of Derwentwater's Jacobite troops met, in 1715, and declared the town's loyalty to the 'Old Pretender,' King James III. Behind the green, is the 13th century church, famous for its Saxon carvings, which once adjoined the castle where King Edward I ratified his truce with the Scots in 1275. The mansion, into which its remains were incorporated, was finally demolished in 1869.

Next Stop: Rothbury Church

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