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A church with a red tiled roof and a square tower. Trees in the foreground partially obscure the building. The sky is overcast and grey.
The parish church of St. Nicholas
Population 29,413 (2011)
OS grid reference NZ270760
Civil parish
  • Cramlington
Unitary authority
  • Northumberland
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NE23
Dialling code 01670
Police Northumbria
Fire Northumberland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
  • Blyth Valley
List of places
NorthumberlandCoordinates: 55°04′55″N 1°35′06″W / 55.082°N 1.585°W / 55.082; -1.585

Cramlington is a town and civil parish in the county of Northumberland, North East England, situated 9 miles (14 kilometres) north of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. The town's name suggests a probable founding by the Danes or an Anglo-Saxon origin, the word "ton" meaning town. The population was estimated as 39,000 in 2004, measured at 29,413 at the 2011 Census. It sits on the border between Northumberland and North Tyneside with the traffic interchange at Moor Farm, Annitsford (in the latter) linking the two areas.

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 began to change that. In 1813 Collingwood Main Colliery suffered an explosion of firedamp in which 8 people were killed. Six miners were carrying timber through the "old workings" when their candles set fire to firedamp. The resulting afterdamp and chokedamp resulted in a wider loss of life to men and horses. It remained small, however, until 1964 when it 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 dormitory town of the much larger city to its south.

During World War I, the North East of England was 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.

Cramlington was the site of two rail accidents. In 1855, the chassis of train's first class carriage failed and in 1926, the Merry Hampton engine and five carriages of the Edinburgh to King's Cross Flying Scotsman express train were derailed by striking miners during the General Strike. The story of the derailment was recounted in the BBC Two programme Yesterday's Witness: The Cramlington Train Wreckers in 1970.

During the BBC Domesday Project in 1986 it was recorded that Cramlington's population was around 30,000.

New town development

The idea of a new town development in Cramlington was first envisaged in 1958.

In June 1961, Northumberland County Council's Planning Committee approved the draft plans to establish what it hoped would be "Britain's first enterprise town." Sponsored by the council, the development was to be carried by a consortium led by William Leech, which had acquired the land. It was predicted to take 20 years, cost £50m and eventually house 40,000 inhabitants across a four square mile site that also included an industrial zone. A one-way road system was proposed, with the waggon ways of the former pits being repurposed as pedestrians paths.

The plan was finally approved by the Minister of Housing and Local Government in January 1963, by which time the estimated population had grown to 48,000 and the cost projected at £60m. It marked the first time a new town had been developed without the establishment of a government-backed development corporation. The planning officer predicted that it should look like a town in five years and be complete in 20 years. The first factory was to be completed by summer 1963.

In October 1964, an advert inviting investment in the development recorded an area of 2,200 acres, 530 of which were for industry.


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 (constructed between the late 1980s and the 1990s)
  • Eastfield (constructed primarily in the late 1970s with an estate added in the mid-1990s)
  • Westwood (constructed in the early 1980s)
  • Southfield (constructed in the early 1970s)
  • Southfield Gardens (constructed 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, constructed in the late 1960s and early 1970s)
  • Barns Park (constructed in the 1970s)
  • Parkside (constructed in the 1970s)
  • Beacon Hill (constructed in the 1970s)
  • Beacon Lea (constructed in the 1970s)


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 located on the outskirts of Cramlington. Within the town itself, Nelson Hill is a prominent landmark to the north of the town centre. Arcot Hall Grasslands and Ponds SSSI is situated to the south-east of the town.


Cramlington Station
Cramlington Train Station

The town is served by Cramlington Railway Station which is on the East Coast Main Line, with services to the MetroCentre, Morpeth and Newcastle upon Tyne provided by Northern.

It is also served by a number of bus operators including Arriva North East which provides express services to Newcastle upon Tyne, Morpeth and Blyth, as well as Go North East which runs services to and from North Shields.

The town is located approximately 12 mi (19 km) from Newcastle International Airport and 10 mi (16 km) from North Shields International Ferry Terminal.

Cramlington also has good road transport links, being situated between the A1, A19 and A189 roads.

In line with many of the UK's post-war New Towns, Cramlington has an extensive bicycle network. With a grid spacing of approximately 500 m (1,600 ft), segregated cycle routes are provided free of motorised traffic.

Religious sites

Cramlington has a number of Christian churches of various denominations:


  • Doxford Place Methodist Church
  • Welcome Methodist Church (formerly Station Terrace Methodist Church)

Church of England

  • St. Nicholas Parish Church
  • St. Andrew's
  • St. Peter's

Roman Catholic

  • St. Paul's


  • Church of the Nazarene
  • Frontline
  • Open Episcopal Church


Leisure Centre

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 July 1977. It features 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 includes a gymnasium, sauna, bowling green, bar and cafeteria. It was refurbished in 2008, particularly to improve disabled access. The pool was also refurbished in 2011. A major refurbishment began in 2016, with the addition of new facilities and the improvement of existing ones.

Cycle Paths

A large cycle path network, completely separate from the road network, was a key part of the new town design. A cycle route also connects the town to the nearest beach, in Blyth. In March 2007, Blyth Valley Borough Council announced that the cycle network was to be extended to allow access to the neighbouring town of Bedlington.

Public houses

The village square is home to four public houses, including the Grade II listed Blagdon Arms.


Arcot Hall Golf Club is located to the south of the town.

Twin towns

As part of the former Blyth Valley borough, Cramlington participates in a town twinning scheme with three other towns — two in Germany and one in the Russian Federation.

Country Place County / District / Region / State Date
Germany Germany Solingen wappen.svg Solingen Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westfalia.svg North Rhine-Westphalia 1974
Germany Germany DEU Ratingen COA.svg Ratingen Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westfalia.svg North Rhine-Westphalia 1974
Russia Russian Federation Coat of Arms of Gelendzhik (Krasnodar krai).png Gelendzhik Coat of Arms of Krasnodar kray.png Krasnodar Krai 1991
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