Northum'berland, the most northern county of England, separated from Scotland by the Tweed, and from Durham by the Tyne and Der-went. The German Ocean bounds it on the E., and Cumberland, with a part of Roxburghshire, on the W. Among the English counties it ranks fifth in size, having an area of 1,290,312 acres. Its greatest length is 70 miles and its greatest breadth 47 miles. The surface, except near the coast, is picturesquely broken into rounded and conical hills and high moorland ridges. The main valleys are fertile and well wooded. The principal heights belong to the Cheviot Hills (q.v.), and are seated in the north-west part of the county. These are Cheviot (2676 feet), Hedge-hope (2348), Cushat Law (2020), Bloody Bush Edge (2001), and Windy Gyle (1963). The Simon-side Hills near Rothbury attain 1447 feet. The chief rivers are the Tyne, Wansbeck, Coquet, Aln, Breamish, Till, and Tweed. In the south-west are some small sheets of water called the Northumbrian Lakes, the largest of which is Greenley Lough. Off the coast lie Lindisfarne or Holy Island, the Fame Islands, and Coquet Isle. The climate is cold ; still, the winters are often much milder than in the south, and the average rainfall, except in the Cheviot district, is considerably less than in Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, and Sussex. Northumberland contains 541 civil parishes, and, ecclesiastically, is in the province of York. It is divided into nine wards (answering to hundreds or wapentakes), three of which formed part of Durham till 1844; and it comprises four parliamentary divisions - theTyneside, Wansbeck, Hexham, and Berwick-upon-Tweed. The principal towns are Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Alnwick, Morpeth, Hexham, and North Shields. A large portion of the county is agricultural, especially the fertile tracts along the principal valleys and near the coast. The western portion is pastoral, the Cheviots supporting large flocks of hardy sheep. The staple trade is in coal, and the chief manufactures are connected with its mining and transit; there are over 110 collieries. The salmon-fisheries of the Tyne and Tweed have long been famous. Pop. (1801) 168,078; (1841) 266,020; (1881) 434,0S6 ; (1901) 602,859.
In the 6th century Northumberland was colonised by the Angles, forming part of the kingdom of Bernicia. Being a Border county, it suffered much during the Scottish wars, and from the 11th to the 17th century was frequently the scene of much bloodshed. The battles of Otterburn, Homildon Hill, and Flodden were fought on its soil. Northumberland is very-rich in memorials of the past, some of which are noticed separately under Bamburgh, Dunstan-burgh, Hexham, Alnwick, Holy Island, Norham, etc. Natives have been Bishop Ridley, Thomas Bewick, Akenside, Lord Eldon, George and Robert Stephenson, Grace Darling, the second Earl Grey, Birket Foster, and Lord Armstrong. See works by Wallis (1769), Hutchinson (1778), Mackenzie (1825), Hodgson (1820-40), Hartshorne (1858), and Bateson (1893 et seq.).