Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Alnmouth, Northumberland



Inhabited since Saxon times, it is difficult now to believe that Alnmouth was once a thriving trading port, exporting grain, and notorious for smuggling. Late in the 18th century, there were 16 granaries in the small town.

John Wesley is said to have visited in 1794 and noted that it was “famous for all kinds of wickedness”. No sign of that when we were there in the morning!

Its other claim to fame is that during the American War of Independence, John Paul Jones attacked the town in 1779, firing a cannonball which missed the Church, landed in a field and bounced onto a farmhouse roof.

On Christmas Day in 1806 during a great storm, the river changed course to the North of Church Hill (seen below), cutting it off from the village. The Church, which had fallen into disrepair, was finally demolished by the storm. Ships found it more and more difficult to get into port, then the railway between Edinburgh and London was built and Alnmouth lost its trade.


Now it is a seaside village with wide beaches and dunes.  I sat for a while on a bench overlooking the beach in the spring sunshine, just soaking up the peace.



We drove up the coast from here past the Aln, meandering like a textbook geography lesson across the plain behind the dunes and cliffs.

More pictures at Picasa.

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