View of Ponteland
|Population||10,921 (Parish) (2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Ponteland ( pon-TEE-l?nd) is a town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, 15 km (9.3 miles) north of Newcastle upon Tyne. The name means "island in the Pont", after the River Pont which flows from west to east and joins the River Blyth further downstream, before flowing into the North Sea. Newcastle Airport is 2.5 km (1.6 miles) to the south of the village.
Ponteland was first built on marshland near St Mary's Church and the old bridge. Most of the marshland has now been drained to make way for housing. In the industrial era, Ponteland village enlarged to include residential developments in Darras Hall. The village has grown to be a significant commuter village, although it retains a local community.  Its location just outside Newcastle, in proximity to the airport but also on the edge of rural Northumberland, has resulted in parts of Ponteland containing some of North-East England's most expensive houses, being home for many of the region's business leaders, footballers and celebrities.
There has been nearly a thousand years of Christian worship in Ponteland. This traditionally concentrated around St Mary's the Virgin, the prominent Church of England church near Ponteland's village green. St Mary's traces its first construction to the Norman period in the twelfth century and is still an active church. Ponteland has parish registries dating from 1602 and has been recorded in Bishops transcripts as an important place of religion since 1762.
Christian worship in Ponteland has expanded to other denominations in recent centuries. The Ponteland Methodist Church opened in 1841. An 1848 review appreciated Ponteland also hosted places of worship for Scottish Presbyterians and a Wesleyan chapel.
In 1867, an Anglican sister church to St Mary's opened in Milbourne, one of Ponteland's wards. In 1884, a Catholic church was established at St Matthews, now part of the Hexham and Newcastle Catholic diocese. In the twentieth century, a United Reformed Church opened in Darras Hall.
In the 13th century, Ponteland narrowly escaped conflict when the Treaty of Newcastle (1244) ensured a last minute peace between Scottish and English forces. The treaty bears the name of Ponteland's nearest city but was actually signed in the village.
During the 14th century, Ponteland was less fortunate. Scottish forces destroyed part of Ponteland Castle, as prelude to the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, 20 miles (32 km) to the west of Ponteland. Taking advantage of English distractions in the Hundred Years War with France, 1337-1453, this battle saw a decisive defeat for English forces and the expansion of Scottish influence in Ponteland's Middle Ages experience.
While Ponteland Castle was never rebuilt as a military stronghold, it transformed into a brothel. Known as The Blackbird, this still serves the Ponteland community, nearly seven hundred years after the destruction of its original purpose.
Parts of Darras Hall were used as a prisoner-of-war camp in the Second World War. The camp was designated number 69 of several hundred camps across Britain and held Italian and German prisoners of war. Reflecting the post-war growth of the village, Ponteland High School opened in 1972. The affluent housing estate of Darras Hall is a popular choice for many of North East England's wealthy residents and many people associated with Newcastle United Football Club live in the parish including Alan Shearer, Peter Beardsley, Steven Taylor, George Hall, Phil Barton and Terry McDermott.
In the early 21st century, an expanding Ponteland and the adjoining Darras Hall was home to approximately 11,000 people and it secured "town" status within Northumberland.
Ponteland is notable for a ruined pele tower, its bridge, and its four churches: St Mary's (Church of England), St Matthew's (Roman Catholic), Ponteland Methodist Church and Ponteland United Reformed Church.
Ponteland previously boasted a small castle or tower house, which was largely destroyed by the Scottish army under the Earl of Douglas, the day before the 1388 Battle of Otterburn. The remains were incorporated into the building now occupied by the Blackbird Inn, which is rumoured to contain an old tunnel connecting it to St Mary's Church across the road. The tunnel was supposedly bricked up behind the fireplace in The Tunnel Room.
A plaque outside The Blackbird records:
'Ponteland first appeared in the national history in the 13th century, when the feuds between the Kings of England and Scotland were in full spate.
The signing of a peace treaty between Henry III of England and Alexander of Scotland took place on the knoll of the marshes where the Blackbird stands today.
The castle on this site was destroyed in 1388 during the Scottish retreat from Newcastle.
To the north of Ponteland is another public house with links to Scotland. This marks an occasion during the Jacobite rising of 1745, where Scottish armies advanced into England to further claims to the English throne. During this incursion, Charles Edward Stuart, popularly Bonnie Prince Charlie, reputedly bathed at a Ponteland public house. Marking this occasion, the house is still called The Highlander.
One of the oldest houses, or farms at the time, in the Darras Hall area is Little Callerton House. The Old Mill, the house where Alan Shearer used to live, and various other dwellings in the area belonged to Little Callerton House, which is approximately 450 years old. On the edge of the estate at High Callerton, Rebellion House is a 16th-century bastle, altered and extended in the 17th century.
Ponteland parish is home to 10,921 people or 3% of the Northumberland population of 316,000. Significantly more Ponteland residents live in detached housing versus Northumberland county overall; 65% of Ponteland parish residents are detached home residents versus 25% of Northumbrians. Ponteland also has significantly more ethnic minorities than Northumberland on average.
|Ponteland compared 2011||Ponteland||Northumberland|
In Ponteland, 8.3% of the population are non-white British, compared with only 2.8% for Northumberland. This makes the town more ethnically diverse than Gateshead, which has the largest concentration of foreign people in Tyne and Wear outside Newcastle. Ponteland also has double the percentage of Asian people compared with the town, however, this does mean that Ponteland has a smaller percentage of black people and mainland Europeans compared with Gateshead. Ponteland has the lowest White British population out of any town in Northumberland with only 10,004 out of the 10,921 residents being of that group.
Ponteland residents are particularly active in commercial and financial services in northern England, southern Scotland, and the wider European Union. The parish benefits from its proximity to Newcastle Airport, which is the tenth busiest in the United Kingdom and operates frequent flights to London Heathrow, several European capitals, and North America. Ponteland residents are more likely than Northumbrians to be managers directors and senior officials or in the professions or associate professions. Ponteland has 58% such individuals versus 38% in Northumberland overall.
There are five state schools within the parish: two first schools, Ponteland First School and Darras Hall First School; two middle schools, Ponteland Middle School and Richard Coates Church of England Middle School; and, for 13-18-year olds, Ponteland High School, with 1,100 students from Ponteland and its surrounding communities.
Ponteland is close to several independent schools. These include the Dame Allan's School union of independent schools and the Westfield School for Girls, both 7 miles (11 km) from Ponteland. The Royal Grammar School in Jesmond, the northeast's longest established independent school, and Newcastle High School for Girls, the amalgamation of the former Church High and Central High girls schools, are both 9 miles (14 km) from Ponteland.
Ponteland's retail and commercial amenities concentrate around the village's main street, the nearby industrial estate, and Broadway, a small commercial zone serving Darras Hall. The former headquarters for Northumbria Police, now the location of a communications and training complex, is just north of Ponteland.
Ponteland railway station was once served by the Ponteland Railway branch line of the North Eastern Railway (later part of the London & North Eastern Railway) from Newcastle, including a short spur to Darras Hall. Plans to electrify the line were abandoned in 1907, however, and the spur line lost passenger services in 1929 when volume fell below expectations. However, a substantial part of Ponteland's railway connections have been resurrected as part of the Tyne & Wear Metro system to serve Newcastle Airport.
Reflecting its rural surroundings, Ponteland has several country walks. These concentrate around Ponteland Park and include a walk from the Diamond Inn to Kirkley and from Medburn to the Highlander Inn.
Ponteland has four pubs: The Seven Stars, The Blackbird, The Badger and The Diamond Inn.
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