Ellington and Linton (Northumberland)
Ellington and Linton lies near the coast in south-east Northumberland, close to the southern end of Druridge Bay. The main settlements are Ellington and Linton as well as several farmsteads scattered across the parish. Ellington probably means 'the homestead of Ella's sons' or 'Ella's farm' and Linton means 'farm on the River Lyne.' Historically, Ellington and Linton were part of Woodhorn parish. Today it is mainly gently rolling farmland with the River Lyne running through the centre of the parish on its way to the sea at Lynemouth. Ellington is also the site of the last deep coal mine in Northumberland.
Unusually, nothing is known of the parish in prehistoric times. There have been no discoveries of such things as Neolithic stone tools, or Bronze Age burials and most of our evidence for past human activity belongs to the medieval and later periods. A possible cropmark enclosure north of Linton may be the earliest feature in the parish. Its rectangular shape suggests it may be of Roman date.
Following the end of Roman rule in Britain in the early fifth century, there is no evidence for any settlement in the parish until after the Norman Conquest. The villages or hamlets of Ellington and Linton are known from medieval documents and date back to the 12th and 13th centuries respectively. There is also a record of a mill at Linton in the 14th century. Traces of the medieval field system survive as earthworks in the fields near South Linton Farm where the characteristic pattern of ridge and furrow cultivation can be seen. Although the borders of England Scotland were a place of warfare and unrest during medieval times, there are no defensive buildings known in the parish.
The post-medieval period was more peaceful and was a relatively prosperous time for the border region of England. New farms were built and other industries developed alongside farming. A dovecote was built at Ellington in the 18th century to supply fresh poultry to the Cresswell family. A mill and quarry operated at Ellington, a tile works at Linton and a brickfield; the latter probably reflecting the amount of new building taking place in the region in the 19th century. However, the main industry of the parish in more recent times has been coal mining. Both deep mines and open cast mining have operated here. Linton Colliery closed in 1968 and Ellington Colliery remains open but under an ever present threat of closure.
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