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Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North Country, or simply the North, is the northern area of
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...
. It broadly corresponds to the former borders of
Angle In Euclidean geometry, an angle is the figure formed by two Ray (geometry), rays, called the ''Side (plane geometry), sides'' of the angle, sharing a common endpoint, called the ''vertex (geometry), vertex'' of the angle. Angles formed by two ...
Northumbria la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum , conventional_long_name = Kingdom of Northumbria , common_name = Northumbria , status = State , status_text = Unified Anglian kingdom (before 876)North: Anglian kingdom (af ...
, the
Anglo-Scandinavian Anglo-Scandinavian is an academic term referring to the hybridisation between Norse and Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a Cultural identity, cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages. They traced their origins to settl ...
Kingdom of Jorvik, and the Celt Britonic
Yr Hen Ogledd Yr Hen Ogledd (), in English the Old North, is the historical region which is now Northern England and the southern Scottish Lowlands that was inhabited by the Celtic Britons, Brittonic people of sub-Roman Britain in the Early Middle Ages. Its ...
Kingdoms. The common governmental definition of the North is a grouping of three statistical regions: the North East, the
North West The points of the compass are a set of horizontal, Radius, radially arrayed compass directions (or Azimuth#In navigation, azimuths) used in navigation and cartography. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, east ...
, and
Yorkshire and the Humber Yorkshire and the Humber is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of ITL (UK), ITL for Office for National Statistics, statistical purposes. The population in 2011 was 5,284,000 with its largest settlements being Leeds, She ...
. These had a combined population of 14.9 million at the 2011 census, an area of and 17
cities A city is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a minuscule number of dwellings grouped ...
. Northern England is
culturally Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the ...
and
economically Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and intera ...
distinct from both the
Midlands The Midlands (also referred to as Central England) are a part of England that broadly correspond to the Mercia, Kingdom of Mercia of the Early Middle Ages, bordered by Wales, Northern England and Southern England. The Midlands were important in ...
and the
South of England Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of its southernmost part, with cultural, economic and political differences from the Midlands and the Northern England, North. Officially, th ...
. The area's northern boundary is the border with Scotland, its western the border with Wales, and its eastern the
North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. An epeiric sea, epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the ...
; there are varying interpretations of where the southern border with the Midlands lies culturally; the Midlands is often also split by closeness to the North and the South. Many
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
innovations began in Northern England, and its cities were the crucibles of many of the political changes that accompanied this social upheaval, from
trade unionism A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment", ch. I such as attaining better wages and Employee ben ...
to Manchester Liberalism. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the economy of the North was dominated by
heavy industry Heavy industry is an Industry (economics), industry that involves one or more characteristics such as large and weight, heavy products; large and heavy equipment and facilities (such as heavy equipment, large machine tools, huge buildings and la ...
such as weaving, shipbuilding, steel-making, and mining. Centuries of immigration, invasion, and labour have shaped Northern England's culture, and it has retained countless distinctive accents and dialects, music, arts, and cuisine. Industrial decline in the second half of the 20th century damaged the North, leading to greater deprivation than that of the South. Although urban renewal projects and the transition to a
service economy Service economy can refer to one or both of two recent economic developments: * The increased importance of the service sector in industrialized economies. The current list of Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and ...
have resulted in strong economic growth in parts of the North, the North–South divide remains in both the
economy An economy is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution and trade, as well as Consumption (economics), consumption of Goods (economics), goods and Service (economics), services. In general, it is ...
and
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the ...
of England.


Definitions

For government and statistical purposes, Northern England is defined as the area covered by the three statistical regions of England –
North East England North East England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of ITL (UK), ITL for Office for National Statistics, statistical purposes. The region has three current administrative levels below the region level in the regi ...
,
North West England North West England is one of nine official regions of England and consists of the ceremonial counties of England, administrative counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The North West had a population of ...
and
Yorkshire and the Humber Yorkshire and the Humber is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of ITL (UK), ITL for Office for National Statistics, statistical purposes. The population in 2011 was 5,284,000 with its largest settlements being Leeds, She ...
. This area consists of the ceremonial counties of
Cheshire Cheshire ( ) is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and Historic counties of England, historic county in North West England, bordered by Wales to the west, Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, and Sta ...
,
Cumbria Cumbria ( ) is a ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England, bordering Scotland. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the ...
,
County Durham County Durham ( ), officially simply Durham,UK General Acts 1997 c. 23Lieutenancies Act 1997 Schedule 1(3). From legislation.gov.uk, retrieved 6 April 2022. is a ceremonial county in North East England.North East Assembly About North East Eng ...
,
East Riding of Yorkshire The East Riding of Yorkshire, or simply East Riding or East Yorkshire, is a ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority area in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England. It borde ...
,
Greater Manchester Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority, combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: City of Manchester, Manchester, City of Salford, Salford ...
,
Lancashire Lancashire ( , ; abbreviated Lancs) is the name of a Historic counties of England, historic county, Ceremonial County, ceremonial county, and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The boundaries of these three areas differ significa ...
,
Merseyside Merseyside ( ) is a metropolitan county, metropolitan and ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of List of ceremonial counties of England, 1.38 million. It encompasses both banks of the Merse ...
,
Northumberland Northumberland () is a ceremonial counties of England, county in Northern England, one of two counties in England which border with Scotland. Notable landmarks in the county include Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Hadrian's Wall and Hexham Ab ...
,
North Yorkshire North Yorkshire is the largest ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county (lieutenancy area) in England, covering an area of . Around 40% of the county is covered by National parks of the United Kingdom, national parks, including most of ...
,
South Yorkshire South Yorkshire is a ceremonial county, ceremonial and metropolitan county, metropolitan county in the Yorkshire and Humber Region of England. The county has four council areas which are the cities of City of Doncaster, Doncaster and City of Sh ...
,
Tyne and Wear Tyne and Wear () is a metropolitan county in North East England, situated around the mouths of the rivers River Tyne, Tyne and River Wear, Wear. It was created in 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972, along with five metropolitan boroughs of ...
and
West Yorkshire West Yorkshire is a metropolitan and ceremonial county in the Yorkshire and Humber Region of England. It is an inland and upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in the moors of the Pennines The Pennines (), also k ...
, plus the unitary authority areas of
North Lincolnshire North Lincolnshire is a Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority area in Lincolnshire, England, with a population of 167,446 in the 2011 census. The borough includes the towns of Scunthorpe, Brigg, Haxey, Crowle, Lincolnshire, Crowle, ...
and
North East Lincolnshire North East Lincolnshire is a Unitary authority area with borough status in Lincolnshire, England. It borders the borough of North Lincolnshire and districts of West Lindsey and East Lindsey. The population of the district in the 2011 Census was ...
.


Historic counties

The historic counties ceased to be used for any administrative purpose in 1899 but remain important to some people, notably for
county cricket Inter-county cricket matches are known to have been played since the early 18th century, involving teams that are representative of the historic counties of England and Wales. Since the late 19th century, there have been two county championship ...
.


Other definitions

Some areas of
Derbyshire Derbyshire ( ) is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands, England. It includes much of the Peak District, Peak District National Park, the southern end of the Pennines, Pennine range of hills and part of the The National Forest (England), Nat ...
,
Lincolnshire Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs.) is a Counties of England, county in the East Midlands of England, with a long coastline on the North Sea to the east. It borders Norfolk to the south-east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south-we ...
,
Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire (; abbreviated Notts.) is a landlocked county in the East Midlands region of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its w ...
and
Staffordshire Staffordshire (; postal abbreviation Staffs.) is a landlocked Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwicks ...
have Northern characteristics and include
satellites A satellite or artificial satellite is an object intentionally placed into orbit in outer space. Except for passive satellites, most satellites have an electricity generation system for equipment on board, such as solar panels or radioisotope ...
of Northern cities. Towns in the High Peak borough of Derbyshire are included in the
Greater Manchester Built-Up Area The Greater Manchester Built-up Area is an area of land defined by the Office for National Statistics The Office for National Statistics (ONS; cy, Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non ...
, as villages and hamlets there such as Tintwistle, Crowden and Woodhead were formerly in Cheshire before local government boundary changes in 1974, due to their close proximity to the city of
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
, and before this the borough was considered to be part of the
Greater Manchester Statutory City Region The Greater Manchester City Region, commonly just the Manchester City Region and sometimes the Greater Manchester Statutory City Region, is a combined authority region in England, consisting of Greater Manchester and five boroughs, roughly the ...
. More recently, the Chesterfield,
North East Derbyshire North East Derbyshire is a Non-metropolitan district, local government district in Derbyshire, England. It borders the districts of Chesterfield Borough, Chesterfield, Bolsover District, Bolsover, Amber Valley and Derbyshire Dales in Derbysh ...
,
Bolsover Bolsover is a market town and the administrative centre of the Bolsover (borough), Bolsover District, Derbyshire, England. It is from London, from Sheffield, from Nottingham and from Derby, Derbyshire, Derby. It is the main town in the Bols ...
, and
Derbyshire Dales Derbyshire Dales ( ) is a Non-metropolitan district, local government district in Derbyshire, England. The population at the 2011 Census was 71,116. Much of it is in the Peak District, although most of its population lies along the River Derw ...
districts have joined with districts of South Yorkshire to form the Sheffield City Region, along with the
Bassetlaw District Bassetlaw is a local government district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or c ...
of Nottinghamshire, although for all other purposes these districts still remain in their respective East Midlands counties. The historic part of Lincolnshire known as Lindsey (in essence the northern half of the county) is considered by many to be northern, or at least a larger part of Lincolnshire than merely the north and northeast Lincolnshire districts. The geographer Danny Dorling includes most of the West Midlands and part of the
East Midlands The East Midlands is one of nine official regions of England at the ITL 1 statistical regions of England, first level of International Territorial Level, ITL for Statistics, statistical purposes. It comprises the eastern half of the area tradi ...
in his definition of the North, claiming that "ideas of a midlands region add more confusion than light". Conversely, more restrictive definitions also exist, typically based on the extent of the historical
Northumbria la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum , conventional_long_name = Kingdom of Northumbria , common_name = Northumbria , status = State , status_text = Unified Anglian kingdom (before 876)North: Anglian kingdom (af ...
, which excludes Cheshire and southern Lincolnshire, but notable not Lindsey which was first Northumbrian. Personal definitions of the North vary greatly and are sometimes passionately debated. When asked to draw a dividing line between North and South, Southerners tend to draw this line further south than Northerners do. From the Southern perspective, Northern England is sometimes defined jokingly as the area north of the
Watford Gap Watford () is a town and Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough in Hertfordshire, England, 15 miles northwest of Central London, on the River Colne, Hertfordshire, River Colne. Initially a small market town, the Grand Junction Canal en ...
between
Northampton Northampton () is a market town and civil parish in the East Midlands of England, on the River Nene, north-west of London and south-east of Birmingham. The county town of Northamptonshire, Northampton is one of the largest towns in England; ...
and
Leicester Leicester ( ) is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. Lo ...
– a definition which would include much of
the Midlands The Midlands (also referred to as Central England) are a part of England that broadly correspond to the Mercia, Kingdom of Mercia of the Early Middle Ages, bordered by Wales, Northern England and Southern England. The Midlands were important in ...
. Various cities and towns have been described as or promoted themselves as the "gateway to the North", including
Crewe Crewe () is a railway town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The Crewe built-up area had a total population of 75,556 in 2011, which also covers parts of the adjacent civ ...
,
Stoke-on-Trent Stoke-on-Trent (often abbreviated to Stoke) is a city and Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority area in Staffordshire, England, with an area of . In 2019, the city had an estimated population of 256,375. It is the largest settlement ...
, and
Sheffield Sheffield is a city status in the United Kingdom, city in South Yorkshire, England, whose name derives from the River Sheaf which runs through it. The city serves as the administrative centre of the City of Sheffield. It is Historic counties o ...
. For some in the northernmost reaches of England, the North starts somewhere in North Yorkshire around the
River Tees The River Tees (), in Northern England, rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines and flows eastwards for to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar near Middlesbrough. The modern day history of the river has bee ...
– the Yorkshire poet
Simon Armitage Simon Robert Armitage (born 26 May 1963) is an English poet, playwright, musician and novelist. He was appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, Poet Laureate on 10 May 2019. He is professor of poetry at the University of Leeds. He has p ...
suggests
Thirsk Thirsk is a market town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the Hambleton District, Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England known for its Thirsk Racecourse, racecourse; quirky Yarn bombing, yarnbomber displays, and depiction a ...
,
Northallerton Northallerton ( ) is a market town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the Hambleton District of North Yorkshire, England. It lies in the Vale of Mowbray and at the northern end of the Vale of York. It had a population of 16,832 in t ...
or Richmond – and does not include cities like Manchester and
Leeds Leeds () is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...
, nor the majority of Yorkshire. Northern England is not a homogeneous unit, and some have entirely rejected the idea that the North exists as a coherent entity, claiming that considerable cultural differences across the area overwhelm any similarities.


Geography

Through the North of England run the
Pennines The Pennines (), also known as the Pennine Chain or Pennine Hills, are a range of Highland, uplands running between three regions of Northern England: North West England on the west, North East England and Yorkshire and the Humber on the east ...
, an upland chain sometimes referred to as "the backbone of England", which stretches from the Tyne Gap to the
Peak District The Peak District is an Highland, upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. Mostly in Derbyshire, it extends into Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. It includes the Dark Peak, whe ...
. Other uplands in the North include the
Lake District The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests, and mountains (or ''fells''), and its associations with William Wordswort ...
with England's highest mountains, the
Cheviot Hills The Cheviot Hills (), or sometimes The Cheviots, are a range of Highland, uplands straddling the Anglo-Scottish border between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. The English section is within the Northumberland National Park. The range i ...
adjoining the border with Scotland, and the
North York Moors The North York Moors is an upland area in north-eastern Yorkshire, England. It contains one of the largest expanses of Calluna, heather moorland in the United Kingdom. The area was designated as a national parks of England and Wales, National P ...
near the
North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. An epeiric sea, epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the ...
coastline. The geography of the North has been heavily shaped by the
ice sheet In glaciology, an ice sheet, also known as a continental glacier, is a mass of glacial ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than . The only current ice sheets are in Antarctica Antarctica () is Earth's southernmost and ...
s of the
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the '' Ice age'') is the geological epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the Earth's most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change was finally confirmed ...
era, which often reached as far south as the Midlands.
Glacier A glacier (; ) is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight. A glacier forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its Ablation#Glaciology, ablation over many years, often Century, centuries. It acquires dis ...
s carved deep, craggy valleys in the central uplands, and, when they melted, deposited large quantities of
fluvio-glacial Fluvio refers to things related to rivers and glacial refers to something that is of ice. Fluvio-glacial refers to the meltwater Meltwater is water released by the melting of snow or ice, including glaciers, glacial ice, tabular icebergs and ic ...
material in lowland areas like the
Cheshire Cheshire ( ) is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and Historic counties of England, historic county in North West England, bordered by Wales to the west, Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, and Sta ...
and
Solway Plain The Solway Plain or Solway Basin is a coastal plain located mostly in northwest Cumbria Cumbria ( ) is a ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England, bordering Scotland. The county and Cumbria ...
s. On the eastern side of the Pennines, a former
glacial lake A glacial lake is a body of water with origins from glacier A glacier (; ) is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight. A glacier forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its Ablation#Glaciology, ab ...
forms the Humberhead Levels: a large area of
fen A fen is a type of peat Peat (), also known as turf (), is an accumulation of partially Decomposition, decayed vegetation or organic matter. It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, bogs, mires, Moorland, moors, or muskegs. The ...
land which drains into the
Humber The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal rivers River Ouse, Yorkshire, Ouse and River Trent, Trent. From there to the North Sea, it for ...
and which is very fertile and productive farmland. Much of the mountainous upland remains undeveloped, and of the ten national parks in England, five – the Peak District, the Lake District, the North York Moors, the
Yorkshire Dales The Yorkshire Dales is an upland area of the Pennines in the Historic counties of England, historic county of Yorkshire, England, most of it in the Yorkshire Dales National Park created in 1954. The Dales comprise river valleys and the hills ri ...
, and
Northumberland National Park Northumberland National Park is the northernmost National Parks of England and Wales, national park in England. It covers an area of more than between the Scotland, Scottish border in the north to just south of Hadrian's Wall, and it is one of ...
– are located partly or entirely in the North. The Lake District includes England's highest peak,
Scafell Pike Scafell Pike () is the highest and the most prominent mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. Although definitions vary, a mountain may differ from ...
, which rises to , its largest lake,
Windermere Windermere (sometimes tautology (language), tautologically called Windermere Lake to distinguish it from the nearby town of Windermere, Cumbria (town), Windermere) is the largest natural lake in England. More than 11 miles (18 km) in leng ...
, and its deepest lake,
Wastwater Wast Water or Wastwater () is a lake located in Wasdale, a valley in the western part of the Lake District National Park, England. The lake is almost long and more than wide. It is a glacial lake, formed in a glacially 'over-deepened' valley. ...
. Northern England is one of the most treeless areas in Europe, and to combat this the government plans to plant over 50 million trees in a new Northern Forest across the region.


Urban

Uniquely for such a large urban belt in Europe, these cities are all as recent as the Industrial Revolution; most of them previously scattered villages. Vast urban areas have emerged along the coasts and rivers, and they run almost contiguously into each other in places. Near the east coast, trade fuelled the growth of major ports and settlements (
Kingston upon Hull Kingston upon Hull, usually abbreviated to Hull, is a port city and unitary authorities of England, unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies upon the River Hull at its confluence with the Humber Estuary, inland fro ...
,
Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne (Received Pronunciation, RP: , ), or simply Newcastle, is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Tyne and Wear, England. The city is located on the River Tyne's northern bank and forms the la ...
,,
Middlesbrough Middlesbrough ( ) is a town on the southern bank of the River Tees in North Yorkshire, England. It is near the North York Moors national park. It is the namesake and Borough of Middlesbrough, main town of its Middlesbrough Council, local boroug ...
, Newcastle and
Sunderland Sunderland () is a port city in Tyne and Wear, England. It is the City of Sunderland's administrative centre and in the Historic counties of England, historic county of County of Durham, Durham. The city is from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and is on t ...
) to create multiple urban areas. Inland needs of trade and industry produced an almost continuous
urbanisation Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from Rural area, rural to urban areas, the corresponding decrease in the proportion of people living in rural areas, and the ways in which societies adapt to this change. It is predo ...
from the
Wirral Peninsula Wirral (; ), known locally as The Wirral, is a peninsula in North West England. The roughly rectangular peninsula is about long and wide and is bounded by the River Dee, Wales, River Dee to the west (forming the boundary with Wales), the Ri ...
to
Doncaster Doncaster (, ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city in South Yorkshire, England. Named after the River Don, Yorkshire, River Don, it is the administrative centre of the larger City of Doncaster. It is the second largest settlement in So ...
, taking in the cities of
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, 10th largest English district by population and its E ...
,
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
,
Leeds Leeds () is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...
, and
Sheffield Sheffield is a city status in the United Kingdom, city in South Yorkshire, England, whose name derives from the River Sheaf which runs through it. The city serves as the administrative centre of the City of Sheffield. It is Historic counties o ...
, with a population of at least 7.6 million. Analysis by The Northern Way in 2006 found that 90% of the population of the North lived in and around:
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, 10th largest English district by population and its E ...
, Central Lancashire,
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
,
Sheffield Sheffield is a city status in the United Kingdom, city in South Yorkshire, England, whose name derives from the River Sheaf which runs through it. The city serves as the administrative centre of the City of Sheffield. It is Historic counties o ...
,
Leeds Leeds () is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...
, Hull and Humber Ports,
Tees Valley Tees Valley is a mayoral combined authority and Local enterprise partnership area in northern England, around the River Tees. The area is not a geographical valley. The LEP was established in 2011 and the combined authority was established i ...
and
Tyne and Wear Tyne and Wear () is a metropolitan county in North East England, situated around the mouths of the rivers River Tyne, Tyne and River Wear, Wear. It was created in 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972, along with five metropolitan boroughs of ...
. At the 2011 census, 86% of the Northern population lived in urban areas as defined by the
Office for National Statistics The Office for National Statistics (ONS; cy, Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the UK Parliament. Overview The ONS is responsible for ...
, compared to 82% for England as a whole.


Natural resources

Peat Peat (), also known as turf (), is an accumulation of partially Decomposition, decayed vegetation or organic matter. It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, bogs, mires, Moorland, moors, or muskegs. The peatland ecosystem covers and ...
is found in thick, plentiful layers across the Pennines and Scottish Borders, and there are many large coalfields, including the
Great Northern Great Northern may refer to: Transport * One of a number of railways; see Great Northern Railway (disambiguation). * Great Northern Railway (U.S.), a defunct American transcontinental railroad and major predecessor of the BNSF Railway. * Great N ...
,
Lancashire Lancashire ( , ; abbreviated Lancs) is the name of a Historic counties of England, historic county, Ceremonial County, ceremonial county, and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The boundaries of these three areas differ significa ...
and
South Yorkshire Coalfield The South Yorkshire Coalfield is so named from its position within Yorkshire. It covers most of South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and a small part of North Yorkshire. The exposed coalfield outcrops in the Pennines, Pennine foothills and dips under P ...
s. Millstone grit, a distinctive coarse-grained rock used to make
millstone Millstones or mill stones are stones used in gristmills, for grinding wheat or other grains. They are sometimes referred to as grindstones or grinding stones. Millstones come in pairs: a wikt:convex, convex stationary base known as the ''be ...
s, is widespread in the Pennines, and the variety of other rock types is reflected in the architecture of the region, such as the bright red
sandstone Sandstone is a Clastic rock#Sedimentary clastic rocks, clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of grain size, sand-sized (0.0625 to 2 mm) silicate mineral, silicate grains. Sandstones comprise about 20–25% of all sedimentary rocks. ...
seen in buildings in
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...
, the cream-buff Yorkstone and the distinctive purple Doddington sandstone. These sandstones also mean that apart from the east coast, most of Northern England has very soft water, and this has influenced not just industry, but even the blends of tea enjoyed in the region. Rich deposits of
iron ore Iron ores are rock (geology), rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. The ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in color from dark grey, bright yellow, or deep purple to rusty red. The iron is usually ...
are found in Cumbria and the North East, and
fluorspar Fluorite (also called fluorspar) is the mineral form of calcium fluoride Calcium fluoride is the inorganic compound of the elements calcium and fluorine with the chemical formula, formula CaF2. It is a white insoluble solid. It occurs as the ...
and
baryte Baryte, barite or barytes ( or ) is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate (barium, Basulfur, Soxygen, O4). Baryte is generally white or colorless, and is the main source of the element barium. The ''baryte group'' consists of baryte, celestine (m ...
are also plentiful in northern parts of the Pennines. Salt mining in Cheshire has a long history, and both remaining
rock salt Halite (), commonly known as rock salt, is a type of salt, the mineral (natural) form of sodium chloride (sodium, Nachlorine, Cl). Halite forms Cubic (crystal system), isometric crystals. The mineral is typically colorless or white, but may al ...
mines in Great Britain are in the North: Winsford Mine in Cheshire and Boulby Mine in North Yorkshire, which also produces half of the UK's
potash Potash () includes various mined and manufactured salt (chemistry), salts that contain potassium in water-solute, soluble form. Northern England has a cool, wet
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen climate classification, Köppen classification ''Cfb'', typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring ...
with small areas of
subpolar oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen climate classification, Köppen classification ''Cfb'', typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring ...
in the uplands. Averaged across the entire region, Northern England is cooler, wetter and cloudier than England as a whole, and contains both England's coldest point (
Cross Fell Cross Fell is the highest mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. Although definitions vary, a mountain may differ from a plateau in having a limit ...
) and its rainiest point (
Seathwaite Fell Seathwaite Fell is an area of the Lake District in Cumbria, England. It stands above the hamlet of the same name at the head of Borrowdale. Position of the summit The fell is very rugged with several small tops along the summit of the ri ...
). Its temperature range and
sunshine duration Sunshine duration or sunshine hours is a climatological indicator, measuring duration of sunshine in given period (usually, a day or a year) for a given location on Earth, typically expressed as an averaged value over several years. It is a gener ...
is similar to the UK average and it sees substantially less rainfall than Scotland or Wales. These averages disguise considerable variation across the region, due chiefly to the upland regions and adjacent seas. The
prevailing winds In meteorology, prevailing wind in a region of the Earth's surface is a surface wind that blows predominantly from a particular direction. The dominant winds are the trends in direction of wind with the highest speed over a particular point on ...
across the British Isles are
westerlies The westerlies, anti-trades, or prevailing westerlies, are prevailing winds from the west toward the east in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude. They originate from the high-pressure areas in the horse latitudes and trend to ...
bringing moisture from the Atlantic Ocean; this means that the west coast frequently receives strong winds and heavy rainfall while the east coast lies in a
rain shadow A rain shadow is an area of significantly reduced rainfall behind a mountainous region, on the side facing away from prevailing winds, known as its Windward and leeward#Meteorological significance, leeward side. Evaporation, Evaporated moistu ...
behind the Pennines. As a result, Teesside and the Northumbrian coast are the driest regions in the North, with around of rain per year, while parts of the Lake District receive over . Lowland regions in the more southern parts of Northern England such as Cheshire and South Yorkshire are the warmest, with average maximum July temperatures of over , while the highest points in the Pennines and Lake District reach only . The area has a reputation for cloud and fog – especially along its east coast, which experiences a distinctive sea fog known as
fret A fret is any of the thin strips of material, usually metal wire, inserted laterally at specific positions along the Neck (music), neck or fretboard of a stringed instrument. Frets usually extend across the full width of the neck. On some histo ...
– although the
Clean Air Act 1956 The Clean Air Act 1956 was an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom enacted principally in response to London's Great Smog of London, Great Smog of 1952. It was sponsored by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government ...
and decline of heavy industry have seen sunshine duration increase in urban areas in recent years.


Language and dialect


English


Dialect

The English spoken today in the North has been shaped by the area's history, and some dialects retain features inherited from
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian, is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and t ...
and the local Celtic languages. Dialects spoken in the North include Cumbrian (Cumbria),
Geordie Geordie () is a List of regional nicknames, nickname for a person from the Tyneside area of North East England, and the dialect used by its inhabitants, also known in linguistics as Tyneside English or Newcastle English. There are different de ...
(Tyneside),
Mackem Mackem, Makem or Mak'em a nickname for residents of and people from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, Sunderland, a city in North East England. It is also a name for the local dialect and accent (not to be confused with Geordie); and for a fan, of wha ...
(Wearside),
Lancashire Lancashire ( , ; abbreviated Lancs) is the name of a Historic counties of England, historic county, Ceremonial County, ceremonial county, and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The boundaries of these three areas differ significa ...
(Lancashire), Mancunian (Manchester), Northumbrian (Northumberland and Durham),
Pitmatic __NOTOC__ Pitmatic (originally: "Pitmatical", colloquially known as "Yakka") is a group of traditional Northern English dialects The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') ...
(Great Northern Coalfield),
Scouse Scouse (; formally known as Liverpool English or Merseyside English) is an Accent (dialect), accent and dialect of English language, English associated with Liverpool and the surrounding county of Merseyside. The Scouse accent is highly dis ...
(Liverpool) and Tyke (Yorkshire). Linguists have attempted to define a Northern dialect area, corresponding to the area north of a line that begins at the Humber estuary and runs up the
River Wharfe The River Wharfe ( ) is a river in Yorkshire Yorkshire ( ; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a Historic counties of England, historic county in northern England and by far the largest in the United Kingdom. Beca ...
and across to the
River Lune The River Lune (archaically sometimes Loyne) is a river in length in Cumbria Cumbria ( ) is a ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England, bordering Scotland. The county and Cumbria County ...
in north Lancashire. This area corresponds roughly to the ''
sprachraum In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and ...
'' of the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabita ...
Northumbrian dialect The Northumbrian dialect refers to any of several English language varieties spoken in the traditional English region of Northumbria (modern), Northumbria, which includes most of the North East England regions of England, government region. Th ...
, although the linguistic elements that defined this area in the past, such as the use of ''doon'' instead of ''down'' and substitution of an ''ang'' sound in words that end -''ong'' (''lang'' instead of ''long''), are now prevalent only in the more northern parts of the region. As speech has changed, there is little consensus on what defines a "Northern" accent or dialect. Northern English accents have not undergone the TRAPBATH split, and a common
shibboleth A shibboleth (; hbo, , šībbōleṯ) is any Convention (norm), custom or tradition, usually a choice of phrasing or even a single word, that distinguishes one group of people from another. Shibboleths have been used throughout history in many s ...
to distinguish them from Southern ones is the Northern use of the short a (the
near-open front unrounded vowel The near-open front unrounded vowel, or near-low front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some Speech communication, spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is , a lowercase ...
) in words such as ''bath'' and ''castle''. On the opposite border, most Northern English accents can be distinguished from Scottish accents because they are
non-rhotic Rhoticity in English is the pronunciation of the historical rhotic consonant In phonetics, rhotic consonants, or "R-like" sounds, are liquid consonants that are traditionally represented orthographically by symbols derived from the Gree ...
, although some Lancashire and Northumberland accents remain rhotic. Other features common to many Northern English accents are the absence of the FOOTSTRUT split (so ''put'' and ''putt'' are
homophone A homophone () is a word that is Pronunciation, pronounced the same (to varying extent) as another word but differs in meaning. A ''homophone'' may also differ in spelling. The two words may be Spelling, spelled the same, for example ''rose'' ( ...
s), the reduction of the
definite article An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The category of articles constitutes a part of speech. In English language, English, both " ...
''the'' to a
glottal stop The glottal plosive or stop is a type of consonantal sound used in many Speech communication, spoken languages, produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract or, more precisely, the glottis. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabe ...
(usually represented in writing as ''t'' or occasionally ''th'', although it is often not pronounced as a /t/ sound) or its total
elision In linguistics, an elision or deletion is the omission of one or more sounds (such as a vowel, a consonant, or a whole syllable) in a word or phrase. However, these terms are also used to refer more narrowly to cases where two words are run toget ...
, and the T-to-R rule that leads to the pronunciation of ''t'' as a
rhotic consonant In phonetics, rhotic consonants, or "R-like" sounds, are liquid consonants that are traditionally represented orthographically by symbols derived from the Greek letter rho, including , in the Latin script The Latin script, also known ...
in phrases like ''get up'' (). The
pronouns In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a word or a group of words that one may substitute for a noun or noun phrase. Pronouns have traditionally been regarded as one of the part of speech, parts o ...
''thou'' and ''thee'' survive in some Northern English dialects, although these are dying out outside very rural areas, and many dialects have an informal second-person plural pronoun: either '' ye'' (common in the North East) or '' yous'' (common in areas with historical Irish communities). Many dialects use '' me'' as a
possessive A possessive or ktetic form (Glossing abbreviation, abbreviated or ; from la, possessivus; grc, κτητικός, translit=ktētikós) is a word or grammatical construction used to indicate a relationship of possession (linguistics), possessio ...
("me car") and some treat '' us'' likewise ("us cars") or use the alternative '' wor'' ("wor cars"). Possessive pronouns are also used to mark the names of relatives in speech (for example, a relative called Joan would be referred to as "our Joan" in conversation). With urbanisation, distinctive urban accents have arisen which often differ greatly from the historical accents of the surrounding rural areas and sometimes share features with Southern English accents. Northern English dialects remain an important part of the culture of the region, and the desire of speakers to assert their local identity has led to accents such as Scouse and Geordie becoming more distinctive and spreading into surrounding areas.


Literature

The contrasting geography of Northern England is reflected in its literature. On the one hand, the wild moors and lakes have inspired generations of Romantic authors: the poetry of
William Wordsworth William Wordsworth (7 April 177023 April 1850) was an English Romantic poetry, Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romanticism, Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication ''Lyrical Balla ...
and the novels of the Brontë sisters are perhaps the most famous examples of writing inspired by these elemental forces. Classics of
children's literature Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are created for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader. Children's ...
such as ''
The Railway Children ''The Railway Children'' is a children's book by Edith Nesbit Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English writer and poet, who published her children's literature, books for children as E. Nesbit ...
'' (1906), ''
The Secret Garden ''The Secret Garden'' is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett first published in book form in 1911, after serialisation in ''The American Magazine'' (November 1910 – August 1911). Set in England, it is one of Burnett's most popular novels and ...
'' (1911) and '' Swallows and Amazons'' (1930) portray these largely untouched landscapes as worlds of adventure and transformation where their protagonists can break free of the restrictions of society. Modern poets such as the Poets Laureate
Ted Hughes Edward James "Ted" Hughes (17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998) was an English poet, translator, and children's writer. Critics frequently rank him as one of the best poets of his generation and one of the twentieth century's greatest wri ...
and Simon Armitage have found inspiration in the Northern countryside, producing works that take advantage of the sounds and rhythms of Northern English dialects. Meanwhile, the industrialising and urbanising cities of the North gave rise to many masterpieces of
social realism Social realism is the term used for work produced by painters, printmakers, photographers, writers and filmmakers that aims to draw attention to the real socio-political conditions of the working class as a means to critique the power structure ...
. Elizabeth Gaskell was the first in a lineage of female realist writers from the North that later included
Winifred Holtby Winifred Holtby (23 June 1898 – 29 September 1935) was an English novelist and journalist, now best known for her novel '' South Riding'', which was posthumously published in 1936. Biography Holtby was born to a prosperous farming family in ...
,
Catherine Cookson Dame Catherine Ann Cookson, Order of the British Empire, DBE (''née'' McMullen; 20 June 1906 – 11 June 1998) was a British writer. She is in the top 20 of the most widely read British novelists, with sales List of best-selling fiction authors ...
,
Beryl Bainbridge Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge (21 November 1932 – 2 July 2010) was an English writer from Liverpool. She was primarily known for her works of psychological fiction, often macabre tales set among the English working class. Bainbridge won the ...
and
Jeanette Winterson Jeanette Winterson (born 27 August 1959) is an English writer. Her first book, ''Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'', was a Autobiographical novel, semi-autobiographical novel about a sensitive teenage girl rebelling against convention. Other nov ...
. Many of the
angry young men The "angry young men" were a group of mostly working- and middle-class The middle class refers to a Social class, class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy, often defined by job, occupation, income, education, or social status. T ...
of post-war literature were Northern, and working-class life in the face of deindustrialisation is depicted in novels such as '' Room at the Top'' (1959), '' Billy Liar'' (1959), '' This Sporting Life'' (1960) and '' A Kestrel for a Knave'' (1968).


Other languages

There are no recognised minority languages in Northern England, although the Northumbrian Language Society campaigns to have the
Northumbrian dialect The Northumbrian dialect refers to any of several English language varieties spoken in the traditional English region of Northumbria (modern), Northumbria, which includes most of the North East England regions of England, government region. Th ...
recognised as a separate language. It is possible that traces of now-extinct Brythonic Celtic languages from the region survive in some rural areas in the Yan Tan Tethera counting systems traditionally used by shepherds. Contact between English and immigrant languages has given rise to new accents and dialects. For instance, the variety of English spoken by Poles in Manchester is distinct both from typical Polish-accented English and from Mancunian. At a local level, the diversity of immigrant communities means that some languages that are extremely rare in the country as a whole have strongholds in Northern towns:
Bradford Bradford is a city status in the United Kingdom, city and the administrative centre of the City of Bradford district in West Yorkshire, England. The city is in the Pennines' eastern foothills on the banks of the Bradford Beck. Bradford had a p ...
for instance has the largest proportion of
Pashto Pashto (,; , ) is an Eastern Iranian languages, Eastern Iranian language in the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. It is known in historical Persian literature as Afghani (). Spoken as a native language mostly by ethni ...
speakers, while Manchester has most
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t, cy=Gwóngdūng wá) is a language within the Chinese (Sinitic) branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages originating from the city of Guangzhou (historically known as Canton) and its surrounding a ...
speakers.


History


The prehistoric North

During the
ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental and polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. Earth's climate alternates between ice ages and Green ...
s, Northern England was buried under ice sheets, and little evidence remains of habitation – either because the climate made the area uninhabitable, or because glaciation destroyed most evidence of human activity. The northernmost
cave art In archaeology, Cave paintings are a type of parietal art (which category also includes petroglyphs, or engravings), found on the wall or ceilings of caves. The term usually implies prehistoric art, prehistoric origin, and the oldest known are mor ...
in Europe is found at
Creswell Crags Creswell Crags is an enclosed limestone Canyon, gorge on the border between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, England, near the villages of Creswell, Derbyshire, Creswell and Whitwell, Derbyshire, Whitwell. The cliffs in the ravine contain severa ...
in northern Derbyshire, near modern-day Sheffield, which shows signs of
Neanderthal Neanderthals (, also ''Homo neanderthalensis'' and erroneously ''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis''), also written as Neandertals, are an Extinction, extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans who lived in Eurasia until about 40,000 years ag ...
inhabitation 50 to 60 thousand years ago, and of a more modern occupation known as the Creswellian culture around 12,000 years ago. Kirkwell Cave in
Lower Allithwaite Lower Allithwaite is a civil parishes in England, civil parish in the South Lakeland district of the England, English county of Cumbria. It includes the villages of Allithwaite and Cartmel, the historic Cartmel Priory, Humphrey Head and Cartmel ...
, Cumbria shows signs of the
Federmesser culture ''Federmesser'' group is an archaeological umbrella term including the late Upper Paleolithic to European Mesolithic, Mesolithic cultures of the Northern European Plain, dating to between 14,000 and 12,800 years ago (the late Magdalenian). It i ...
of the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek: παλαιός ''wikt:παλαιός, palaios'', "old" and λίθος ''wikt:λίθος, lithos'', "stone"), is a period in human prehistory that is distinguished by ...
, and was inhabited some time between 13,400 and 12,800 years ago. Significant settlement appears to have begun in the
Mesolithic The Mesolithic ( Greek: μέσος, ''mesos'' 'middle' + λίθος, ''lithos'' 'stone') or Middle Stone Age is the Old World archaeological period between the Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic. The term Epipaleolithic is often used synony ...
era, with Star Carr in North Yorkshire generally considered the most significant monument of this era. The Star Carr site includes Britain's oldest known house, from around 9000 BC, and the earliest evidence of carpentry in the form of a carved tree trunk from 11000 BC. The
Lincolnshire Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs.) is a Counties of England, county in the East Midlands of England, with a long coastline on the North Sea to the east. It borders Norfolk to the south-east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south-we ...
and
Yorkshire Wolds The Yorkshire Wolds are low hills in the counties of the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire in north-eastern England. The name also applies to the district in which the hills lie. On the western edge, the Wolds rise to an escarpment wh ...
around the Humber Estuary were settled and farmed in the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of ...
, and the
Ferriby Boats The Ferriby Boats are three Bronze Age Britain, Bronze-Age British sewn boat, sewn plank-built boats, parts of which were discovered at North Ferriby in the East Riding of Yorkshire, East Riding of the England, English county of Yorkshire. Onl ...
– one of the best-preserved finds of the era – were discovered near Hull in 1937. In the more mountainous regions of the Peak District,
hillfort A hillfort is a type of earthwork used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a cont ...
s were the main Bronze Age settlement and the locals were most likely
pastoralists Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry where domesticated animals (known as "livestock") are released onto large vegetated outdoor lands (pastures) for grazing, historically by nomadic people who moved around with their herds. The animal s ...
raising livestock.


Iron Age and the Romans

Roman histories name the Celtic tribe that occupied the majority of Northern England as the
Brigantes The Brigantes were Ancient Britons who in pre-Roman times controlled the largest section of what would become Northern England. Their territory, often referred to as Brigantia, was centred in what was later known as Yorkshire. The Greek ge ...
, likely meaning "Highlanders". Whether the Brigantes were a unified group or a looser federation of tribes around the Pennines is debated, but the name appears to have been adopted by the inhabitants of the region, which was known by the Romans as Brigantia. Other tribes mentioned in ancient histories, which may have been part of the Brigantes or separate nations, are the
Carvetii The Carvetii (Common Brittonic Common Brittonic ( cy, Brythoneg; kw, Brythonek; br, Predeneg), also known as British, Common Brythonic, or Proto-Brittonic, was a Celtic languages, Celtic language spoken in Great Britain, Britain and Brittany ...
of modern-day Cumbria and the Parisi of east Yorkshire. The Brigantes allied with the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
during the
Roman conquest of Britain The Roman conquest of Britain refers to the conquest of the island of Great Britain, Britain by occupying Roman Empire, Roman forces. It began in earnest in AD 43 under Emperor Claudius, and was largely completed in the southern half of ...
:
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus, known simply as Tacitus ( , ; – ), was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historiography, Roman historians by modern scholars. The surviving portions of his t ...
records that they handed the resistance leader
Caratacus Caratacus ( Brythonic ''*Caratācos'', Middle Welsh ''Caratawc''; Welsh ''Caradog''; Breton ''Karadeg''; Greek ''Καράτακος''; variants Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic bra ...
over to the Empire in 51. Power struggles within the Brigantes made the Romans wary, and they were conquered in a war beginning in the 70s under the governorship of
Quintus Petillius Cerialis Quintus Petillius Cerialis Caesius Rufus ( AD 30 — after AD 83), otherwise known as Quintus Petillius Cerialis, was a Ancient Rome, Roman general and administrator who served in Roman Britain, Britain during Boudica's rebellion and went on to par ...
. The Romans created the province of "
Britannia Inferior Britannia Inferior (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around ...
" (Lower Britain) in the North, and it was ruled from the city of
Eboracum Eboracum () was a castra, fort and later a coloniae, city in the Roman province of Roman Britain, Britannia. In its prime it was the largest town in northern Britain and a provincial capital. The site remained occupied after the decline of the ...
(modern
York York is a cathedral city with Roman Britain, Roman origins, sited at the confluence of the rivers River Ouse, Yorkshire, Ouse and River Foss, Foss in North Yorkshire, England. It is the historic county town of Yorkshire. The city has many hist ...
). Eboracum and
Deva Victrix Deva Victrix, or simply Deva, was a legionary castra, fortress and town in the Roman province of Britannia on the site of the modern city of Chester. The fortress was built by the Legio II Adiutrix, Legio II ''Adiutrix'' in the 70s AD as the Ro ...
(modern Chester) were the main
legionary The Roman legionary (in Latin ''legionarius'', plural ''legionarii'') was a professional heavy infantryman of the Roman army The Roman army (Latin language, Latin: ) was the armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of Anc ...
bases in the region, with other smaller forts including
Mamucium Mamucium, also known as Mancunium, is a former Roman fort in the Castlefield Castlefield is an inner-city conservation area in Manchester, North West England. The conservation area which bears its name is bounded by the River Irwell, A34 ro ...
(Manchester) and Cataractonium ( Catterick). Britannia Inferior extended as far north as
Hadrian's Wall Hadrian's Wall ( la, Vallum Aelium), also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or ''Vallum Hadriani'' in Latin, is a former defensive fortification of the Roman province of Roman Britain, Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the Empe ...
, which was the northernmost border of the Roman Empire. Although the Romans invaded modern-day Northumberland and part of Scotland beyond it, they never succeeded in conquering the reaches of Britain beyond the
River Tyne The River Tyne is a river in North East England. Its length (excluding tributaries) is . It is formed by the North Tyne and the South Tyne, which converge at Warden, Northumberland, Warden Rock near Hexham in Northumberland at a place dubbed ' ...
.


Anglo-Saxons and Vikings

After the
end of Roman rule in Britain The end of Roman rule in Britain was the transition from Roman Britain to post-Roman Britain. Roman rule ended in different parts of Britain at different times, and under different circumstances. In 383, the usurper Magnus Maximus withdrew ...
and the arrival of the
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli) were one of the main Germanic peoples who settled in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it i ...
, Yr
Hen Ogledd Yr Hen Ogledd (), in English the Old North, is the historical region which is now Northern England and the southern Scottish Lowlands that was inhabited by the Celtic Britons, Brittonic people of sub-Roman Britain in the Early Middle Ages. Its ...
(the "Old North") was divided into rival kingdoms,
Bernicia Bernicia ( ang, Bernice, Bryneich, Beornice; la, Bernicia) was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by Anglian settlers of the 6th century in what is now southeastern Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, countr ...
,
Deira Deira ( ; Old Welsh/Cumbric language, Cumbric: ''Deywr'' or ''Deifr''; ang, Derenrice or ) was an area of Post-Roman Britain, and a later Angles, Anglian kingdom. Etymology The name of the kingdom is of British language (Celtic), Brythonic or ...
,
Rheged Rheged () was one of the kingdoms of the '' Hen Ogledd'' ("Old North"), the Brittonic-speaking region of what is now Northern England Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North Country, or simply the North, is the north ...
and
Elmet Elmet ( cy, Elfed), sometimes Elmed or Elmete, was an independent Brittonic kingdom between about the 5th century and early 7th century, in what later became the smaller area of the West Riding of Yorkshire then West Yorkshire, South York ...
. Bernicia covered lands north of the Tees, Deira corresponded roughly to the eastern half of modern-day Yorkshire, Rheged to Cumbria, and Elmet to the western-half of Yorkshire. Bernicia and Deira were first united as
Northumbria la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum , conventional_long_name = Kingdom of Northumbria , common_name = Northumbria , status = State , status_text = Unified Anglian kingdom (before 876)North: Anglian kingdom (af ...
by Aethelfrith, a king of Bernicia who conquered Deira around the year 604. Northumbria then saw a
Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first and the one during ...
in cultural, scholarly and monastic activity, centred on
Lindisfarne Lindisfarne, also called Holy Island, is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England, which constitutes the civil parish of Holy Island in Northumberland. Holy Island has a recorded history from the 6th century AD; it was an importa ...
and aided by Irish monks. The north-west of England retains vestiges of a Celtic culture, and had its own Celtic language,
Cumbric Cumbric was a variety (linguistics), variety of the Common Brittonic language spoken during the Early Middle Ages in the ''Hen Ogledd'' or "Old North" in what is now the counties of Westmorland, Cumberland and northern Lancashire in Northern E ...
, spoken predominately in Cumbria until around the 12th century. Parts of the north and east of England were subject to Danish control (the
Danelaw The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; ang, Dena lagu; da, Danelagen) was the part of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
) during the
Viking era The Viking Age () was the period during the Middle Ages when Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, conquest, and trading throughout Europe and reached North America. It followed the Migration Period and the Germ ...
, but the northern part of the old Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria remained under Anglo-Saxon control. Under the Vikings, monasteries were largely wiped out, and the discovery of
grave goods Grave goods, in archaeology and anthropology, are the items buried along with the body. They are usually personal possessions, supplies to smooth the deceased's journey into the afterlife or offerings to the gods. Grave goods may be classed as a ...
in Northern churchyards suggests that Norse funeral rites replaced Christian ones for a time. Viking control of certain areas, particularly around Yorkshire, is recalled in the
etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p. 633 "Etymology /ˌɛtɪˈmɒlədʒi/ the study of the class in words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time". is the study of the history of the Phonological chan ...
of many
place names Toponymy, toponymics, or toponomastics is the study of '' toponyms'' ( proper names of places, also known as place names and geographic names), including their origins, meanings, usage and types. Toponym is the general term for a proper name o ...
: the ''
thorp ''Thorp'' is a Middle English word for a Hamlet (place), hamlet or small village. Etymology The name can either come from Old Norse ''þorp'' (also ''thorp''), or from Old English language, Old English (Anglo-Saxon) ''þrop''. There are many ...
e'' in town names such as
Cleethorpes Cleethorpes () is a seaside town on the estuary of the Humber in North East Lincolnshire, England with a population of 38,372 in 2020. It has been permanently occupied since the 6th century, with fishing as its original industry, then develo ...
and
Scunthorpe Scunthorpe () is an Industrial city, industrial town and unparished area in the Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority of North Lincolnshire in Lincolnshire, England of which it is the main administrative centre. Scunthorpe had an es ...
, the ''
kirk Kirk is a Scottish and former Northern English word meaning "church". It is often used specifically of the Church of Scotland. Many place names and personal names are also derived from it. Basic meaning and etymology As a common noun, ''kirk'' ...
'' in
Kirklees Kirklees is a local government district of West Yorkshire West Yorkshire is a metropolitan and ceremonial county in the Yorkshire and Humber Region of England. It is an inland and upland county having eastward-draining valleys while t ...
and
Ormskirk Ormskirk is a market town in the West Lancashire district of Lancashire, England, north of Liverpool, northwest of St Helens, Merseyside, St Helens, southeast of Southport and southwest of Preston, Lancashire, Preston. Ormskirk is known fo ...
and the '' by'' of
Whitby Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Borough of Scarborough, Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire, England. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, North Yorkshire, River Esk, Whitby has a mar ...
and
Grimsby Grimsby or Great Grimsby is a port town and the administrative centre of North East Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire, England. Grimsby adjoins the town of Cleethorpes directly to the south-east forming a conurbation. Grimsby is north-east of Linco ...
all have Norse roots.


Norman Conquest and the Middle Ages

The 1066 defeat of the Norwegian king
Harald Hardrada Harald Sigurdsson (; – 25 September 1066), also known as Harald III of Norway and given the epithet ''Hardrada'' (; modern no, Hardråde, roughly translated as "stern counsel" or "hard ruler") in the sagas, was King of Norway from 1046 ...
by the Anglo-Saxon
Harold Godwinson Harold Godwinson ( – 14 October 1066), also called Harold II, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon English king. Harold reigned from 6 January 1066 until his death at the Battle of Hastings, fighting the Normans, Norman invaders led by Willi ...
at the
Battle of Stamford Bridge The Battle of Stamford Bridge ( ang, Gefeoht æt Stanfordbrycge) took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire, in England, on 25 September 1066, between an English army under Harold Godwinson, King Harold Godwinson a ...
near York marked the beginning of the end of Viking rule in England, and the almost immediate defeat of Godwinson at the hands of the Norman
William the Conqueror William I; ang, WillelmI (Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33– 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs#House of Norman ...
at the
Battle of Hastings The Battle of Hastings nrf, Batâle dé Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William the Conqueror, William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godw ...
was in turn the overthrow of the Anglo-Saxon order. The Northumbrian and Danish aristocracy resisted the
Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
, and to put an end to the rebellion, William ordered the
Harrying of the North The Harrying of the North was a series of campaigns waged by William the Conqueror in the winter of 1069–1070 to subjugate northern England, where the presence of the last House of Wessex, Wessex claimant, Edgar Ætheling, had encouraged An ...
. In the winter of 1069–1070, towns, villages and farms were systematically destroyed across much of Yorkshire as well as northern Lancashire and County Durham. The region was gripped by famine and much of Northern England was deserted. Chroniclers at the time reported a hundred thousand deaths – modern estimates place the total somewhere in the tens of thousands, out of a population of two million. When the
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English spelling of "Doomsday Book" – is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William I, known as William the Conqueror. The manusc ...
was compiled in 1086, much of Northern England was still recorded as wasteland, although this may have been in part because the chroniclers, more interested in
manorial Manorialism, also known as the manor system or manorial system, was the method of land ownership (or "Land tenure, tenure") in parts of Europe, notably France and later England, during the Middle Ages. Its defining features included a large, so ...
farmland, paid little attention to pastoral areas. Following Norman subjugation, monasteries returned to the North as missionaries sought to "settle the desert". Monastic orders such as the
Cistercians The Cistercians, () officially the Order of Cistercians ( la, (Sacer) Ordo Cisterciensis, abbreviated as OCist or SOCist), are a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines and follow the Rule of Saint B ...
became significant players in the economy of Northern England – the Cistercian
Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercians, Cistercian monasteries in England. It is located approximately south-west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, near to the village of Aldfield. Founded in 1132, the abbey ope ...
in North Yorkshire became the largest and richest of the Northern abbeys, and would remain so until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Other Cistercian abbeys are at
Rievaulx Rievaulx ( ) is a small village and civil parish in Rye Dale within the North York Moors National Park near Helmsley in North Yorkshire, England and is located in what was the inner court of Rievaulx Abbey, close to the River Rye, Yorkshire, R ...
,
Kirkstall Kirkstall is a north-western suburb of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, on the eastern side of the River Aire. The area sits in the Kirkstall (ward), Kirkstall electoral ward, ward of Leeds City Council and Leeds West (UK Parliament constituenc ...
and Byland. The 7th-century
Whitby Abbey Whitby Abbey was a 7th-century Christian monastery that later became a Benedictine abbey. The abbey church was situated overlooking the North Sea on the East Cliff above Whitby in North Yorkshire, England, a centre of the medieval Northu ...
was
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Benedic ...
and
Bolton Abbey Bolton Abbey in Wharfedale Wharfedale ( ) is the valley of the upper parts of the River Wharfe and one of the Yorkshire Dales The Yorkshire Dales is an upland area of the Pennines in the Historic counties of England, historic cou ...
, Augustinian. A significant
Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian dialect cluster of the Dutch language. It is sometimes referred to as Flemish Dutch (), Belgian Dutch ( ), or Southern Dutch (). Flemish is native to Flanders, a historical region in northern Belgium; i ...
immigration followed the conquest, which likely populated much of the desolated regions of Cumbria, and which was persistent enough that the town of
Beverley Beverley is a market town, market and minster (church), minster town and a civil parishes in England, civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, of which it is the county town. The town centre is located south-east of York's centre ...
in the East Riding of Yorkshire still had an
ethnic enclave In sociology, an ethnic enclave is a geographic area with high ethnic concentration, characteristic cultural identity, and economic activity. The term is usually used to refer to either a residential area or a workspace with a high concentration ...
called Flemingate in the thirteenth century. During
the Anarchy The Anarchy was a civil war in England and Normandy between 1138 and 1153, which resulted in a widespread breakdown in law and order. The conflict was a Wars of succession, war of succession precipitated by the accidental death of William Ade ...
, Scotland invaded Northern England and took much of the land north of the Tees. In the 1139 peace treaty that followed, Prince
Henry of Scotland Henry of Scotland (''Eanric mac Dabíd'', 1114 – 12 June 1152) was heir apparent to the Kingdom of Alba The Kingdom of Alba ( la, Scotia; sga, Alba) was the Kingdom of Scotland between the deaths of Donald II of Scotland, Donald II in 900 ...
was made
Earl of Northumberland The title of Earl of Northumberland has been created several times in the Peerage of England and Peerage of Great Britain, of Great Britain, succeeding the title Earl of Northumbria. Its most famous holders are the House of Percy (''alias'' Per ...
and kept the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Northumbria, as well as part of Lancashire. These reverted to English control in 1157, establishing for the most part the modern England–Scotland border. The region also saw violence during
The Great Raid of 1322 The Great Raid of 1322 was a major Military raid, raid carried out by Robert the Bruce, during the First War of Scottish Independence, First Scottish War of Independence, on Northern England between 30 September and 2 November 1322, resulting i ...
when
Robert the Bruce Robert I (11 July 1274 – 7 June 1329), popularly known as Robert the Bruce (Scottish Gaelic: ''Raibeart an Bruis''), was King of Scots from 1306 to his death in 1329. One of the most renowned warriors of his generation, Robert eventuall ...
invaded and raided the whole of Northern England. There was also the
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses (1455–1487), known at the time and for more than a century after as the Civil Wars, were a series of civil wars fought over control of the throne of England, English throne in the mid-to-late fifteenth century. These w ...
, including the decisive
Battle of Wakefield The Battle of Wakefield took place in Sandal Magna near Wakefield in northern England, on 30 December 1460. It was a major battle of the Wars of the Roses. The opposing forces were an army led by nobles loyal to the captive King Henry VI of ...
, although the modern-day conception of the war as a conflict between Lancashire and Yorkshire is anachronistic – Lancastrians recruited from across Northern England, including Yorkshire, even requiring mercenaries from
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast ...
and
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, while the Yorkists drew most of their power from Southern England, Wales and Ireland. The
Anglo-Scottish Wars The Anglo-Scottish Wars comprise the various battles which continued to be fought between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland from the time of the Wars of Scottish Independence, Wars of Independence in the early 14th century thro ...
also touched the region, and in just 400 years,
Berwick-upon-Tweed Berwick-upon-Tweed (), sometimes known as Berwick-on-Tweed or simply Berwick, is a town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, south of the Anglo-Scottish border, and the northernmost town in England. The 2011 United Kingdom census recor ...
– now the northernmost town in England – changed hands more than a dozen times. The wars also saw thousands of Scots settle south of the border, chiefly in the border counties and Yorkshire.


Early modern era

After the
English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the pope and the Catholic Church. These events were part of the wider European Protestant Reformation, a religious and poli ...
, the North saw several Catholic uprisings, including the Lincolnshire Rising, Bigod's Rebellion in Cumberland and Westmorland, and largest of all, the Yorkshire-based
Pilgrimage of Grace The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular revolt beginning in Yorkshire in October 1536, before spreading to other parts of Northern England including Cumberland, Northumberland, and north Lancashire, under the leadership of Robert Aske (political ...
, all against
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his Wives of Henry VIII, six marriages, and for his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) ...
. His daughter
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was List of English monarchs, Queen of England and List of Irish monarchs, Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603. Elizabeth was the last of the five House of Tudor monarchs and is ...
faced another Catholic rebellion, the
Rising of the North The Rising of the North of 1569, also called the Revolt of the Northern Earls or Northern Rebellion, was an unsuccessful attempt by Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian chur ...
. The region would become the centre of
recusancy Recusancy (from la, recusare, translation=to refuse) was the state of those who remained loyal to the Catholic Church and refused to attend Church of England services after the English Reformation. The Act of Uniformity 1558, 1558 Recusancy Ac ...
as prominent Catholic families in Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire refused to convert to Protestantism. Royal power over the region was exercised through the
Council of the North The Council of the North was an administrative body first set up in 1484 by King Richard III of England Richard III (2 October 145222 August 1485) was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 26 June 1483 until his death in 1485. He was the ...
at
King's Manor The King's Manor is a Grade I listed building in York, England, and is part of the University of York. It lies on Exhibition Square, in the city centre. History King's Manor was originally built to house the abbots of St Mary's Abbey, York. ...
, York, which was founded in 1484 by Richard III. The Council existed intermittently for the next two centuries – its final incarnation was created in the aftermath of the Pilgrimage of Grace and was chiefly an institution for providing order and dispensing justice. Northern England was a focal point for fighting during the
Wars of the Three Kingdoms The Wars of the Three Kingdoms were a series of related conflicts fought between 1639 and 1653 in the kingdoms of Kingdom of England, England, Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland and Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland, then separate entities united in a pers ...
. The border counties were invaded by Scotland in the Second Bishops' War, and at the 1640
Treaty of Ripon The Treaty of Ripon was an agreement signed by Charles I of England, Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Scottish Covenanters on 28 October 1640, in the aftermath of the Bishops' Wars, Second Bishops' War. The Bishops' War ...
King Charles I was forced to temporarily cede Northumberland and County Durham to the Scots and pay to keep the Scottish armies there. To raise enough funds and ratify the final peace treaty, Charles had to call what became the
Long Parliament The Long Parliament was an Parliament of England, English Parliament which lasted from 1640 until 1660. It followed the fiasco of the Short Parliament, which had convened for only three weeks during the spring of 1640 after an Personal Rule, 11-y ...
, beginning the process that led to the
First English Civil War The First English Civil War took place in Kingdom of England, England and Wales from 1642 to 1646, and forms part of the 1639 to 1653 Wars of the Three Kingdoms. They include the Bishops' Wars, the Irish Confederate Wars, the Second English ...
. In 1641, the Long Parliament abolished the Council of the North for perceived abuses during the
Personal Rule The Personal Rule (also known as the Eleven Years' Tyranny) was the period from 1629 to 1640, when King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland ruled without recourse to Parliament of England, Parliament. The King claimed that he was entitled to ...
period. By the time war broke out in 1642, King Charles had moved his court to York, and Northern England was to become a major base of the
Royalist A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of gov ...
forces until they were routed at the
Battle of Marston Moor The Battle of Marston Moor was fought on 2 July 1644, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms The Wars of the Three Kingdoms were a series of related conflicts fought between 1639 and 1653 in the kingdoms of Kingdom of England, England, Kin ...
.


Industrial Revolution

At the beginning of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
, Northern England had plentiful coal and
water power Hydropower (from el, ὕδωρ, "water"), also known as water power, is the use of falling or fast-running water Water (chemical formula ) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearl ...
while the poor agriculture in the uplands meant that labour in the area was cheap. Mining and milling, which had been practised on a small scale in the area for generations, began to grow and centralise. The boom in industrial textile manufacture is sometimes attributed to the damp climate and
soft water Hard water is water Water (chemical formula ) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fl ...
making it easier to wash and work fibres, although the success of Northern fabric mills has no single clear source. Readily available coal and the discovery of large iron deposits in Cumbria and
Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the United States, U.S. U.S. state, state of Ohio and the county seat of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Cuyahoga County. Located in the northeastern part of the state, it is situated along ...
allowed ironmaking and, with the invention of the
Bessemer process The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass production of steel from molten pig iron before the development of the open hearth furnace. The key principle is steelmaking, removal of impurities from the iron by ox ...
,
steelmaking Steelmaking is the process of producing steel from iron ore and carbon/or scrap. In steelmaking, Impurity, impurities such as nitrogen, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur and excess carbon (the most important impurity) are removed from the sourced iron, ...
to take root in the region. High quality steel in turn fed the
shipyard A shipyard, also called a dockyard or boatyard, is a place where ships are shipbuilding, built and repaired. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with ...
s that opened along the coasts, especially on Tyneside and at
Barrow-in-Furness Barrow-in-Furness is a port town in Cumbria, England. Historic counties of England, Historically in Lancashire, it was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1867 and merged with Dalton-in-Furness Urban District in 1974 to form the Borough of B ...
. The Great Famine in Ireland of the 1840s drove migrants across the
Irish Sea The Irish Sea or , gv, Y Keayn Yernagh, sco, Erse Sie, gd, Muir Èireann , Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Airish Sea'', cy, Môr Iwerddon . is an extensive body of water that separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. ...
, and many settled in the industrial cities of the North, especially Manchester and Liverpool – at the 1851 census, 13% of the population of Manchester and
Salford Salford () is a city and the largest settlement in the City of Salford metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. In 2011, Salford had a population of 103,886. It is also the second and only other city in the metropolitan county afte ...
were Irish-born, and in Liverpool the figure was 22%. In response there was a wave of
anti-Catholic Anti-Catholicism is hostility towards Catholics or opposition to the Catholic Church, its clergy, and/or its adherents. At various points after the Reformation, some majority Protestant states, including England England is a Countrie ...
riots and Protestant
Orange Order The Loyal Orange Institution, commonly known as the Orange Order, is an international Protestant fraternal order based in Northern Ireland and primarily associated with Ulster Protestants, particularly those of Ulster Scots people, Ulster Sco ...
s proliferated across Northern England, chiefly in Lancashire, but also elsewhere in the North. By 1881 there were 374 Orange organisations in Lancashire, 71 in the North East, and 42 in Yorkshire. From further afield, Northern England saw immigration from European countries such as Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and Scandinavia. Some immigrants were well-to-do industrialists seeking to do business in the booming industrial cities, some were escaping poverty, some were servants or slaves, some were sailors who chose to settle in the port towns, some were Jews fleeing
pogrom A pogrom () is a violent riot incited with the aim of Massacre, massacring or expelling an ethnic or religious group, particularly Jews. The term entered the English language from Russian to describe 19th- and 20th-century Anti-Jewish pogroms in ...
s on the continent, and some were migrants originally stranded at Liverpool after attempting to catch an onwards ship to the United States or to colonies of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. I ...
. At the same time, hundreds of thousands from depressed rural areas of the North emigrated, chiefly to the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.


Deindustrialisation and modern history

The
First World War World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
was the turning point for the economy of Northern England. In the
interwar years In the history of the 20th century, the interwar period lasted from 11 November 1918 to 1 September 1939 (20 years, 9 months, 21 days), the end of the World War I, First World War to the beginning of the World War II, Second World War. The in ...
, the Northern economy began to be eclipsed by the South – in 1913–1914, unemployment in "outer Britain" (the North, plus Scotland and Wales) was 2.6% while the rate in Southern England was more than double that at 5.5%, but in 1937 during the
Great Depression The Great Depression (19291939) was an economic shock that impacted most countries across the world. It was a period of economic depression that became evident after a major fall in stock prices in the United States. The Financial contagion, ...
the outer British unemployment rate was 16.1% and the Southern rate was less than half that at 7.1%. The weakening economy and interwar unemployment caused several episodes of social unrest in the region, including the 1926 general strike and the
Jarrow March The Jarrow March of 5–31 October 1936, also known as the Jarrow Crusade, was an organised protest against the unemployment and poverty suffered in the English town of Jarrow, near Newcastle upon Tyne, during the 1930s. Around 200 men (or "Crus ...
. The Great Depression highlighted the weakness of Northern England's specialised economy: as world trade declined, demand for ships, steel, coal and textiles all fell. For the most part, Northern factories were still using nineteenth-century technology, and were not able to keep up with advances in industries such as motors, chemicals and electricals, while the expansion of the
electric grid An electrical grid is an interconnected network for electricity delivery from producers to consumers. Electrical grids vary in size and can cover whole countries or continents. It consists of:Kaplan, S. M. (2009). Smart Grid. Electrical Power ...
removed the North's advantages in terms of power generation and meant it was now more economic to build new factories in the Midlands or South. The industrial concentration in Northern England made it a major target for
Luftwaffe The ''Luftwaffe'' () was the aerial warfare, aerial-warfare branch of the German ''Wehrmacht'' before and during World War II. German Empire, Germany's military air arms during World War I, the ''Luftstreitkräfte'' of the German Army (Ge ...
attacks during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
.
The Blitz The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the World War II, Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and originated from the term , the German word meaning 'lightning wa ...
of 1940–1941 saw major raids on
Barrow-in-Furness Barrow-in-Furness is a port town in Cumbria, England. Historic counties of England, Historically in Lancashire, it was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1867 and merged with Dalton-in-Furness Urban District in 1974 to form the Borough of B ...
,
Hull Hull may refer to: Structures * Chassis A chassis (, ; plural ''chassis'' from French châssis ) is the load-bearing framework of an artificial object, which structurally supports the object in its construction and function. An example o ...
,
Leeds Leeds () is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...
,
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
,
Merseyside Merseyside ( ) is a metropolitan county, metropolitan and ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of List of ceremonial counties of England, 1.38 million. It encompasses both banks of the Merse ...
, Newcastle and
Sheffield Sheffield is a city status in the United Kingdom, city in South Yorkshire, England, whose name derives from the River Sheaf which runs through it. The city serves as the administrative centre of the City of Sheffield. It is Historic counties o ...
with thousands killed and significant damage to the cities. Liverpool, a vital port for supplies from North America, was especially hard hit – the city was the most bombed in the UK outside London and Hull, with around 4,000 deaths across Merseyside and most of the city centre destroyed. Hull, the worst bombed city outside of London suffered damage to 98% of all buildings, the highest percentage of any town or city. The rebuilding that followed, and the simultaneous
slum clearance Slum clearance, slum eviction or slum removal is an urban renewal strategy used to transform low income settlements with poor reputation into another type of development or housing. This has long been a strategy for redeveloping urban communities; ...
that saw whole neighbourhoods demolished and rebuilt, transformed the faces of Northern cities. Immigration from the "
New Commonwealth The Commonwealth of Nations, simply referred to as the Commonwealth, is a political association of member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former territorial evolution of the British Empire ...
", especially
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
and
Bangladesh Bangladesh (}, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 165 million pe ...
, starting in the 1950s reshaped Northern England once more, and there are now significant populations from the
Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the world, physiographical region in United Nations geoscheme for Asia#Southern Asia, Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian O ...
in towns and cities such as Bradford, Leeds,
Preston Preston is a place name, surname and given name that may refer to: Places England *Preston, Lancashire, an urban settlement **The City of Preston, Lancashire, a borough and non-metropolitan district which contains the settlement **County Boro ...
and Sheffield. Deindustrialisation continued and unemployment gradually increased during the 1970s, but accelerated during the government of
Margaret Thatcher Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher (; 13 October 19258 April 2013) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party (UK), Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. S ...
, who chose not to encourage growth in the North if it risked growth in the South. The era saw the 1984–85 miners' strike, which brought hardship for many Northern mining towns. Northern
metropolitan county The metropolitan counties are a type of county-level administrative division of England. There are six metropolitan counties, which each cover large urban areas, with populations between 1 and 3 million. They were created in 1974 and are each di ...
councils, which were Labour strongholds often with very left-wing leadership (such as Militant-dominated Liverpool and the so-called " People's Republic of South Yorkshire"), had high-profile conflicts with the national government. The increasing awareness of the North–South divide strengthened the distinct Northern English identity, which, despite regeneration in some of the major cities, remains to this day. The region saw several IRA attacks during
the Troubles The Troubles ( ga, Na Trioblóidí) were an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that lasted about 30 years from the late 1960s to 1998. Also known internationally as the Northern Ireland conflict, it is sometimes described as an "i ...
, including the M62 coach bombing, the Warrington bomb attacks and the
1992 File:1992 Events Collage V1.png, From left, clockwise: Riots break out across Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; es, Los Ángeles, link=no , ), often referred to by its initials L.A., is the largest city in the state of California C ...
and
1996 Manchester bombing The 1996 Manchester bombing was an attack carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army The Irish Republican Army (IRA; ), also known as the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and informally as the Provos, was an Irish republican ...
s. The latter was the largest bomb detonation in Great Britain since the end of the Second World War, and damaged or destroyed much of central Manchester. The attack led to Manchester's ageing infrastructure being rebuilt and modernised, sparking the regeneration of the city and making it a leading example of post-industrial redevelopment followed by other cities in the region and beyond.


Demographics

At the 2011 census, Northern England had a population of 14,933,000 – a growth of 5.1% since 2001 – in 6,364,000 households, meaning that Northerners comprise 28% of the English population and 24% of the UK population. Taken overall, 8% of the population of Northern England were born overseas (3% from the European Union including Ireland and 5% from elsewhere), substantially less than the England and Wales average of 13%, and 5% define their nationality as something other than a UK or Irish identity. 90.5% of the population described themselves as white, compared to an England and Wales average of 85.9%; other ethnicities represented include Pakistani (2.9%), Indian (1.3%), Black (1.3%), Chinese (0.6%) and Bangladeshi (0.5%). The broad averages hide significant variation within the region:
Allerdale Allerdale is a non-metropolitan district Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially "shire districts", are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties (colloquially '' ...
and
Redcar and Cleveland Redcar and Cleveland is a borough with unitary authorities of England, unitary authority status in North Yorkshire, England. Its main settlements are Redcar, South Bank, Redcar and Cleveland, South Bank, Eston, Brotton, Guisborough, the Greater ...
had a greater percentage of the population identifying as White British (97.6% each) than any other district in England and Wales, while Manchester (66.5%), Bradford (67.4%) and
Blackburn with Darwen Blackburn with Darwen is a Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough and Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority area in Lancashire, North West England. It consists of the industrial town of Blackburn and the market town of Darwen ...
(69.1%) had among the lowest proportions of White British outside London.


Languages

95% of the Northern population speak English as a first language – compared to an England and Wales average of 92% – and another 4% speak
English as a second language English as a second or foreign language is the use of English by speakers with different native languages. Language education for people learning English may be known as English as a second language (ESL), English as a foreign language (E ...
well or very well. The 5% of the population who have another native language are chiefly speakers of European or South Asian languages. At the 2011 census, the largest languages apart from English were Polish (spoken by 0.7% of the population),
Urdu Urdu (;"Urdu"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
ur, , link=no, ) is an Indo-Aryan languages, In ...
(0.6%) and
Punjabi Punjabi, or Panjabi, most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab Punjab (; Punjabi Language, Punjabi: پنجاب ; ਪੰਜਾਬ ; ; also Romanization, romanised as ''Panjāb'' or ''Panj-Āb'') is a geopolitical, ...
(0.5%), and 0.4% of the population speak a
variety of Chinese Chinese language, Chinese, also known as Sinitic languages, Sinitic, is a branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages, Sino-Tibetan language family consisting of hundreds of local variety (linguistics), varieties, many of which are not mutual intelli ...
: a similar distribution to that in the whole of England. Redcar and Cleveland has the largest proportion of the population speaking English as a first language in England, with 99.3%.


Religion

At the 2011 census, the North East and North West had the largest proportion of Christians in England and Wales; 67.5% and 67.3% respectively (the proportion in Yorkshire and the Humber was lower at 59.5%). Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West both had significant populations of Muslims – 6.2% and 5.1% respectively – while Muslims in the North East made up only 1.8% of the population. All other faiths combined comprised less than 2% of the population in all regions. The census question on religion has been criticised by the
British Humanist Association Humanists UK, known from 1967 until May 2017 as the British Humanist Association (BHA), is a charitable organisation which promotes secular humanism Secular humanism is a philosophy, belief system or life stance that embraces human reason ...
as
leading In typography, leading ( ) is the space between adjacent lines of type; the exact definition varies. In hand typesetting, leading is the thin strips of lead (or aluminium) that were inserted between lines of type in the composing stick to incre ...
, and other surveys of religion tend to find very different results. The 2015 British Election Survey found 52% of Northerners identified as Christian (22%
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...
, 14%
non-denominational A non-denominational person or organization is one that does not follow (or is not restricted to) any particular or specific religious denomination A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name and t ...
Christian, 12%
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan c ...
, 2%
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related Christian denomination, denominations of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John W ...
, and 2% other Christian denominations), 40% as non-religious, 5% as Muslim, 1% as Hindu and 1% as Jewish.


Health

One major manifestation of the North–South divide is in health and
life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, current age, and other demographic factors like sex. The most commonly used measure is life expectancy at birth ...
statistics. All three Northern England statistical regions have lower than average life expectancies and higher than average rates of
cancer Cancer is a group of diseases involving Cell growth#Disorders, abnormal cell growth with the potential to Invasion (cancer), invade or Metastasis, spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread. Poss ...
,
circulatory disease Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart The heart is a muscular organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (biology), a part of an organism Musical instruments * Organ (music), a family of keyboar ...
,
respiratory disease Respiratory diseases, or lung diseases, are pathology, pathological conditions affecting the organs and tissues that make gas exchange difficult in Breathing, air-breathing animals. They include conditions of the respiratory tract including the t ...
and
obesity Obesity is a medical condition, sometimes considered a disease, in which excess Adipose tissue, body fat has accumulated to such an extent that it may negatively affect health. People are classified as obese when their body mass index (BMI) ...
.
Blackpool Blackpool is a seaside resort in Lancashire, England. Located on the North West England, northwest coast of England, it is the main settlement within the Borough of Blackpool, borough also called Blackpool. The town is by the Irish Sea, betw ...
has the lowest life expectancy at birth in England – male life expectancy at birth between 2012 and 2014 was 74.7, against an England-wide average of 79.5 – and the majority of English districts in the bottom 50 were in the North East or the North West. However, regional differences do seem to be slowly narrowing: between 1991 and 1993 and 2012–2014, life expectancy in the North East increased by 6.0 years and in the North West by 5.8 years, the fastest increases in any region outside London, and the gap between life expectancy in the North East and South East is now 2.5 years, down from 2.9 in 1993. These health inequalities manifested during the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
in high infection rates, death rates and
excess mortality Excess may refer to: * Angle excess, in spherical trigonometry * Insurance excess, similar to a deductible * Excess, in chemistry, a reagent that is not the limiting reagent * "Excess", a song by Tricky from the album ''Blowback (album), Blowback' ...
in Northern England, and in severe job losses in the following Great Lockdown recession. By June 2020, the infection rate in Northern England was nearly double that in London, and a study by the Northern Health Science Alliance found that of the six worst affected areas in England during the pandemic in their study, five were located in the North.


Education

Before the 19th century, there were no universities in Northern England. The first was the
University of Durham Durham University (legally the University of Durham) is a collegiate university, collegiate public university, public research university in Durham, England, Durham, England, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charte ...
, founded in 1832 and sometimes counted with the
ancient universities The ancient universities are British and Irish medieval universities and early modern universities founded before the year 1600. Four of these are located in Scotland, two in England, and one in Ireland. The ancient universities in Britain and ...
of
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the Un ...
and
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of the 2021 United Kingdom census, the population of Cambridge was 145,700. Cam ...
, although it post-dates them by many centuries. The next universities built in the North were part of the wave of redbrick universities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, there are seven Northern institutions in the
Russell Group The Russell Group is a self-selected association of twenty-four public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This ...
of leading research universities: Durham, the redbricks of
Leeds Leeds () is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...
,
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, 10th largest English district by population and its E ...
,
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
, Newcastle and
Sheffield Sheffield is a city status in the United Kingdom, city in South Yorkshire, England, whose name derives from the River Sheaf which runs through it. The city serves as the administrative centre of the City of Sheffield. It is Historic counties o ...
and the later
plate glass university The term plate glass university or plateglass university refers to a group of universities in the United Kingdom established or promoted to university status in the 1960s. The original plate glass universities were established following decisi ...
of
York York is a cathedral city with Roman Britain, Roman origins, sited at the confluence of the rivers River Ouse, Yorkshire, Ouse and River Foss, Foss in North Yorkshire, England. It is the historic county town of Yorkshire. The city has many hist ...
. These universities, together with plate-glass Lancaster, form the N8 Research Partnership. There is a significant attainment gap between Northern and Southern schools, and pupils in the three Northern regions are less likely than the national average to achieve five higher-tier
GCSE The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. State schools in Scotland use the Scottish Qualifications Certificate instead. Private sc ...
s, although this may be down to economic disadvantages faced by Northern pupils rather than an actual difference in school quality. Northern students are under-represented at
Oxbridge Oxbridge is a portmanteau of University of Oxford, Oxford and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, the two oldest, wealthiest, and most famous universities in the United Kingdom. The term is used to refer to them collectively, in contrast to oth ...
, where three times as many places go to Southerners as to Northerners, and other Southern universities while Southerners are under-represented at leading Northern universities such as Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds. Due to the educational attainment and university admission disparities between north and south, there are calls for the government to invest in education in disadvantaged parts of Northern England to redress this.


Economy

Like the UK as a whole, the Northern English economy is now dominated by the
service sector The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sectors in the three-sector model (also known as the economic cycle). The others are the primary sector (raw materials) and the second ...
– in September 2016, 82.2% of workers in the Northern statistical regions were employed in services, compared to 83.7% for the UK as a whole. Manufacturing now employs 9.5%, compared to the national average of 7.6%. The unemployment rate in Northern England is 5.3% compared to an England-wide and UK-wide average of 4.8%, and the North East has the highest unemployment rate in the UK, at 7.0% in December 2016, more than one
percentage point A percentage point or percent point is the unit (measurement), unit for the Difference (mathematics), arithmetic difference between two percentages. For example, moving up from 40 percent to 44 percent is an increase of 4 percentage points, but a ...
higher than any other region. In 2015, the
gross value added In economics, gross value added (GVA) is the measure of the value of goods and service (economics), services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy. "Gross value added is the value of output minus the value of intermediate consumptio ...
(GVA) of the Northern English economy was £316 billion, and if it were an independent nation, it would be the tenth largest economy in Europe. The region does have poor growth and
productivity Productivity is the efficiency of production of goods or services expressed by some measure. Measurements of productivity are often expressed as a ratio of an aggregate output to a single input or an aggregate input used in a production proc ...
rates compared to Southern England and to other EU countries. Growth, employment and household income have lagged behind the South, and the five most deprived districts in England are all in Northern England, as are ten of the twelve most declining major towns in the UK. The picture is not clear-cut, as the North has areas which are as wealthy as, if not wealthier than, fashionable Southern areas such as
Surrey Surrey () is a ceremonial county, ceremonial and non-metropolitan county, non-metropolitan counties of England, county in South East England, bordering Greater London to the south west. Surrey has a large rural area, and several significant ur ...
. Yorkshire's
Golden Triangle Golden Triangle may refer to: Places Asia * Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia), named for its opium production * Golden Triangle (Yangtze), China, named for its rapid economic development * Golden Triangle (India), comprising the popular tourist sp ...
which extends from north Leeds to
Harrogate Harrogate ( ) is a spa town and the administrative centre of the Borough of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England. Historic counties of England, Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town is a tourist destination and its visitor at ...
and across to York is an example, as is Cheshire's
Golden Triangle Golden Triangle may refer to: Places Asia * Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia), named for its opium production * Golden Triangle (Yangtze), China, named for its rapid economic development * Golden Triangle (India), comprising the popular tourist sp ...
, centred on
Alderley Edge Alderley Edge is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is th ...
. There are major disparities even across individual cities: Sheffield Hallam is one of the wealthiest constituencies in the country, and is the richest outside London and the South East, while Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, just on the other side of the city, is one of the most deprived. Housing in Northern England is more affordable than the UK average: the median house price in most Northern cities was below £200,000 in 2015 with typical increases of below 10% over the previous five years. However, some areas have seen house prices fall considerably, putting inhabitants at risk of negative equity. The decline of coal mining and manufacturing in Northern England has led to comparisons with the
Rust Belt The Rust Belt is a region of the United States that experienced industrial decline starting in the 1950s. The U.S. manufacturing sector as a percentage of the Economy of the United States, U.S. GDP peaked in 1953 and has been in decline since, ...
in the United States. To stimulate the Northern economy, the government has organised a series of programmes to invest in and develop the region, of which the latest as of 2017 is the
Northern Powerhouse The Northern Powerhouse is a proposal to boost economic growth in the North of England Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North Country, or simply the North, is the northern area of England. It broadly corresponds to ...
. The North has also been a significant recipient of European Union Structural Funds. Between 2007 and 2013, EU funds created around 70,000 jobs in the region, and the majority of Northern Powerhouse funding comes from the
European Regional Development Fund The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is one of the European Structural and Investment Funds allocated by the European Union. Its purpose is to transfer money from richer regions (not countries), and invest it in the infrastructure and se ...
and the
European Investment Bank The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's Investment banking, investment bank and is owned by the Member state of the European Union, EU Member States. It is one of the largest Supranational union, supranational lenders in th ...
. The loss of these funds following
Brexit Brexit (; a portmanteau of "British exit") was the Withdrawal from the European Union, withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) at 23:00 Greenwich Mean Time, GMT on 31 January 2020 (00:00 1 February 2020 Central Eur ...
, combined with potential reductions in exports to the EU, has been identified as a threat to Northern growth.


Public sector

The
public sector The public sector, also called the state sector, is the part of the economy composed of both public services and public enterprises. Public sectors include the public goods and governmental services such as the military, law enforcement, infra ...
is a major employer in Northern England. Between 2000 and 2008, the majority of new jobs created in Northern England were for the government and its suppliers and contractors. All three Northern regions have public sector employment above the national average, and North East has the highest level in England with 20.2% of the workforce in the public sector as of 2016 – down from 23.4% a decade earlier. The austerity programme under the government of
David Cameron David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966) is a British former politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016 and Leader of the Conservative Party (UK), Leader of the Conservative Party from 2005 to ...
saw significant cuts to public services, and the reduction in public sector employment resulted in job losses for around 3% of the Northern England workforce with significant impact on the regional economy.


Agriculture and fisheries

There are of farmland in Northern England. The rough Pennine terrain means that most of Northern England is unsuited for growing crops; like Scotland, Northern farming was traditionally dominated by oats, which grow better than
wheat Wheat is a Poaceae, grass widely Agriculture, cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain that is a worldwide staple food. The Taxonomy of wheat, many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum'' ; the most widely grown is common wheat ...
in poor soil. Today, the mix of cereals and vegetables grown is similar to that of the UK as a whole, but only a minority of land is arable. Only 32% of Northern farmland is primarily used for growing crops, compared to 49% for England as a whole. Conversely, 57% of the land is given over to rearing
livestock Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to provide labor and produce diversified products for consumption such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool Wool is the textile fibre obtained from sheep an ...
, and 33% of England's cattle, 43% of its pigs and 46% of its sheep and lambs are reared in the North. The only part of the region that is predominantly given over to crops is the land around the Humber estuary, where the well-drained fens result in excellent quality land. The lowland Cheshire Plain is mostly given over to dairy farming, while in the Pennines and Cheviots grazing sheep play an important role not just in agriculture but also in land management more generally. Heather moorland in the Pennine uplands is home to
driven grouse shooting Driven grouse shooting is the hunting of the red grouse, a field sports, field sport of the United Kingdom. The grouse-shooting season extends from 12 August, often called the "Glorious Twelfth", to 10 December each year. Large numbers of grouse ...
from 12 August (the
Glorious Twelfth The Glorious Twelfth is the twelfth day of August, the start of the shooting Shooting is the act or process of discharging a projectile from a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon that can engage targets beyond hand-to-hand dista ...
) until 10 December every year. The number of grouse moors in Northern England is a major threat to natural predators, which are often killed by gamekeepers to protect grouse, and as a result, the Cumbria Wildlife Trust describes the North's moors as a "black hole" for the endangered
hen harrier The hen harrier (''Circus cyaneus'') is a bird of prey. It breeds in Palearctic, Eurasia. The term "hen harrier" refers to its former habit of preying on free-ranging fowl. It bird migration, migrates to more southerly areas in winter. Eurasian ...
. Sea fishing is an important industry for Northern coastal towns. Major fishing ports include
Fleetwood Fleetwood is a coastal town in the Borough of Wyre in Lancashire, England, at the northwest corner of the Fylde. It had a population of 25,939 at the United Kingdom Census 2011, 2011 census. Fleetwood acquired its modern character in the 1830 ...
, Grimsby, Hull and Whitby. At its height, Grimsby was the largest fishing port in the world, but the Northern fishing industry suffered greatly from a series of events in the second half of the twentieth century: the
Cod Wars The Cod Wars ( is, Þorskastríðin; also known as , ; german: Kabeljaukriege) were a series of 20th-century confrontations between the United Kingdom (with aid from West Germany) and Iceland about Exclusive economic zone, fishing rights in the ...
with
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic island country in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most list of countries and dependencies by population density, sparsely populated coun ...
and establishment of the exclusive economic zone ended British access to rich North Atlantic fishing grounds, while the North Sea was badly
overfished Overfishing is the removal of a species of fish (i.e. fishing) from a body of water at a rate greater than that the species can replenish its population naturally (i.e. the overexploitation of the fishery's existing Fish stocks, fish stock), resu ...
and the European
Common Fisheries Policy The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fishery, fisheries policy of the European Union (EU). It sets quotas for which Member state of the European Union, member states are allowed to catch each type of fish, as well as encouraging the fishin ...
put strict quotas on catches to protect the almost depleted stocks. Grimsby is now transitioning to the processing of imported
seafood Seafood is any form of Marine life, sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including Fish as food, fish and shellfish. Shellfish include various species of Mollusca, molluscs (e.g. bivalve molluscs such as clams, oysters and mussels ...
and to offshore wind to replace its fishing fleet.


Manufacturing and energy

Northern England has a strong export-based economy, with trade more balanced than the UK average, and the North East is the only region of England to regularly export more than it imports. Chemicals, vehicles, machinery and other manufactured goods make up the majority of Northern exports, just over half of which go to EU countries. Major manufacturing plants include car plants at Vauxhall Ellesmere Port,
Jaguar Land Rover Halewood Jaguar Land Rover Halewood is a Jaguar Land Rover factory plant in Halewood, Merseyside, England, and forms the major part of the factory complex in Halewood which is shared with Ford of Britain who manufacture transmissions at the site, and who ...
and Nissan Sunderland, the
Leyland Trucks Leyland Trucks is a medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturer based in Leyland, Lancashire, Leyland, Lancashire, England. It can trace its origins back to the original Leyland Motors, which was founded in 1896, and subsequently evolved into B ...
factory, the
Hitachi Newton Aycliffe Hitachi Newton Aycliffe (also known as Newton Aycliffe Manufacturing Facility) is a Rail transport, railway rolling stock assembly plant owned by Hitachi Rail, Hitachi Rail Europe, situated in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, in the North East o ...
train plant, the
Humber The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal rivers River Ouse, Yorkshire, Ouse and River Trent, Trent. From there to the North Sea, it for ...
,
Lindsey Lindsey may refer to : Places Canada * Lindsey Lake, Nova Scotia England * Parts of Lindsey, one of the historic Parts of Lincolnshire and an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 ** East Lindsey East Lindsey is a Non-metropolitan dist ...
and
Stanlow Stanlow Refinery is an oil refinery owned by Essar Energy in Ellesmere Port, North West England. Until 2011 it was owned by Royal Dutch Shell, Shell UK. The refinery is situated on the south bank of the Manchester Ship Canal, which is used to t ...
oil refineries, the NEPIC cluster of chemical works based around Teesside, and the nuclear processing facilities at
Springfields Springfields is a nuclear fuel, nuclear fuel production installation in Salwick, near Preston, Lancashire, Preston in Lancashire, England (). The site is currently operated by Springfields Fuels Limited, under the management of Westinghouse Elec ...
and
Sellafield Sellafield is a large multi-function nuclear site close to Seascale on the coast of Cumbria, England. As of August 2022, primary activities are nuclear waste storage, nuclear waste processing and storage and nuclear decommissioning. Former act ...
. Offshore oil and gas from North Sea and Irish Sea, and more recently
offshore wind power Offshore wind power or offshore wind energy is the Wind power, generation of electricity through wind farms in bodies of water, usually at sea. There are higher wind speeds offshore than on land, so offshore farms generate more electricity per ...
, are significant components in Northern England's energy mix. Although deep-pit coal mining in the UK ended in 2015 with the closure of Kellingley Colliery, North Yorkshire, there are still several
open-pit mines Open-pit mining, also known as open-cast or open-cut mining and in larger contexts mega-mining, is a surface mining technique of extracting rock (geology), rock or minerals from the earth from an open-air pit, sometimes known as a Borrow pit, b ...
in the area.
Shale gas Shale gas is an Unconventional (oil & gas) reservoir, unconventional natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. Since the 1990s a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has made large volumes of shale gas m ...
is especially prevalent across Northern England, although plans to extract it through
hydraulic fracturing Fracking (also known as hydraulic fracturing, hydrofracturing, or hydrofracking) is a well stimulation technique involving the fracturing of bedrock Formation (geology), formations by a pressurized liquid. The process involves the high-pressure ...
("fracking") have proven to be controversial.


Retail and services

Around 10% of the Northern England workforce is employed in retail.IPPR North (2012), pp. 190–192 Of the Big Four supermarkets in the UK, two –
Asda Asda Stores Ltd. () (often styled as ASDA) is a British supermarket chain. Its headquarters are in Leeds, England. The company was founded in 1949 when the Asquith family merged their retail business with the Associated Dairies company of York ...
and
Morrisons Wm Morrison Supermarkets, trading as Morrisons, is the List of supermarket chains in the United Kingdom, fifth largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. As of 2021, the company had 497 supermarkets across England, Wales and Scotland, as ...
– are based in the North. Northern England was the birthplace of the modern cooperative movement, and the Manchester-based
Co-operative Group Co-operative Group Limited, trading as Co-op, is a British consumer co-operative with a group of retail businesses including food retail, wholesale, e-pharmacy, insurance and legal services, and funeral care. The Co-operative Group has ove ...
has the highest revenue of any firm in the North West.Wilson, J. F., Webster, A. and Vorberg-Rugh, R. (2013) "Building Co-operation: A business history of The Co-operative Group", Oxford University Press, Oxford The area is also home to many online retailers, with startups emerging around tech hubs in Northern cities. With urban regeneration, high-value service sector industries such as
corporate services Corporate services or business services are activities which combine or consolidate certain Business, enterprise-wide needed support services, provided based on specialized knowledge, best practices, and technology to serve internal (and sometimes ...
and
financial services Financial services are the Service (economics), economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, insurance companies, acco ...
have taken root in Northern England, with major hubs around Leeds and Manchester.
Call centre A call centre (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth spelling) or call center (American English, American spelling; American and British English spelling differences#-re, -er, see spelling differences) is a managed capability th ...
s – attracted by low labour costs and a preference for Northern English accents among the public – have replaced heavy industry as major employers of unskilled workers, with more than 5% of workers in all Northern England regions working in one.


High-tech and research

Together, the N8 research universities have over 190,000 students and contribute more to the Northern economy in terms of GVA than agriculture, car manufacturing or media. Discoveries and inventions at these universities have resulted in
spin-offs Spin-off may refer to: *Spin-off (media), a media work derived from an existing work *Corporate spin-off, a type of corporate action that forms a new company or entity * Government spin-off, civilian goods which are the result of military or gove ...
worth hundreds of millions to local economies: the discovery of
graphene Graphene () is an allotrope of carbon consisting of a Single-layer materials, single layer of atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice nanostructure.
at the University of Manchester produced the National Graphene Institute and the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, while robotics research at the University of Sheffield led to the development of the
Advanced Manufacturing Park The Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) is a manufacturing technology park in Waverley, South Yorkshire, Waverley, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It was partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and developed by thHarworth ...
. Recent decades have seen the growth of high-tech companies based around Northern England's major cities. There are eleven high-tech firms worth over $1 billion based in the region, and digital industries support around 300,000 jobs.
Game development Video game development (or gamedev) is the process of developing a video game Video games, also known as computer games, are electronic games that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game cont ...
, online retail,
health technology Health technology is defined by the World Health Organization as the "application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of li ...
and
analytics Analytics is the systematic computational analysis of data or statistics. It is used for the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data. It also entails applying data patterns toward effective decision-making. It ...
are among the major high-tech sectors in the North.


Leisure and tourism

The expansion of the railway network in the second half of the nineteenth century meant most in the North lived within reach of the coast, and seaside towns saw a major tourism boom. By around 1870 Blackpool on the Lancashire coast had become overwhelmingly the most popular destination – not just for Northern families, but many from the Midlands and Scotland as well. Other resorts popular with Northerners included
Morecambe Morecambe ( ) is a seaside town and civil parish in the City of Lancaster district in Lancashire, England. It is in Morecambe Bay on the Irish Sea. Name The first use of the name was by John Whitaker (historian), John Whitaker in his ''History ...
in northern Lancashire,
Whitley Bay Whitley Bay is a seaside town A seaside resort is a resort town, town, village, or hotel that serves as a Resort, vacation resort and is located on a coast. Sometimes the concept includes an aspect of official accreditation based on the satisfac ...
near Newcastle, Whitby in
North Yorkshire North Yorkshire is the largest ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county (lieutenancy area) in England, covering an area of . Around 40% of the county is covered by National parks of the United Kingdom, national parks, including most of ...
, and New Brighton on the
Wirral Peninsula Wirral (; ), known locally as The Wirral, is a peninsula in North West England. The roughly rectangular peninsula is about long and wide and is bounded by the River Dee, Wales, River Dee to the west (forming the boundary with Wales), the Ri ...
, as well as
Rhyl Rhyl (; cy, Y Rhyl, ) is a seaside town A seaside resort is a resort town, town, village, or hotel that serves as a Resort, vacation resort and is located on a coast. Sometimes the concept includes an aspect of official accreditation based on ...
over the border in
North Wales North Wales ( cy, Gogledd Cymru) is a regions of Wales, region of Wales, encompassing its northernmost areas. It borders Mid Wales to the south, England to the east, and the Irish Sea to the north and west. The area is highly mountainous and rural, ...
. The same social forces that had built these resorts in the nineteenth century proved to be their undoing in the twentieth. Transport links continued to improve and it became possible to travel overseas quickly and affordably. The Belgian coast at
Ostend Ostend ( nl, Oostende, ; french: link=no, Ostende ; german: link=no, Ostende ; vls, Ostende) is a coastal City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality, located in the Provinces of Belgium, province of West Flanders ...
became popular with Northern working-class tourists in the first half of the twentieth century, and the introduction of
package holiday A package tour, package vacation, or package holiday comprises transport and lodging, accommodation advertised and sold together by a vendor known as a tour operator. Other services may be provided such as a rental car, activities or outings durin ...
s in the 1970s was the death of most Northern seaside resorts. Blackpool has maintained a focus on tourism, and remains one of the most visited towns in England, but visitor numbers are far below their peak and the town's economy has suffered – both employment rates and average earnings remain below the regional average. The wild landscapes of the North are a major draw for tourists, and many urban areas are looking for regeneration through industrial,
heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * A heritage asset is a preexisting thing of value today ** Cultural heritage is created by humans ** Natural heritage is not * Heritage language Biology * Heredity, biological inheritance of physical c ...
and
cultural tourism Cultural tourism is a type of tourism activity in which the visitor's essential motivation is to learn, discover, experience and consume the tangible and intangible cultural attractions/products in a tourism destination. These attractions/produ ...
: of the 24 national museums and galleries in England outside London, 14 are located in the North. In 2015, Northern England received around a quarter of all
domestic tourism Domestic tourism is tourism involving residents of one country traveling only within that country. Such a vacation is known as a domestic vacation (British: domestic holiday or holiday at home). For large countries with limited skill in foreign lan ...
within the UK, with 28.7 million visitors in 2015, but only 8% of international tourists to the United Kingdom visit the region.


Media


Television

As part of a drive to reduce media centralisation in London, the BBC and ITV have moved much of their programme production to
MediaCityUK MediaCityUK is a mixed-use property development on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in City of Salford, Salford, Greater Manchester, England. The project was developed by The Peel Group, Peel Media; its principal tenants are Mass media, ...
in Salford and
Channel 4 Channel 4 is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network operated by the state-owned Channel Four Television Corporation. It began its transmission on 2 November 1982 and was established to provide a fourth television servic ...
has moved its headquarters to Leeds. Of the four national evening
soap opera A soap opera, or ''soap'' for short, is a typically long-running radio or television Serial (radio and television), serial, frequently characterized by melodrama, ensemble casts, and sentimentality. The term "soap opera" originated from radio drama ...
s, three are set and filmed in Northern England (''
Coronation Street ''Coronation Street'' is an English soap opera created by ITV Granada, Granada Television and shown on ITV (TV network), ITV since 9 December 1960. The programme centres around a cobbled, terraced street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based ...
'' in Manchester, ''
Emmerdale ''Emmerdale'' (known as ''Emmerdale Farm'' until 1989) is a Television in the United Kingdom, British soap opera that is broadcast on ITV (TV channel), ITV1. The show is set in Emmerdale (known as Beckindale until 1994), a List of fictional ...
'' in the Yorkshire Dales and ''
Hollyoaks ''Hollyoaks'' is a British soap opera which began airing on Channel 4 on 23 October 1995. It was created by Phil Redmond, who had previously conceived the soap opera ''Brookside (TV series), Brookside''. Since 2005, episodes have been aired on ...
'' in Liverpool but set in Chester) and these are important to the local TV industry – the commitment to ''Emmerdale'' saved ITV Yorkshire's Leeds Studios from closure. The region also has a reputation for drama serials and has produced some the most successful and acclaimed series of recent decades, including ''
Boys from the Blackstuff ''Boys from the Blackstuff'' is a British drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, ra ...
'', ''
Our Friends in the North ''Our Friends in the North'' is a Television in the United Kingdom, British television drama Serial (radio and television), serial produced by the BBC. It was originally broadcast in nine episodes on BBC Two, BBC2 in early 1996. Written by Pete ...
'', ''
Clocking Off ''Clocking Off'' is a British television drama series which was broadcast on BBC One for four series from 2000 to 2003. It was produced for the BBC by the independent Red Production Company, and created by Paul Abbott. It was effectively an ant ...
'', '' Shameless'', '' Waterloo Road'' and ''
Last Tango in Halifax ''Last Tango in Halifax'' is a Television in the United Kingdom, British comedy-drama series that began broadcasting on BBC One on 20 November 2012 until its final episode which was broadcast on 15 March 2020. Screenwriter Sally Wainwright loos ...
''.


Newspapers

Since ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'' (formerly ''The Manchester Guardian'') moved to London in 1964, no major national paper is based in the North, and Northern news stories tend to be poorly covered in the national press. ''
The Yorkshire Post ''The Yorkshire Post'' is a daily broadsheet A broadsheet is the largest newspaper format and is characterized by long vertical pages, typically of . Other common newspaper formats include the smaller Berliner and tabloid– compact ...
'' promotes itself as "Yorkshire's national paper" and covers some national and international stories, but is primarily focused on news from Yorkshire and the North East. An attempt in 2016 to create a dedicated North-focused national newspaper, ''24'', failed after six weeks. Across Northern England as a whole, '' The Sun'' is the best selling newspaper, but the ongoing boycott around Merseyside following the newspaper's coverage of the 1989
Hillsborough disaster The Hillsborough disaster was a fatal human crush during a football match at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, on 15 April 1989. It occurred during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool Liverpool is a Cit ...
has seen the paper fall behind both the ''
Daily Mail The ''Daily Mail'' is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper and news websitePeter Wilb"Paul Dacre of the Daily Mail: The man who hates liberal Britain", ''New Statesman'', 19 December 2013 (online version: 2 January 2014) publis ...
'' and the ''
Daily Mirror The ''Daily Mirror'' is a British national daily Tabloid journalism, tabloid. Founded in 1903, it is owned by parent company Reach plc. From 1985 to 1987, and from 1997 to 2002, the title on its Masthead (British publishing), masthead was simpl ...
'' in the North West. In general national readership in the North drags behind that of the South; the ''Mirror'' and the '' Daily Star'' are the only national papers with more readers in Northern England than in the South East and London. Local newspapers are the top-selling titles in both the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber, although Northern regional newspapers have seen steep declines in readership in recent years. Only seven daily Northern papers had circulation figures above 25,000 in June 2016: ''
Manchester Evening News The ''Manchester Evening News'' (''MEN'') is a regional daily newspaper covering Greater Manchester in North West England, founded in 1868. It is published Monday–Saturday; a Sunday edition, the ''MEN on Sunday'', was launched in February 201 ...
'', ''
Liverpool Echo The ''Liverpool Echo'' is a newspaper published by Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales – a subsidiary company of Reach plc and is based in St Paul's Square, Liverpool, Merseyside, England. It is published Monday to Sunday, and is Liverpo ...
'', ''
Hull Daily Mail The ''Hull Daily Mail'' is an English regional daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray ...
'', ''
Newcastle Chronicle The ''Evening Chronicle'', now referred to as ''The Comical'', is a daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink w ...
'', ''The Yorkshire Post'' and ''
The Northern Echo ''The Northern Echo'' is a regional daily morning newspaper based in the town of Darlington in North East England, serving mainly southern County Durham and northern Yorkshire. The paper covers national as well as regional news. In 2007, its the ...
''.


Communications

Manchester Network Access Point is the only
internet exchange point Internet exchange points (IXes or IXPs) are common grounds of Internet Protocol, IP networking, allowing participant Internet service provider, Internet service providers (ISPs) to exchange data destined for their respective networks. IXPs are ...
in the UK outside London, and forms the main hub for the region. Household internet access in Northern England is at or above the UK average, but speeds and broadband penetration vary greatly. In 2013 the average speed in central Manchester was 60 
Mbit/s In telecommunications, data-transfer rate is the average number of bits (bitrate), characters or symbols (baudrate), or data blocks per unit time passing through a communication link in a data-transmission system. Common data rate units are multi ...
, while in nearby
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
the average speed was only 6.2 Mbit/s. Hull, which is unique in the UK in that its telephone network was never nationalised, has simultaneously some of the fastest and slowest internet speeds in the country: many households have "ultrafast" fibre optic broadband as standard, but it is also one of only two places in the UK where over 30% of businesses receive less than 10 Mbit/s. Speeds are especially poor in the rural parts of the North, with many small towns and villages completely without high speed access. Some areas have therefore formed their own community enterprises, such as
Broadband 4 Rural North Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN, read as "BARN") is a community-led project to bring high-speed broadband In telecommunications, broadband is wide bandwidth data transmission which transports multiple signals at a wide range of freque ...
in Lancashire and Cybermoor in Cumbria, to install high-speed internet connections.
Mobile broadband Mobile broadband is the marketing term for Wireless broadband, wireless Internet access via mobile networks. Access to the network can be made through a portable modem, wireless modem, or a Tablet computer, tablet/smartphone (possibly Tetherin ...
coverage is similarly patchy, with 3G and 4G almost universal in cities but unavailable in large parts of Yorkshire, the North East and Cumbria.


Culture and identity

The individual regions of the North have had their own identities and cultures for centuries, but with industrialisation, mass media and the opening of the North–South divide, a common Northern identity began to develop. This identity was initially a reactionary response to Southern prejudices—the North of the nineteenth century was largely depicted as a dirty, wild and uncultured place, even in sympathetic depictions such as
Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (''née'' Stevenson; 29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865), often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist, biographer and short story writer. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many st ...
's 1855 novel '' North and South''—but became an affirmation of what Northerners saw as their own personal strengths. Traits stereotypically associated with Northern England are straight-talking, grit and warmheartedness, as compared to the supposedly effete Southerners. Northern England—especially Lancashire, but also Yorkshire and the North East—has a tradition of
matriarchal Matriarchy is a social system in which women hold the primary power positions in roles of authority. In a broader sense it can also extend to moral authority, social privilege and control of property. While those definitions apply in general En ...
families, where the woman of the house runs the home and controls the family's finances. This too has its roots in industrialisation, when mills offered well-paid work for women: during depressions when demand for coal and steel were low, women were often the main breadwinners. Northern women are still stereotyped as strong-willed and independent, or affectionately as
battle-axe A battle axe (also battle-axe, battle ax, or battle-ax) is an axe (tool), axe specifically designed for combat. Battle axes were specialized versions of utility axes. Many were suitable for use in one hand, while others were larger and were dep ...
s.


"It's grim up north"

The phrase ''it's grim up north'' is associated with
coal mining Coal mining is the process of resource extraction, extracting coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its Energy value of coal, energy content and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use c ...
, industrial mills, weather and the way of life in the north of England during the Victorian and post World War I eras, when mills and coal mining, as well
railways Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transport that transfers passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are incorporated in Track (rail transport), tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the ...
,
child labour Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful. Such ...
and slums were common. The phrase is often used by those who are not from the north of England, who paint the north as being different to the south of England. The current mayor of Greater Manchester,
Andy Burnham Andrew Murray Burnham (born 7 January 1970) is a British politician who has served as Mayor of Greater Manchester since 2017 Greater Manchester mayoral election, 2017. He served in Gordon Brown's Brown ministry, Cabinet as Chief Secretary to th ...
has quoted the north as being grim, but not a bad thing. The phrase was quoted in 1991 when the band The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu a.k.a.
The KLF The KLF (also known as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, the JAMs, the Timelords and other names) are a British electronic band formed in London in 1987. Bill Drummond (alias King Boy D) and Jimmy Cauty (alias Rockman Rock) began by releasing h ...
used it in relation to a lot of places in the north of England including
Cheshire Cheshire ( ) is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and Historic counties of England, historic county in North West England, bordered by Wales to the west, Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, and Sta ...
,
Greater Manchester Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority, combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: City of Manchester, Manchester, City of Salford, Salford ...
,
Lancashire Lancashire ( , ; abbreviated Lancs) is the name of a Historic counties of England, historic county, Ceremonial County, ceremonial county, and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The boundaries of these three areas differ significa ...
,
Merseyside Merseyside ( ) is a metropolitan county, metropolitan and ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of List of ceremonial counties of England, 1.38 million. It encompasses both banks of the Merse ...
and
Yorkshire Yorkshire ( ; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a Historic counties of England, historic county in northern England and by far the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its large area in comparison with other Eng ...
. As well as parts of the East Midlands Region and
Cumbria Cumbria ( ) is a ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England, bordering Scotland. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the ...
and they use the phrase repeatedly in their song of the same name.


Clothing

The North of England is often stereotypically represented through the clothing worn by working-class men and women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Working men would wear a heavy jacket and trousers held up by braces, an overcoat, and a hat, typically a
flat cap A flat cap is a rounded cap with a small stiff brim in front, originating in Britain and Ireland. The hat is known in Ireland as a paddy cap; in Scotland as a bunnet; in Wales as a Dai cap; and in the United States as an English cap, Irish cap ...
, while women would wear a
dress A dress (also known as a frock or a gown) is a garment traditionally worn by women or girls consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice (or a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece Clothing, garment). It consists of a top piece th ...
, or a
skirt A skirt is the lower part of a dress or a separate outer garment that covers a person from the waist downwards. At its simplest, a skirt can be a draped garment made out of a single piece of fabric (such as pareos). However, most skirts are fi ...
and
blouse A blouse (blau̇s, 'blau̇z, ) is a loose-fitting upper garment that was worn by workmen, peasants, artists, women, and children.The Concise Oxford English Dictionary It is typically gathered at the waist or hips (by tight hem, pleats, parter ...
, with an
apron An apron is a garment that is worn over other clothing to cover the front of the body. The word comes from old French ''napron'' meaning a small piece of cloth, however over time "a napron" became "an apron", through a linguistics process cal ...
on top as protection from dirt; in colder months they would often wear a
shawl A shawl (from fa, شال ''shāl'',) is a simple item of clothing from Kashmir, loosely worn over the shoulders, upper body and arms, and sometimes also over the head. It is usually a rectangular or Square (geometry), square piece of Textile, ...
or
headscarf A headscarf is a scarf covering most or all of the top of a person's, usually women's, hair and head, leaving the face uncovered. A headscarf is formed of a triangular cloth or a square cloth folded into a triangle, with which the head is cov ...
. The maud, a woollen plaid woven in a pattern of small black and white checks, was also popular in Northern England until the early twentieth century. If not wearing leather lace-up shoes, some men and women would have worn English clogs, which were hardwearing and had replaceable soles and tips. Factory workers tapping their feet in time with the click of machinery developed a type of folk clog dance referred to as ''
clogging Clogging is a type of folk dance practiced in the United States, in which the dancer's footwear is used percussively by striking the heel, the toe, or both against a floor or each other to create audible rhythms, usually to the Beat (music)#Downb ...
'', which was intricately developed in the North. In the second half of the twentieth century, these traditional clothes fell out of fashion. Other styles such as " casual clobber" (
mainland Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regio ...
an
designer clothing Designer clothing is expensive luxury clothing considered to be high quality and haute couture ''Haute couture'' (; ; French for 'high sewing', 'high dressmaking') is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted high-end fashion design that i ...
brought back by touring football fans) and
sportswear Sportswear or activewear is clothing#Sport and activity, clothing, including footwear#Shoes, footwear, worn for sport or physical exercise. Sport-specific clothing is worn for most sports and physical exercise, for practical, comfort or safe ...
became more popular, and the influence of Northern bands and football teams helped spread them across the country. In the twenty-first century, some traditional Northern items of clothing have begun to make a comeback – in particular, the flat cap.


Cuisine

Impressions of Northern English cuisine are still shaped by the working-class diet of the early twentieth century, which was heavy on
offal Offal (), also called variety meats, pluck or organ meats, is the Organ (anatomy), organs of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but usually excludes muscle. Offa ...
, high in calories and often not particularly healthy. Dishes such as
black pudding Black pudding is a distinct regional type of blood sausage originating in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is made from pork or beef blood, with Lard, pork fat or Suet, beef suet, and a cereal, usually oatmeal, oat groats, or ...
,
tripe Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various Livestock, farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle, pigs and sheep. Types of tripe Beef tripe Beef tripe is made from the muscle wall (the interior mucosal lining is removed) of a ...
,
mushy peas Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas which are first soaked overnight in water with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and then rinsed in fresh water, after which the peas are gathered in a saucepan, covered with water, and brought to a boil, and ...
and
meat pie A meat pie is a pie with a filling of meat and often with other savory ingredients. They are found in cuisines worldwide. Meat pies are usually baked, Frying, fried, or deep fried to brown them and develop the flavour through the Maillard react ...
remain stereotypical Northern English foods in the national imagination. As a result, there is a concerted effort among Northern chefs to improve the region's image. Some Northern dishes such as
Yorkshire pudding Yorkshire pudding is a baked pudding Pudding is a type of food. It can be either a dessert or a Savoury (dish), savoury (salty or spicy) dish served as part of the main meal. In the United States, ''pudding'' means a sweet, milk-based d ...
and
Lancashire hotpot Lancashire hotpot is a stew originating from Lancashire in the North West of England. It consists of Lamb and mutton, lamb or mutton and onion, topped with sliced potatoes (or a more traditional topping of pastry or puff pastry) and baked in a ...
have spread across the UK, and only their names now hint at their origin. Among the Northern delicacies that have achieved
Protected Geographical Status Three European Union schemes of geographical indications and Traditional food, traditional specialties, known as protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI), and traditional specialities guaranteed (TSG), promo ...
are traditional Cumberland sausage,
traditional Grimsby smoked fish Traditional Grimsby smoked fish are regionally processed fish food products from the British fishing town of Grimsby, England. Grimsby has long been associated with the sea fishing industry, which once gave the town much of its wealth. At its peak ...
, Swaledale cheese, Yorkshire forced rhubarb and Yorkshire Wensleydale. The North is known for its often crumbly cheeses, of which Cheshire cheese is the earliest example. Unlike Southern cheeses like Cheddar, Northern cheeses typically use uncooked milk and a pre-salted curd pressed under enormous weights, resulting in a moist, sharp-tasting cheese. Wensleydale, another crumbly cheese, is unusual in that it is often served as a side to sweet cakes, which are themselves well represented in Northern England. Parkin, an
oatmeal Oatmeal is a Rolled oats, preparation of oats that have been dehusked, de-husked, Steaming, steamed, and flattened, or a coarse flour of hulled oat grains (Groat (grain), groats) that have either been mill (grinding), milled (ground) or steel-cut ...
cake with
black treacle Molasses () is a viscosity, viscous substance resulting from sugar refining, refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. Molasses varies in the amount of sugar, method of extraction and age of the plant. Sugarcane molasses is primarily used to ...
and
ginger Ginger (''Zingiber officinale'') is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or ginger, is widely used as a spice and a folk medicine. It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual pseudostems (false stems made of the rolled bases ...
, is a traditional treat across the North on
Bonfire Night Bonfire Night is a name given to various annual celebrations characterised by bonfire A bonfire is a large and controlled outdoor fire, used either for informal disposal of burnable waste material or as part of a celebration. Etymolog ...
, and the fruity
scone A scone is a baked good, usually made of either wheat or oatmeal with baking powder as a leavening agent, and baked on sheet pans. A scone is often slightly sweetened and occasionally Glaze (cooking technique), glazed with egg wash. The scone ...
-like singing hinny and fat rascal are popular in the North East and Yorkshire respectively. While a variety of beers are popular across Northern England, the region is especially associated with
brown ale Brown ale is a Beer style, style of beer with a dark amber or brown colour. The term was first used by London brewers in the late 17th century to describe their products, such as mild ale, though the term has a rather different meaning today. 18th ...
s such as Newcastle Brown Ale, Double Maxim and
Samuel Smith's Samuel Smith Old Brewery, popularly known as Samuel Smith's or Sam Smith's, is an independent brewery and pub owner based in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England. It is Yorkshire's oldest brewery, founded in 1758, and one of three breweries in th ...
Nut Brown Ale. Beer in the North is usually served with a thick
head A head is the part of an organism which usually includes the ears, brain, forehead, cheeks, chin, eyes, nose, and mouth, each of which aid in various sensory functions such as visual perception, sight, hearing, olfaction, smell, and taste. Some ...
which accentuates the nutty, malty flavours preferred in Northern beers. On the non-alcoholic side, the North – in particular, Lancashire – was the hub of the
temperance bar A temperance bar, also known as an alcohol-free bar, sober bar, or dry bar, is a type of bar that does not serve alcoholic beverage An alcoholic beverage (also called an alcoholic drink, adult beverage, or a drink) is a drink that conta ...
movement which popularised
soft drink A soft drink (see #Terminology, § Terminology for other names) is a drink that usually contains water (often Carbonated water, carbonated), a Sweetness, sweetener, and a natural and/or Artificial Flavoring, artificial flavoring. The sweetene ...
s such as
dandelion and burdock Dandelion and burdock is a beverage consumed in the British Isles since the Middle Ages. It was originally a type of light mead but over the years has evolved into the carbonated soft drink commercially available today. Traditionally, it was mad ...
, Tizer and
Vimto Vimto is a soft drink A soft drink (see #Terminology, § Terminology for other names) is a drink that usually contains water (often Carbonated water, carbonated), a Sweetness, sweetener, and a natural and/or Artificial Flavoring, artifici ...
. According to ''
The Tab ''The Tab'' is a tabloid-style youth news site, published by Tab Media Ltd. It was launched at the University of Cambridge The University of Cambridge is a Public university, public collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cam ...
'', the bakery chain
Greggs Greggs plc is a British bakery chain. It specialises in savoury products such as bakes, sausage rolls, sandwiches and sweet items including doughnuts and vanilla slices. It is headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is listed on t ...
is an integral part of Northern identity, using the number of people per Greggs as an indicator as to whether a town should be considered Northern. Immigration to Northern England has shaped its cuisine. The Teesside parmo is one example, derived from escalope Parmesan brought to the area by an
Italian-American Italian Americans ( it, italoamericani or ''italo-americani'', ) are Americans who have full or partial Italians, Italian ancestry. The largest concentrations of Italian Americans are in the urban Northeastern United States, Northeast and indus ...
immigrant and adapted to the region's taste. There are large
Chinatown A Chinatown () is an ethnic enclave of Chinese people located outside Greater China, most often in an urban setting. Areas known as "Chinatown" exist throughout the world, including Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Aust ...
s in
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, 10th largest English district by population and its E ...
,
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
and Newcastle, and communities from the
Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the world, physiographical region in United Nations geoscheme for Asia#Southern Asia, Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian O ...
in all major towns. Bradford has won the Federation of Specialist Restaurant's "Curry Capital" title six years in a row as of 2016, while the Curry Mile in Manchester formerly had the largest concentration of curry restaurants in the UK and now offers a wide range of
South Asian South Asia is the southern Subregion#Asia, subregion of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, ...
and
Middle Eastern cuisine Middle Eastern cuisine or West Asian cuisine includes Arab cuisine, Arab, Armenian cuisine, Armenian, Assyrian cuisine, Assyrian, Azerbaijani cuisine, Azerbaijani, Cypriot cuisine, Cypriot, Egyptian cuisine, Egyptian, Georgian cuisine, Georgian ...
.


Music

Traditional
folk music Folk music is a music genre that includes #Traditional folk music, traditional folk music and the Contemporary folk music, contemporary genre that evolved from the former during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be c ...
in Northern England is a combination of styles of England and Scotland – what is now called the Anglo-Scottish
border ballad Border ballads are a group of songs in the long tradition of ballad A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads derive from the medieval French ''chanson balladée'' or ''Ballade (forme fixe), ballade'', which were ...
was once prevalent as far south as Lancashire. In the Middle Ages, much of Northern folk was accompanied by
bagpipes Bagpipes are a woodwind instrument using enclosed reed (music), reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. The Great Highland bagpipes are well known, but people have played bagpipes for centuries throughout large parts o ...
, with styles including the Lancashire bagpipe, Yorkshire bagpipe and
Northumbrian smallpipes The Northumbrian smallpipes (also known as the Northumbrian pipes) are bellows-blown bagpipes from North East England, where they have been an important factor in the local musical culture for more than 250 years. The family of the Duke of Nor ...
. These disappeared in the early nineteenth century from the industrialising south of the region, but remain in the music of Northumbria. The
British brass band In Britain, a brass band (known regionally as a silver band or colliery band) is a musical ensemble comprising a standardized range of brass and percussion instruments. The modern form of the brass band in the United Kingdom dates back to the 1 ...
tradition began in Northern England at around the same time: the dismissal of the Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire
military band A military band is a group of personnel that performs musical duties for military functions, usually for the armed forces. A typical military band consists mostly of wind instrument, wind and percussion instruments. The conducting, conductor of a ...
s after the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic Wars, Europe ...
, combined with the desire of industrial communities to better themselves, led to the founding of civilian bands. These bands provided entertainment at community events and led protest marches during the era of radical agitation. Although the style has since spread across much of Great Britain, brass bands remain a stereotype of the North, and the Whit Friday brass band contests draw hundreds of bands from across the UK and further afield. Northern England also has a thriving
popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training.Popular Music. (2015). ''Funk ...
scene. Influential movements include
Merseybeat Beat music, British beat, or Merseybeat is a British popular music Music genre, genre that developed, particularly in and around Liverpool, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The genre melded influences from Music of the United States, American ...
from the Liverpool area, which produced
The Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most influential band of al ...
, Northern soul, which brought
Motown Motown Records is an American record label A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark of Sound recording and reproduction, music recordings and Music video, music videos, or the company that owns it. Sometimes, a record label ...
to England, and
Madchester Madchester was a musical and cultural scene that developed in the English city of Manchester in the late 1980s, closely associated with the indie dance scene. Indie-dance (sometimes referred to as indie-rave) saw artists merging Indie rock, i ...
, the precursor to the
rave A rave (from the verb: ''wikt:rave#English, to rave'') is a dance party at a warehouse, club, or other public or private venue, typically featuring performances by Disc jockeys, DJs playing electronic dance music. The style is most associated ...
scene. Across the Pennines, Sheffield is the birthplace of influential
electronic pop Electropop is a hybrid music genre combining elements of Electronic music, electronic and Pop music, pop genres. Writer Hollin Jones has described it as a variant of synth-pop with heavy emphasis on its electronic music, electronic sound. The ...
bands from Cabaret Voltaire to
Pulp Pulp may refer to: * Pulp (fruit), the inner flesh of fruit Engineering * Dissolving pulp, highly purified cellulose used in fibre and film manufacture * Pulp (paper) Pulp is a Lignocellulosic biomass, lignocellulosic fibrous material prepa ...
, the
New Yorkshire New Yorkshire was a musical movement identified by UK music magazine ''NME'' in 2005, in response to the success of Yorkshire bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The Cribs, and Kaiser Chiefs at the time. The bands cited by the magazine included Sheffi ...
indie rock Indie rock is a Music subgenre, subgenre of rock music that originated in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand from the 1970s to the 1980s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the mu ...
movement of the 2000s gave the country the
Kaiser Chiefs Kaiser Chiefs are an English indie rock band from Leeds who formed in 2000 as Parva, releasing one studio album, ''22'', in 2003, before renaming and establishing themselves in their current name that same year. Since their formation the band h ...
and the
Arctic Monkeys Arctic Monkeys are an English rock band formed in Sheffield in 2002. The group consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Jamie Cook (guitar, keyboards), Nick O'Malley (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Matt Helders (drums, ba ...
, and
Teesside Teesside () is a built-up area around the River Tees in the north of England, split between County Durham and North Yorkshire. The name was initially used as a county borough in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Historically a hub for heavy manu ...
has a rock scene stretching from
Chris Rea Christopher Anton Rea ( ; born 4 March 1951) is an English rock music, rock and blues singer and guitarist from Middlesbrough. A "gravel-voiced guitar stalwart" known for his slide guitar playing, Rea has recorded twenty five solo albums, two o ...
to Maxïmo Park. The press frequently frames music stories and reviews in terms of cultural and class differences between North and South, notably in the 1960s rivalry between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the 1990s Battle of Britpop between
Oasis In ecology, an oasis (; ) is a fertile area of a desert or semi-desert environment'ksar''with its surrounding feeding source, the palm grove, within a relational and circulatory nomadic system.” The location of oases has been of critical im ...
and Blur. File:Northumbrian pipers at Alwinton Border Shepherds Show October 2009 - geograph.org.uk - 1529325.jpg, Northumbrian pipers at Alwinton Border Shepherds Show. File:Harrogate Band in Leeds.jpg, The Harrogate Band playing in Leeds, alt=A marching band with a variety of horns and drums.


Sport

Sport has been both one of the most unifying cultural forces in Northern England and, thanks to local rivalries such as the Lancashire–Yorkshire Roses rivalry, one of the most divisive. As huge numbers of people moved into recently built cities with little cultural heritage, local sports teams offered the population a sense of place and identity that was otherwise absent. Adapted from Many early Northern sports players were working class and needed to miss work to play, with their teams compensating them for lost wages. By contrast, Southern teams, drawing from the traditions of public schools and
Oxbridge Oxbridge is a portmanteau of University of Oxford, Oxford and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, the two oldest, wealthiest, and most famous universities in the United Kingdom. The term is used to refer to them collectively, in contrast to oth ...
, put great emphasis on
amateurism An amateur () is generally considered a person who pursues an avocation independent from their source of income. Amateurs and their pursuits are also described as popular, informal, autodidacticism, self-taught, user-generated, do it yourself, DI ...
and the Southern-dominated governing bodies forbade payments to players. This tension shaped the sports of
association football Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 Football player, players who primarily use their feet to propel the Ball (association football), ball around a rectangular field ca ...
and
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bails b ...
, and led to the schism between the two main forms of rugby. The North is also associated with the animal sports of
dog racing Greyhound racing is an organized, competitive sport in which greyhounds are raced around a track. There are two forms of greyhound racing, track racing (normally around an oval track) and Hare coursing, coursing; the latter is now banned in most ...
with
whippet The Whippet is a dog breed of medium size. It is a sighthound breed that originated in England, descended from the Greyhound. Whippets today still strongly resemble a smaller Greyhound. Part of the hound group, Whippets have relatively few ...
s,
pigeon racing Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing specially trained homing pigeons, which then return to their homes over a carefully measured distance. The time it takes the animal to cover the specified distance is measured and the bird's rate of travel ...
and
ferret legging Ferret-legging is an endurance test or Publicity stunt, stunt in which ferrets are trapped in trousers worn by a participant. Also known as put 'em down and ferret-down-trousers, it seems to have been popular among coal miners in Yorkshire, Engla ...
, although these are now far more popular in stereotype than in reality. Manchester hosted the
2002 Commonwealth Games The 2002 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XVII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Manchester 2002 were held in Manchester, England, from 25 July to 4 August, 2002. The 2002 Games were to be hosted in the United Kingdom to coin ...
, which left it a legacy of sporting facilities including the
City of Manchester Stadium The City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, also known as the Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the home of Premier League club Manchester City F.C., with a domestic football capacity of 53,400, making it the List of Engli ...
, Manchester Aquatics Centre and the
National Cycling Centre The HSBC UK National Cycling Centre is a multipurpose cycling venue in Sportcity Sportcity in Manchester is a multipurpose sports and leisure facility. Originally built to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games, it is in east Manchester, a mile ...
, headquarters of
British Cycling British Cycling (formerly the British Cycling Federation) is the main national sport governing body, governing body for cycle sport in United Kingdom, Great Britain. It administers most competitive cycling in Great Britain, the Channel Islands a ...
. The Grand Départ for the
2014 Tour de France The 2014 Tour de France was the 101st edition of the race, one of cycling's Grand Tour (cycling), Grand Tours. The race included 21 race stage, stages, starting in Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, on 5 July and finishing on the Champs-Élysée ...
was in Leeds, and every year since Yorkshire has hosted the
Tour de Yorkshire The Tour de Yorkshire is a road cycling race in the historic county of Yorkshire Yorkshire ( ; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a Historic counties of England, historic county in northern England and by far ...
cycling event, part of the
UCI Europe Tour The UCI Continental Circuits are a series of road bicycle racing Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport Cycle sport is competitive physical activity using bicycles. There are several categories of bicycle racing including road bicyc ...
. Tyneside meanwhile hosts the
Great North Run The Great North Run (branded the Simplyhealth Great North Run for sponsorship purposes) is the largest half marathon A half marathon is a road running event of —half the distance of a marathon. It is common for a half marathon event to be he ...
, the UK's biggest mass-participation sporting event and the most popular
half marathon A half marathon is a road running event of —half the distance of a marathon. It is common for a half marathon event to be held concurrently with a marathon or a 5K race, using almost the same course with a late start, an early finish or shortcut ...
in the world.


Association football

The first football club in the UK was Sheffield F.C., founded in 1857. Early Northern football teams tended to adopt the
Sheffield Rules The Sheffield Rules was a code of football devised and played in the English city of Sheffield between 1858 and 1877. The rules were initially created and revised by Sheffield F.C., Sheffield Football Club, with responsibility for the laws pas ...
rather than the Football Association Rules, but the two codes were merged in 1877. Many of the innovations of Sheffield Rules are now part of the global game, including corners,
throw-in A throw-in is a method of restarting play in a game of association football when the ball has exited the side of the field of play. It is governed by Law 15 of Laws of the Game (association football), The Laws of the Game. Award When the bal ...
s, and free kicks for fouls. In 1883 Blackburn Olympic, a team composed mainly of factory workers, became the first Northern team to win the
FA Cup The Football Association Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the FA Cup, is an annual Single-elimination tournament, knockout association football, football competition in men's domestic Football in England, English football. First played d ...
, and the next year
Preston North End Preston North End Football Club, commonly referred to as Preston, North End or PNE, is a professional association football, football club in Preston, Lancashire, England, who currently play in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English ...
won an FA Cup match against London-based Upton Park. Upton Park protested that Preston had broken FA rules by paying their players. In response, Preston withdrew from the competition and fellow Lancashire clubs
Burnley Burnley () is a town and the administrative centre of the wider Borough of Burnley in Lancashire, England, with a 2001 population of 73,021. It is north of Manchester and east of Preston, Lancashire, Preston, at the confluence of the River C ...
and Great Lever followed suit. The protest gathered momentum to the point where more than 30 clubs, predominantly from the North, announced that they would set up a rival British Football Association if the FA did not permit professionalism. A schism was avoided in July 1885 when professionalism was formally legalised in English football. The
Football League The English Football League (EFL) is a league of professional association football, football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in Association football around the wor ...
was founded in 1888, and marked its independence from the London-based
Football Association The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the Sports governing body, governing body of association football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the ...
(FA) by establishing headquarters in Preston – the League retained a Northern identity even after it accepted several Southern teams into its ranks. Organised women's football followed as the workforces of majority-female factories of Northern England in the First World War entered the 1917–18 Tyne, Wear & Tees Munition Girls Cup – the world's first women's football tournament. However, the FA did not support women's football and banned it altogether in 1921. Intense local derbies between neighbouring teams mean that there is less of a North–South rivalry than in some other sports. Many of the powerhouses of English football came from the North – as of the 2020–21 season, of the 123 top-flight league titles since 1888, 83 (67%) have been won by teams based north of Crewe. Since this article, which quotes 116 league titles, there have been seven more titles, four won by a Northern team. Everton,
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, 10th largest English district by population and its E ...
, Manchester United F.C., Manchester United and Manchester City F.C., Manchester City are among the mainstays of the Premier League, while teams like Blackburn Rovers F.C., Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough F.C., Middlesbrough, Newcastle United F.C., Newcastle United and Sunderland A.F.C., Sunderland have had more inconsistent runs in recent years, regularly being promoted and relegated from the top flight. Northern England is also the birthplace of the largest proportion the country's top players – as of Euro 2016, 537 Northerners had played for the England national football team, England team, compared to 266 Midlanders and 367 Southerners, and 15 of the 23 man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2018 World Cup, as well as 14 of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, 2019 Women's World Cup squad, were born in the region.


Rugby football

The Rugby Football Union, which enforced amateurism, suspended teams who compensated their players for missed work and injury, leading teams from Lancashire, Yorkshire and surrounding areas to split away in 1895 and form the Rugby Football League. Over time, the RFU and RFL adopted different rules and the two forms of the game – rugby union and rugby league – diverged. Rugby league's stronghold remains Northern England along the "M62 motorway, M62 corridor" between Liverpool and Hull. As of the Super League XXVI, 2021 season, 11 of the 12 teams in the Super League (the highest level of rugby league in the Northern Hemisphere) are from Northern England, with one team from France, and the 14-team Championship (rugby league), Championship below it has 12 Northern teams, one London team and 1 French team. Rugby union was not entirely driven from Northern England, and in the 1970s the region was home to several strong teams. The high-water mark of rugby union in Northern England was the 1979 New Zealand rugby union tour of England, Scotland and Italy, 1979 New Zealand tour during which the English Northern Division was the only team to defeat the All Blacks. In the 21st century the region's club sides have become less popular, with association football, cricket and rugby league attracting more spectators and talent. In the 2020–21 Premiership Rugby, 2020–21 season, Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons play in the Premiership Rugby, English Premiership, and Doncaster R.F.C. play in the RFU Championship.


Cricket

Cricket has a strong following in Northern England, and three counties are represented by first-class cricket, first-class
county cricket Inter-county cricket matches are known to have been played since the early 18th century, involving teams that are representative of the historic counties of England and Wales. Since the late 19th century, there have been two county championship ...
teams: Durham County Cricket Club, Durham, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Lancashire and Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Yorkshire. The Roses Match (named for the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York) between Lancashire and Yorkshire is one of the hardest fought rivalries in the sport – the pride of both sides, and their determination not to lose, resulted in the teams developing a slow, stubborn and defensive style that proved unpopular elsewhere in the country. The London-based Marylebone Cricket Club, which controlled the game at the time, selected few Northern players for Test cricket, Test matches, and this was perceived as a snub to their playing style – the anger united Lancashire and Yorkshire against the South and helped cast a shared Northern identity that transcended the Roses rivalry. This divide was illustrated in the 1924 County Championship, when Yorkshire beat London-based Middlesex County Cricket Club, Middlesex to claim the title. Surrey County Cricket Club, Surrey accused Yorkshire of scuffing the pitch and intimidating the bowling (cricket), bowlers, while the match with Middlesex was so vicious that the team threatened to never play in Yorkshire again. The Lancashire captain Jack Sharp on the other hand was quoted as saying "I'm real glad a rose won it. Red or white, it doesn't matter." Durham are a recent addition to top-flight cricket, having only achieved first-class status in 1992, but have won the County Championship three times. Although Yorkshire and Lancashire were traditionally more relaxed about professionalism than other counties, cricket did not see the same regional schisms on the topic that rugby and football did – there were debates over amateur status in first-class cricket, but these tensions were given release in the Gentlemen v Players fixture. Nevertheless, the annual North v South games were among the most popular and competitive in the sport, running annually from 1849 until 1900 and intermittently thereafter.


Politics

Northern England, as the first area in the world to industrialise, was the birthplace of much modern political thought. Marxism and, more generally, socialism were shaped by reports into the lives of the Northern working class, from Friedrich Engels' ''The Condition of the Working Class in England'' to George Orwell's ''The Road to Wigan Pier''. Meanwhile, enterprise and trade at the North's ports influenced the birth of Manchester Liberalism, a ''laissez-faire'' free trade philosophy. Expounded by C. P. Scott and the ''Manchester Guardian'', the movement's greatest success was the repeal of the Corn Laws, protests against which had led to the 1819 Peterloo Massacre in Manchester. The first Trades Union Congress was held in Manchester in 1868, and as of 2015 trade union membership in Northern England remained higher than in Southern England, although it is lower than in the other Home Nations. Since the Thatcher era, the Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Party struggled to gain support in the area. Today, Northern England is generally described as a stronghold of the Labour Party (UK), Labour Party – although the Conservatives hold some rural seats, they traditionally held almost no urban seats and as of the 2021 United Kingdom local elections, 2021 local elections there are no Conservative councillors on Liverpool City Council, Manchester City Council or Newcastle City Council, and only one on Sheffield City Council. During the 2019 United Kingdom general election, 2019 general election, many traditionally Labour constituencies in Northern England swung heavily towards the Conservatives, and the collapse of the "Red wall (British politics), red wall" of Northern Labour seats was a major factor in the Conservative victory. Historically the region was also a heartland for the Liberal Party (UK), Liberals, and between the 1980s and the 2010s their successors in the Liberal Democrats (UK), Liberal Democrats benefited from Conservative unpopularity by positioning themselves as the centrist alternative to Labour in the North. At the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 EU membership referendum, all three Northern England regions voted to leave, as did all English regions outside London. The largest Northern Remain vote was 60.4% in Manchester; the largest Leave vote was 69.9% in
North East Lincolnshire North East Lincolnshire is a Unitary authority area with borough status in Lincolnshire, England. It borders the borough of North Lincolnshire and districts of West Lindsey and East Lindsey. The population of the district in the 2011 Census was ...
. In total, the Leave vote in the Northern England regions was 55.9% – higher than in the Southern England regions and the other Home Nations, but lower than in the Midlands or the East of England. The Eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) positioned themselves as the main challenger to Labour in Northern constituencies, and came second in many at the 2015 United Kingdom general election, 2015 general election. UKIP originally struggled in the region due to vote splitting with the far-right British National Party (BNP), who exploited racial tensions in the wake of the 2001 Bradford riots and other riots in Northern towns. In 2006, 40% of BNP voters lived in Northern England and both BNP Member of the European Parliament, MEPs elected at the 2009 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom, 2009 European elections came from Northern constituencies. After 2013, BNP support in the region collapsed as most voters swung to UKIP. The Northern UKIP vote in turn collapsed following the EU referendum, with most UKIP voters returning to their former allegiances. Campaigns for Northern English devolution in the United Kingdom, devolution have seen little electoral support. Plans by Labour under Tony Blair to create devolution, devolved regional assembly (England), regional assemblies for the three Northern regions were abandoned after the government lost the 2004 North East England devolution referendum against a No vote of 78%. The Regionalism (politics), regionalist Yorkshire Party and North East Party only hold seats at the local council level, and the Northern Party, which campaigned for a devolved Northern government with the power to make laws and full control of taxation and spending, was wound up in 2016. The Northern Independence Party was founded in October 2020, a secessionist and democratic socialist political party that seeks to make Northern England an independent nation, under the name of
Northumbria la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum , conventional_long_name = Kingdom of Northumbria , common_name = Northumbria , status = State , status_text = Unified Anglian kingdom (before 876)North: Anglian kingdom (af ...
.


Religion


Christianity

Christianity has been the largest religion in the region since the Early Middle Ages; its existence in Britain dates back to the late Roman era and the arrival of Celtic Christianity. The Holy Island of
Lindisfarne Lindisfarne, also called Holy Island, is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England, which constitutes the civil parish of Holy Island in Northumberland. Holy Island has a recorded history from the 6th century AD; it was an importa ...
played an essential role in the Christianisation of Northumbria, after Aidan of Lindisfarne, Aidan from Connacht founded a monastery there as the first Bishop of Lindisfarne at the request of King Oswald of Northumbria, Oswald. It is known for the creation of the Lindisfarne Gospels and remains a place of pilgrimage. Saint Cuthbert, a monk of Lindisfarne, was venerated from Nottinghamshire to Cumberland, and is today sometimes named the patron saint of Northern England. The Synod of Whitby saw Northumbria break from Celtic Christianity and return to the Roman Catholic church, as Computus, calculations of Easter and tonsure rules were brought into line with those of Rome. After the English Reformation Northern England became a centre of Catholicism, and Irish migration to Great Britain, Irish immigration increased its numbers further, especially in North West cities like Liverpool and Manchester. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the area underwent a Christian revival, religious revival that ultimately produced Primitive Methodism in the United Kingdom, Primitive Methodism, and at its peak in the 19th century Methodism was the dominant faith in much of Northern England. As of 2016, the list of places of worship registered for marriage for Northern England included at least 1,960 that are Methodist or Independent Methodist Connexion, Independent Methodist, 1,200 Roman Catholic, 370 United Reformed Church, United Reformed, 310 Baptist or Particular Baptist, 250 Jehovah's Witness and 240 Salvation Army, as well as many hundreds of churches from smaller denominations. Not all places of worship are registered, and some defunct churches remain on the list. In the ecclesiastical administration of the Church of England the entire North is covered by the Province of York, which is represented by the Archbishop of York – the second-highest figure in the Church after the Archbishop of Canterbury. The unusual situation of having two archbishops at the top of Church hierarchy suggests that Northern England was seen as a ''sui generis''. Likewise, with the exception of parts of the Diocese of Shrewsbury and Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham, Diocese of Nottingham, the North is covered in Catholic Church in England and Wales, Roman Catholic Church administration by the Province of Liverpool, represented by the Archbishop of Liverpool.


Other faiths

Small Jewish communities arose in Beverley, Doncaster, Grimsby, Lancaster, Lancashire, Lancaster, Newcastle, and York in the wake of the Norman Conquest but suffered massacres and pogroms, of which the largest was the York Massacre in 1190. Jews were forcibly banished from England by the 1290 Edict of Expulsion until the Resettlement of the Jews in England in the seventeenth century, and the first synagogue in the North appeared in Liverpool in 1753. History of the Jews in Manchester, Manchester also has a long-standing Jewish community: the now-demolished 1857 Manchester Reform Synagogue was the second Movement for Reform Judaism, Reform synagogue in the country, and Greater Manchester has the only eruv in the United Kingdom outside London. Traditionally, there is also a large Jewish presence in Gateshead. In total, there are 84 synagogues in Northern England registered for marriages. Spiritualism flourished in Northern England in the nineteenth century, in part as a backlash to the fundamentalist Primitive Methodist movement and in part driven by the influence of Owenism, Owenist socialism. There remain 220 Spiritualist churches registered in the North, of which 40 identify as Spiritualism (beliefs)#Christian Spiritualism, Christian Spiritualist. The first mosque in the United Kingdom was founded by the convert Abdullah Quilliam in the Liverpool Muslim Institute in 1889. Today, there are around 500 mosques in Northern England. Indian religions are also represented: there are at least 45 gurdwaras, of which the largest is the Sikh Temple in Leeds, and 30 mandirs, of which the largest is Bradford Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple.


Transport

Transport in the North has been shaped by the Pennines, creating strong north–south axes along each coast and an east–west axis across the moorland passes of the southern Pennines. Northern England is a centre of freight transport and handles around one third of all British cargo. Both passenger and freight links between Northern cities remain poor, which is a major weakness of the Northern economy. The passenger transport executive (PTE) has become a major player in the organisation of public transport within Northern city regions; of the six PTEs in England, five (Transport for Greater Manchester, Merseytravel, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Travel South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, Nexus Tyne and Wear and West Yorkshire Metro) are located in the North. These coordinate bus services, local trains and light rail in their regions. Following the passage of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, Transport for the North became a statutory body in 2018 with powers to coordinate services and offer integrated ticketing throughout the region.


Road

The Preston By-pass, opened in 1958, was the first motorway in the UK, and today an extensive network connects the major cities of the North. The main western route through the North is the M6 motorway, M6, part of a chain of motorways from London to Glasgow, while the main eastern motorway is the M1 motorway, M1/A1(M) motorway, A1(M), which runs as far north as Newcastle. The M62 motorway, M62 links Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull across the Pennines. Other trans-Pennine roads are comparatively minor, and the lack of any dual-carriageway connection between the east and west coasts anywhere in England north of the M62 has been identified by the Department for Transport as a significant hindrance to the Northern economy. In many cases, modern roads still follow ancient routes: the M62 motorway effectively duplicates the Roman roads in Britain, Roman road between York and Chester, while the Great North Road (Great Britain), Great North Road, the stagecoach route from London to Scotland, became the modern A1 road (Great Britain), A1 road. Buses are an important part of the Northern transport mix, with bus ridership above the England and Wales average in all three Northern regions. Many of the municipal bus company, municipal bus companies were located in Northern England, and the region saw intense competition and bus wars following Bus deregulation in Great Britain, deregulation in the 1980s and 1990s. Increasing car ownership in the same era caused bus use to decline, although it remains higher than in most areas of the South.


Rail

The North of England pioneered rail transport. Milestones include the 1758 Middleton Railway in Leeds, the first railway authorised by Act of Parliament and the oldest continually operating in the world; the 1825 Stockton and Darlington Railway, the first public railway to use steam locomotives; and the 1830 Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the first modern main line. Today the region retains many of its original railway lines, including the East Coast Main Line, East Coast and West Coast Main Line, West Coast main lines and the Cross Country Route. Passenger numbers on Northern routes increased over 50% between 2004 and 2016, and Northern England handles over half of total UK rail freight, but infrastructure is poorly funded compared to Southern railways: railways in London received £5426 per resident in 2015 while those in the North East received just £223 per resident, and journeys between major cities are slow and overcrowded. To combat this, the Department of Transport has devolved many of its powers to Rail North, an alliance of local authorities from the Scottish Borders down to Staffordshire which manages the Northern (train operating company), Northern Rail and TransPennine Express franchises that operate many routes in Northern England. Meanwhile, new build such as the Northern Hub around Manchester, High Speed 2 from Manchester and Leeds to London and Northern Powerhouse Rail from Liverpool to Hull and Newcastle is planned to increase capacity on important Northern routes and decrease travel times. The first tram line in the United Kingdom was built in Birkenhead and Birkenhead Corporation Tramways, opened on 30 August 1860 (partially open intermittently as Wirral Tramway, a heritage tramway). Trams turned out to be especially well suited for Northern cities, with their growing working-class suburbs, and by the turn of the century, most Northern towns had an extensive interconnected electric tram network. At the network's height, it was possible to travel entirely by tram from Liverpool Pier Head to the village of Summit, outside Rochdale, a distance of , and a gap of only separated the North-Western network from the West Yorkshire network. Starting in the 1930s, these were largely replaced by motor buses and trolley buses. With the closure of Sheffield Tramway in 1960 and Glasgow Corporation Tramways, Glasgow Tramway in 1962, Blackpool Tramway – popular as a tourist attraction as much as a means of transport – was left as the only public tram system in the UK until the Manchester Metrolink opened in 1992. Today there are four light rail systems in the North – Blackpool Tramway, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram and Tyne & Wear Metro.


Air

Manchester Airport serves as the main international hub for Northern England and is the busiest airport anywhere in the UK outside London, handling 27.8 million people in 2017. In total, there are eight international airports in the North; these are (in descending order of passenger traffic) Manchester Airport, Manchester, Newcastle International Airport, Newcastle, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Liverpool John Lennon, Leeds Bradford Airport, Leeds Bradford, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Doncaster Sheffield, Humberside Airport, Humberside, Teesside Airport, Teesside and Carlisle Lake District Airport, Carlisle Lake District. Many of these airports were developed during the boom in Low-cost carrier, low-cost air travel during the early 2000s, but have suffered since the Great Recession – Teesside is running at just 3% of its maximum capacity, and Blackpool Airport closed as an international airport in 2014. The devolution of Air Passenger Duty to Scotland represents a further possible threat to Northern English airports, allowing Scottish airports to offer cheaper flights than their English rivals. Few Spoke–hub distribution paradigm, spoke flights operate between Northern airports and the national hubs at London Heathrow Airport, Heathrow and London Gatwick Airport, Gatwick, putting further strain on the smaller Northern airports and forcing connecting passengers to travel via continental European airports. The planned High Speed 2 station at Manchester Airport will offer direct high-speed services to London, allowing spare capacity at Manchester Airport to take some of the flights which currently serve busy London airports.


Water

The first modern canal in England was Sankey Canal, Sankey Brook, opened in 1757 to connect Liverpool's ports to the St Helens, Merseyside, St Helens coalfields. By 1777, the Trent and Mersey Canal, Grand Trunk Canal had opened, linking the rivers Mersey and Trent and making it possible for boats to travel directly from Liverpool on the west coast to Hull on the east coast. Manchester, inland, was connected to the Irish Sea by the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894, although the canal never saw the success that was hoped for. The North retains many navigable canals, including the Cheshire Ring, Cheshire, North Pennine Ring, North Pennine and South Pennine Ring, South Pennine canal rings, although they are now used mostly for pleasure rather than transport – the Aire and Calder Navigation, which carries over 2 million tons of oil, sand and gravel per year, is a rare exception. Many Northern coastal towns were built on trade, and retain large sea ports. The Humber ports of Port of Grimsby, Grimsby and Port of Immingham, Immingham (counted as a single port for statistical purposes) are the busiest in the UK in terms of tonnage, serving 59.1 million tons as of 2015, and Teesport and the Port of Liverpool are also among the country's largest – in total, 35% of British freight was shipped through Northern ports. Roll-on/roll-off ferries offer passenger and freight connections to the Isle of Man and Ireland along the west coast, while east coast ports connect to Belgium and the Netherlands, although Northern ports handle only a small percentage of the UK's vehicle traffic. Liverpool Cruise Terminal opened in 2007, cruises also operate out of Port of Hull and Newcastle International Ferry Terminal.


See also

* Black Country * Cornwall * Devolution to the North of England * East Anglia * Greater London * Home counties * The Midlands * Southern England * Welsh Marches * West Country * West of England


Explanatory notes


References


Citations


General and cited references

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Further reading

* * {{Authority control Northern England, Cultural regions Geography of England Northumbria Regions of England