Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Berwickupon Tweed

Berwick-upon-Tweed, a port and municipal and parliamentary borough of Northumberland, on the N. bank of the Tweed at its mouth, but it now includes the suburbs of Tweedmouth and Spittal on the opposite shore. Of its foundation nothing certain is known, but at the end of the 10th century it had become an important stronghold on the Scottish frontier, being made a royal burgh by Alexander I. It frequently changed hands during the struggle between the two countries, but in 1296 was sacked by Edward I. and never recovered from the blow. About this time the stone walls were built, but those that now exist date from Elizabeth. It was not till 1482 that the English finally became masters of the town, which with its liberties extending over 8 square miles maintained a curiously isolated existence, almost like an independent principality, until the union. It was still a distinct county in 1835, when the Municipal Reform Act incorporated it with Northumberland, but the title is retained in certain proclamations. In 1885 its parliamentary representation was reduced to one member. In spite of its antiquity the town is well built, open, and clean, having a fine site on a plateau above the river, which is spanned by a fine stone bridge and a railway viaduct. Of old buildings there are but few, except the ruins of the castle. The parish church dates from Cromwell, and the handsome town-hall was completed in 1760. The harbour is not very good, though improved in recent years, and the trade is limited to local products and demands, but there is a very large fishing fleet. By the original charter the Corporation owns all lands within the liberties that are not private property, and these lands produce a considerable revenue.