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The River Tyne is a river in northeast Englandmarker in central Great Britainmarker. It is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the North Tyne and the South Tyne. These two rivers converge at Warden Rock near Hexhammarker in Northumberlandmarker at a place dubbed 'The Meeting of the Waters'.

The North Tyne rises on the Scottish border, north of Kielder Watermarker. It flows through Kielder Forestmarker, and passes through the village of Bellinghammarker before reaching Hexham.

The South Tyne rises on Alston Moormarker, Cumbriamarker and flows through the towns of Haltwhistlemarker and Haydon Bridgemarker, in a valley often called the Tyne Gap. Hadrian's Wallmarker lies to the North of the Tyne Gap. Coincidentally the source of the South Tyne is very close to the sources of the other two great rivers of the industrial north east namely the Teesmarker and the Wearmarker. The South Tyne Valley falls within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - the second largest of the 40 AONBs in England and Wales.

The combined Tyne flows from Hexham, the area where the rivers now thriving barbel stocks were first introduced in the mid 1980's, through Corbridgemarker in Northumberland. It enters the county of Tyne and Wear between Clara Valemarker (in the Borough of Gateshead on the South bank) and Tyne Riverside Country Park (in the City of Newcastle upon Tynemarker on the North bank) and continues to divide Newcastle and Gateshead for , in the course of which it is spanned by 10 bridges. To the East of Gateshead and Newcastle, the Tyne divides Hebburnmarker and Jarrowmarker on the South bank from Walker and Wallsendmarker on the North bank. Jarrow and Wallsend are linked underneath the river by the Tyne Tunnelmarker. Finally it flows between South Shieldsmarker and North Shieldsmarker into the North Seamarker. As it passes through the Tyneside conurbation, the river marks the historic border between County Durham (to the south) and Northumberland (to the north).

With its proximity to surrounding coalfields, the Tyne was a major route for the export of coal from the 13th century until the decline of the coal mining industry in North East England in the second half of the 20th century. The largest coal staithes were located at Dunstonmarker in Gatesheadmarker, Hebburnmarker and Tyne Dockmarker, South Shieldsmarker. The dramatic wooden staithes (a structure for loading coal onto ships) at Dunston, built in 1890, have been preserved, although they were partially destroyed by fire in 2006. And to this day in 2008 Tyne Dock, South Shields is still involved with coal, importing 2 million tonnes of shipments a year.

The lower reaches of the Tyne were, in the late 19th and early 20th century, one of the world's most important centres of shipbuilding, and there are still shipyards in South Shieldsmarker and Hebburnmarker to the south of the river.

To support the shipbuilding and export industries of Tynesidemarker, the lower reaches of the river were extensively remodelled during the second half of the 19th century, with islands removed and meanders in the river straightened.


Nothing definite is known of the origin of the designation "Tyne", nor is the river known by that name until the Saxon period: Tynemouth is recorded in Anglo-Saxon as Tinanmuðe (probably dative case). There is a theory that Tīn was a word that meant "river" in the local Celtic language or in a language spoken in England before the Celts came: compare Tardebiggemarker.

The River Vedra on the Roman map of Britain may be the Tyne, or may be the River Wear. The late Thomas John Taylor supposed that the main course of the river anciently flowed through what is now Team Valleymarker, its outlet into the tidal river being by a waterfall at Bill Point. His theory is not far from the truth, as there is evidence that prior to the last Ice Age, the River Wear did once follow the current route of the lower River Teammarker, merging with the Tyne at Dunstonmarker. Ice diverted the course of the Wear to its current location, flowing east from Washingtonmarker (virtually parallel to the course of the Tyne) and joining the North Sea at Sunderlandmarker.

River Crossings

River Tyne

River North Tyne

River South Tyne

Artworks and sculpture

Salmon Trail

The Environment Agency is currently working with architects and cultural consultancy xsite, in collaboration with Commissions North, to create a travelling sculpture trail along the River Tyne.

The Tyne Salmon Trail will serve as a celebration of the river, its heritage and its increasingly diverse ecosystem. Historically a major symbol in the regional identity of the North East of England, the river plays host to a plethora of different species, the number of which is growing year on year in line with the rivers improving health.

The Tyne Salmon Trail looks to capture the imagination of residents and tourists visiting the area - providing them with the ultimate 'fact finding' design experience, which celebrates the salmon's migratory journey in the Northeast of England.

FINS, REFLECTION and JOURNEY were the first 3 cubes to be launched in December 2007 from a family of 10. Each cube is inspired by the textures, changing colours, movement and journey of the salmon. With each offering a 'modern day keepsake' to take away, in the form of a designed Bluetooth message.

The other cubes will be moving along the River Tyne over 1 year visiting different locations from Kielder to the Mouth of the Tyne in the summer 2008 before starting their long journey back to their birth place.

Conversation Piece

Bamboo Bridge

In 2008 a temporary bamboo sculpture was commissioned as the eighth bridge over the Tyne; the Bambuco Bridgemarker was open between the 18 and 20 July 2008.


The River Tyne has a charity dedicated to protecting and enhancing its waters and surrounding areas. The Tyne Rivers Trust, established in 2004, is a community based organisation that works to improve habitat, promote better understanding of the Tyne catchment area and build the reputation of the Tyne catchment as a place of environmental excellence.

Songs featuring the Tyne

See also

External links


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