Corbridge is a charming town and second to Hexham in Southern Northumberland in size and importance. In the thirteenth century Corbridge was second only to Newcastle in wealth and its citizens were heavily taxed to help pay for Edward I’s Scottish wars and its mediaeval street plan remains much the same today.
The Saxon church however has trebled in size since then. The church of St Andrew is reputed to have been established by St Wilfrid in 676 in the same period as Hexham, though little stonework of that period remains. The oldest is probably the rough stonework of the chancel arch and the Norman main doorway with its zig-zag decoration. With the violent nature of life in this region during the early middle ages, the church has one of few fortified vicarages and the Vicars Pele Tower is found in the SE corner of the chuchyard.
Before that Roman Corstopitum was the most Northerly town in the Empire, just to the south of the World Heritage site of Hadrian’s Wall. The remains of that town are still visible in the site on the outskirts and well worth a visit.
Each year the town is host to several major festivals, including:
- Northumberland County Show – (actually at Bywell nearer Stocksfield) 26 May 2014
- Corbridge Chamber Music Festival – in early August
- Steam Fair and Vintage show – 7-8 June 2014
- Corbridge Festival – with live bands and childrens entertainment; 12 July 2014
There are a wide range of shops in the town, with supermarkets, specialist shops and cafés.
- Reasonable size Coop supermarket
- Corbridge Larder – huge range of pickles and tracklements
- Art shops, such as James Alder
- Proper butchers
- Cycle Shop for repairs and accessories
- several hairdressers, jewellers, mens and ladies fashions
On the A69 at Styford roundabout there is also the very good Brockbushes Farm shop where you can also pick you own fruit in season.