Slums, or a lost world heritage site? The notorious yards and alleyways of Morpeth have almost gone. Almost, but not quite.
This new history exposes their origin, in the hazy distant times of the Norman barons with their local wives; when the French speaking conquerors established new Morpeth on the furrows made by the ox plough teams. In the middle ages, armies marched through the town. People lived crowded together in the slums of the nineteenth century.
Some of the curious yards and alleyways remain, and the author, who lives in one of the yards, maintains that their boundaries should be preserved with as much care and devotion as the ramparts of Northumberland’s hillforts, or the mounds of lost medieval villages, or the drove roads which cross the Cheviots.
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