Jarrow shown within Tyne and Wear
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan borough||South Tyneside|
|Metropolitan county||Tyne and Wear|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Tyne and Wear|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Jarrow (pron.: // or //) is a town in Tyne and Wear, England, located on the River Tyne, with a population of 27,526. Historically within County Durham, from the middle of the 19th century until 1935, Jarrow was a centre for shipbuilding, and was the starting point of the Jarrow March against unemployment in 1936.
Somewhat earlier in Jarrow's history, the second Viking invasion was repulsed at Jarrow giving the island peace for forty years. It is believed that monks, women, and children participated in that defense. It is the Viking's Lindisfarne.
History and naming
The Angles re-occupied a 1st century Roman fort on the site of Jarrow in the 5th century Its name is recorded around AD 750 as Gyruum, representing Old English [æt] Gyrwum = "[at] the marsh dwellers", from Anglo-Saxon gyr = "mud", "marsh". Later spellings are Jaruum in 1158, and Jarwe in 1228. Today Jarrow residents' popular nickname for Jarrow is "Jarra".
The Monastery of Saint Paul in Jarrow, part of the twin foundation Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Priory, was once the home of the Venerable Bede, whose most notable works include The Ecclesiastical History of the English People and the translation of the Gospel of John into Old English. At the time of its foundation, it was reputed to have been the only centre of learning in Europe north of Rome. In 794 Jarrow became the second target in England of the Vikings, who had plundered Lindisfarne in 793. The Monastery was later dissolved by Henry VIII. The ruins of the Monastery are now associated with and partly built into the present-day church of St. Paul, which stands on the site. One wall of the church contains the oldest stained-glass window in the world, dating from about AD 600. Just beside the Monastery is "Bede's World", a working museum dedicated to the life and times of Bede. Bede's World also incorporates Jarrow Hall, a grade II listed building and significant local landmark.
19th century to present
Jarrow remained a small town until the introduction of heavy industries like coal mining and shipbuilding. Charles Mark Palmer established a shipyard – Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company Limited – in 1852 and became the first armour-plate manufacturer in the world. John Bowes, the first iron screw collier, revived the Tyne coal trade, and Palmers was also responsible for the first modern cargo ship, as well as a number of notable warships. Around 1,000 ships were built at the yard.
Palmers employed as much as 80% of the town's working population until its closure in 1934 following purchase by National Shipbuilders Securities Ltd. (NSS). This organisation had been set up by Stanley Baldwin's Conservative government in the 1920s, but the first public statement had been made in 1930 whilst the Labour Party was in office. The aim of NSS was to reduce capacity within the British shipyards. In fact Palmer's yard was relatively efficient and modern, but had serious financial problems. As from 1935, Olympic, the sister ship of RMS Titanic, was partially demolished at Jarrow, being towed in 1937 to Inverkeithing, Scotland for final scrapping.
The closure of the shipyard was responsible for one of the events for which Jarrow is best known. Jarrow is marked in history as the starting point in 1936 of the Jarrow March to London to protest against unemployment in Britain. Jarrow MP Ellen Wilkinson wrote about these events in her book The Town That Was Murdered (1939). Some doubt has been cast by historians as to how effective events such as the Jarrow March actually were but there is some evidence that they stimulated interest in regenerating 'distressed areas'.
Jarrow's needs for secondary education are currently served by Jarrow School, formerly Springfield Comprehensive. Springfield was merged with another of Jarrow's secondary schools, Hedworthfield Comprehensive at Fellgate, following a gradual reduction of the number of new pupils for the yearly intake of 11 year olds to the point where keeping both schools open was no longer viable. As of 2008 plans to revamp Jarrow School have come into action. Building work has now began with aims of turning the school into a modern learning facility with Specialist Engineering Status. The Head Teacher at the school plans to improve the schools grade point average, by improving the learning facilities, costing millions of pounds.
Jarrow is served by three stations on the Tyne and Wear Metro: Jarrow station in the centre of the town (on the Yellow line) Bede station in the Bede industrial estate (also on the Yellow line), and Fellgate station (on the Green line) to the south.
The nearest major airport is Newcastle Airport, about 10 miles away.
Famous Jarrow residents
Famous former residents of the town, including Ellen Wilkinson MP, Charles Mark Palmer and William Jobling, have been remembered in the names of beers produced by Jarrow Brewing Company, a microbrewery in the town.
- Roger Avon, actor
- Bede, Benedictine monk and scholar
- Catherine Cookson, writer
- Steve Cram, Olympic Athlete
- Peter Flannery, playwright
- William Goat, winner of the Victoria Cross
- Stephen Hepburn, politician
- Jem Mace Famous pugilist died at 6 Princess Street, Jarrow in 1910
- Aidan McCaffery, former Newcastle United footballer.
- John Miles, rock musician, singer, songwriter
- Fergus Montgomery, Conservative MP
- Charles Mark Palmer, shipbuilder, first mayor of Jarrow
- Alan Plater, writer
- Alan Price, musician, born in Washington and brought up in Jarrow
- Jim Purcell, famous half marathon runner known as "Jarra Jim" to the locals
- David Sharpe, silver medalist at 1992 European Championships over 800 Metres
- Gareth Smith, cricketer
- Patrick Stewart, actor, spent the majority of his childhood living in Jarrow, although was born in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.
- Paul Thompson, rock musician, drummer of Roxy Music
- Jimmy Thorpe, Sunderland Football Club goalkeeper who lost his life helping the club win the 1936 League title
- Frank Williams, Formula One team manager, was raised in Jarrow
- Ellen Wilkinson, Labour MP and Jarrow March organiser.
- Wee Georgie Wood, music hall star.
- Christie Elliot (Footballer), Partick Thistle F.C.
- Ray Drinkwater, Goalkeeper with Queens Park Rangers F.C.
- Lee Kyle, comedian, wrestler
- Wuppertal in Germany, originally twinned with South Shields in 1951.
- Noisy-le-Sec in France, originally twinned with Hebburn in April 1963.
- Épinay-sur-Seine in France, originally twinned with Jarrow in June 1965.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
- Lloyd, T.O. Empire to Welfare State, 1970
- Marwick, Arthur. Britain in our Century 1984
- Gibbs, Philip. England speaks (1935)
- Lloyd, T.O. Empire to Welfare State (1970)
- Marwick, Arthur. Britain in our Century (1984)
- Wilkinson, Ellen. The town that was murdered: Depicting in brief the history and demise of Jarrow (1939)
- South Tyneside Council & Community website - Local council website
- BBC History: The Jarrow Crusade
- Jarrow War Roll Researched by Vin Mullen