Some Alnmouth dates to remember

The following extracts are taken from "A Year in Northumberland" by Andrew Waterhouse, available for 6.00, including Postage from Andrew Waterhouse, 2 Eslington West, Eslington, Alnwick, Northumberland.  (Tel: 01665 574136; E-mail: andrew@waterhouse58.fsnet.co.uk)

September 23, 1779. John Paul Jones has variously been seen as little more than a pirate or alternatively one of the first great American heroes. He was born in Scotland, went to America crewing on a slave ship and eventually earned a commission in the U.S. Navy. During the war with England he sailed around the coast causing mayhem. On this day in 1779 he appeared off Alnmouth and shelled the town. The pot shot missed its target, but hit a nearby farmhouse after bouncing three times. The house was split in two by the 68lb cannonball, but no-one was injured. Alnwick was thrown into something of a panic by Jones' mischief. The Bailiff of the Duke of Northumberland had just collected the rents from all the Duke's property. He thought the Castle was going to be stormed by the pirates, so the gates were hastily barricaded but John Paul never arrived..

December 23, 1595. A ship on a secret mission for Mary, Queen of Scots was wrecked near Boulmer. It was carrying a fortune in gold coins, some of which were washed up on the beach. It could have been an excellent Christmas for local beach combers, but the coins were quickly claimed for Queen Elizabeth.

December 25, 1806. A terrifying storm battered the coast of Northumberland. The River Aln rose higher and higher at Alnmouth until it broke through the dunes just below the town, changing its course to the present one, instead of flowing further South. The Parish Church was cut off from the rest of the village, undermined by the river and collapsed. It was never rebuilt.

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