The North East is comprised of the four sub-regions of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and the Tees Valley. It is one of the smallest regions in the country with a population of just over 2.5 million.
The North East's historic character
The historic character of the region has been uniquely shaped by our ancestors over the course of the region’s history.
At times, that history has been turbulent, with border conflicts leaving a lasting legacy of defensive sites such as Hadrian’s Wall and the many castles and bastles that are found here. Indeed, the breathtaking Northumberland coast is peppered with once magnificent castles such as Dunstanburgh and Warkworth.
The region was also an early centre for conversion to Christianity and an important seat of learning, connected with historic scholars such as St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede. Holy Island, sacred home to Lindisfarne Priory, still remains a place of pilgrimage.
More recently, the region has been celebrated for its industrial heritage. Birthplace of the modern railway and home to numerous collieries, shipyards, lead mines and metal works, the North East region and its people have played their part in powering the nation.
The North East's protected heritage
The region has two world heritage sites, Hadrian’s Wall and Durham Castle and Cathedral, with a further nomination being considered for the twin Anglo-Saxon monastery sites of Wearmouth and Jarrow. The region also has a wealth of lesser known scheduled monuments (1,383), listed buildings (12,235), conservation areas (287), registered parks and gardens (53) and historic battlefields (6).
The North East's heritage at risk
Despite huge progress having been made in recent years, many of the region’s heritage assets are still considered to be at risk.
In 2009, 19% of the North East’s conservation areas, 17% of its historic battlefields and nearly 15% of its scheduled monuments were considered to be at risk.
The region also had the highest proportion of Grade I and II* listed buildings at risk in the country (at just over 7%) and almost 4% of its registered parks and gardens are also vulnerable.