England’s northern soul

Melvyn Bragg, presenter of a new BBC Radio 4 series on the history of the north of England, talks to Rob Attar about how this region has forged a distinct identity over the past 2,000 years

Newcastle upon Tyne, 1877, published in the Illustrated London News. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the September 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

What do we mean when we speak of ‘the North’?

This is open to dispute, but I think we’ve made a fair shot of it in the series. The map we’ve drawn starts in the far north across Hadrian’s Wall, from west to east, and then we go from Wallsend down the North Sea to the Humber and Hull. We trundle across country, including Sheffield, and get to just below Liverpool before going up the west coast back to the wall.

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