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Heddon-on-the-Wall is a village in Northumberland, England, located on Hadrian's Wall. Heddon-on-the-Wall is roughly west of the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, and just outside Throckley. The place-name 'Heddon' means 'hill where heather grew'.EtymologyThe place-name ' Heddon on the Wall' is first attested in the Pipe Rolls for 1175, where it appears as Hedun. It appears as Heddun in 1262 and as Hedon super murum ('Heddon above the wall') in 1242. The name comes from the Old English hæth-dūn, meaning 'hill where heather grew'.The name should not be confused with that of East Heddon and West Heddon, where the name means 'Hidda's pasture'.HistoryA Roman milecastle ('Milecastle 12') was located at the site of the present-day village, under what is now Town Farm, but no traces of it are currently visible. Prior to the 1960s, Heddon-on-the-Wall was a small village with an economy based strongly on traditional industry including farming and coal mining.Large-scale coal mining close to the village began in the late 1950s with the opening of the Bays Leap, a 300acre opencast mine site located a short distance north of Heddon-on-the-Wall. The site supported seven coal seams at its peak, and evidence was found of earlier mine shafts. Bays Leap closed in 1966. Urban development west of Newcastle saw the village expand substantially during the 1960s.Heddon-on-the-Wall grew up around Hexham Road, which until 1973 was the main road from Newcastle to Hexham. The new A69 road bypasses Heddon-on-the-Wall en route from Newcastle to Carlisle, also passing Hexham. Heddon-on-the-Wall benefits from its proximity to the A69 but is more popular with retired people rather than commuters due to its lack of a railway station, from which its close neighbour Wylam benefits. A railway station on the Scotswood, Newburn & Wylam Railway was opened in the village in 1881, but closed in 1958.
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