If you look through the hole in the sculpture you see the cairn marking the spring that is the source of the South Tyne River in the hills of Alston Moor. The river flows through the towns of Alston, Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge before it meets the North Tyne at Warden to become the River Tyne.
Near Featherstone Castle on the banks of the river is the remains of a Prisoner of war camp. The remains are mainly from the 2nd WW but a camp for British soldiers in training in WW1 was established near there 1st.
Featherstone Castle is privately owned and was used as a school during WW2. A school from near London was evacuated to Northumberland and the present owner’s ancestor was Headmaster.
At Featherstone the beautiful Grade 11 listed stone bridge built around 1775 has withstood many floods. It crosses the South Tyne giving access for road users and is useful for anyone fishing to access both banks of the river.
The upper South Tyne flows through an ANOB and is a true spate river because it draws its waters from the North Pennines. With a variety of pools, fast running water in places a good number of fish enter these beats through- out the season. The North and South Tyne rivers are regarded as the best Salmon Rivers in England and Wales.
The South Tyne Trail follows the route of the South Tyne from its source to Haltwhistle and is about 23miles and is fantastic for walkers and cyclists. Walking from the source the trail passes Ashgill Force and it then takes you through Alston where you then follow the line of the South Tyne railway. Further along the trail is the magnificent Lambley Viaduct which spans the river and meets with Lord Carlisle’s Mineral line. Views to the east and west as far as the eye can see are something not to be missed. The trail finishes in Haltwhistle. The Pennine way runs parallel with part of the South Tyne trail.
Haltwhistle is a market town with the title of “Centre of Britain”. The name Haltwhistle, earlier name Hautwesel (1240) derives from two old English words relating to two streams or rivers where they join. The 13th century Church of the Holy Cross is the oldest building in Haltwhistle. The newest is the Haltwhistle War Memorial Hospital opened in 2014. The purpose- built state of the art hospital delivers care mainly to the elderly. The open-air swimming pool is hugely popular to all in the summer months.