The town that thinks it's a village

Rothbury is in the north-east of England, only about 14 miles from the Scottish border. and 13 miles from the North Sea coast. It sits in the valley of the River Coquet, Northumberland's longest river, on the edge of the Northumberland National Park and is an ideal base for exploring the National Park and the Coquet Valley.

The history of Rothbury goes back a long way, and this page will eventually expand on this.

In the meantime there is always the chronology page.

Rothbury - the name

The name appears in ancient sources as Rodeberia, Routha Biria, Robirie, Rathbury, Roebiri and Routhbiry. However, nobody really knows the true origin, and there are a number of documented suggestions.

Abraham Rees, in his 1819 Cyclopædia, suggests that it either comes from the British word rath, meaning a cleared area, or the Gaelic rath, meaning a place of safety.

In 1903, David Dippie Dixon wrote that bury would have meant a fortified settlement, but is more vague on the first part of the name, saying that it may have been a personal name or from some other British source, including the word rood meaning a cross, and that the question was unsettled.

Another suggestion is that it derived from the Anglo-Saxon, Hrotha (also spelt Routha, Rotha and Roth), whose tribes were believed to have lived in the area and some have written that the name was Routha Biria, or "Routha's Place".

In truth, the jury is still out.