Place Names - Burradon and Camperdown

Pub Sign Camperdown Hotel 2006

Ekwall in his Concise Oxford Dictionary of Place Names suggests that the name Burradon is derived from the Old English or Anglo-Saxon Burg-dun which means fort on a hill. This is a likely explanation when it is considered that Burradon is situated on a plateau, which is an ideal location to mount a defensible structure. 19th century trade directories suggest that the old name for Burradon was Briardean, but this seems unlikely when analysis is made of the etymology of the place name. Some early spellings of the name are listed below:

12th century Burgedun Grant of land to Gilbert Ogle
13th century Burudun Grant of land by Walter de Burudun
13th century Burwindune Grant of Widdrington land
13th century Burwedune Grant of Widdrington land
1268 Burudon Grant of land to Adam Baret
1304-5 Boroudon Grant of land to Peter Graper
1310 Boroughdoun Robert of, mention in charter
1428 Borowdon Book of Knight's fees

There is, however, a Briardean to the east of Burradon on lands just to the North of Whitley Bay which was mentioned in a survey of Middleton's lands as early as 1318.

The name Camperdown does not come into use until the mid 19th century. Prior to this date the area was known as Hazlerigge. It takes its name from the Heslerigg family who became landholders in Weetslade township (South) in the 13th century. They remained the landholders until 1763. The name Camperdown first comes into use around 1840. The first official mention of the name, so far discovered, is in the Longbenton parish records when William Cockburne son of John Cockburne, a pitman from Camperdown, was baptised. Documentary evidence as to why and when the name was changed has not yet come to light, but the name only applied to the lands South of the main highway in Killingworth township. The name Hazlerigge was still retained in Weetslade township. This was the official situation until about 1904, although Kelly's directory of 1906 still used the name Hazlerigge, but a Newcastle Weekly Chronicle reporter noted in 1872 that Hazlerigge was no longer being used by the residents, they preferred to use Camperdown to describe the whole area. The name Hazlerigg was adopted by a settlement developed around a coal mine, owned by the Coxlodge and Burradon Coal Company, in the 1890s. This is about 2½ miles west of Camperdown, which can cause some confusion to anybody doing local history research in this locality.

Camperdown, most likely, was named after the famous Battle of Camperdown fought off the Dutch coast on October 11, 1797. This was an important and decisive victory for the English during the Napoleonic wars. It was not uncommon for places to be named after such important events, e.g. the Waterloo district of Blyth. Interest in the Battle of Camperdown continued for many years after 1797 as the following which appeared in the Newcastle Journal on August 11, 1849, illustrates: "A war medal has been granted to Mr. John Stuart of Bedford Street, North Shields, for his services as quarter-master on board the "Circe" frigate in Lord Duncan's splendid act in 1797, off Camperdown.