Metropolitan county (pop., 2001: 1,075,979), northeastern England. It was named for its two main rivers, the Tyne and the Wear. Settled since prehistoric times, the area was occupied by the Romans, who built Hadrian's Wall. Saxon, then Norman settlement followed. From the 13th century to recent times, the economy was based on local coal reserves and on such coal-dependent industries as glass, pottery, and chemicals. The main industries now include shipbuilding and heavy electrical engineering.