Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead. Originally published by Mackenzie and Dent, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827.
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STREETS WITHIN THE WALLS.
The numerous buildings that now stretch out in various directions from Newcastle have been formed in consequence of the increasing security, knowledge, and opulence of modern times. The ancient inhabitants were obliged to seek protection within the walls, which, as before observed, were 2 miles 239 yards in circumference. Although the walls are now mostly demolished, yet the suburbs are still, in a variety of ways, distinguished from the old town. We will therefore commence with a description of the latter.
The Sandhill is situated at the east side of the entrance upon the Tyne Bridge. It derives its name from having been, at low water, before the river was embanked in by the Quay, a hill of naked sand, where the inhabitants used to assemble for recreation. (fn. 1) In Speed's plan of Newcastle, the Maison-Dieu is the only public place or building marked on the Sandhill, through which Lork-burn is represented as passing on the east side. There is a tradition that the town's waits, or musicians, stood and played on a small bridge thrown over the Lork-burn, opposite to the house called afterwards Katy's Coffee-house, while Oliver Cromwell was entertained at dinner, either on his way to, or on his return from Scotland. This burn has since been arched over; and the Sandhill is now a spacious, well-paved area, where the great market of the town was long kept. (fn. 2)
The Sandhill is nearly of a triangular form. The base, or south side, consists of the new Fish Market and Merchants' Court, the Guildhall, (fn. 3) the Exchange, and St. Thomas' chapel. Between the chapel and the Exchange was a water-gate, which was pulled down after the adjoining building had been damaged by fire in 1791; and there is now erected, opposite the west end of the Exchange, a lofty pile of buildings, eight stories high, which is used for the purpose of depositing goods that are landed at the adjoining wharf. (fn. 4) The east and north sides of the Sandhill are enclosed by lofty and commodious buildings, many of which contain very large and magnificent rooms, that indicate the grandeur of the ancient merchants of Newcastle. Most of the shops, until lately, retained their old form, being quite open in front, and without glass windows. But they are now all modernized; and the heavy projections and balconies above being pulled down, the whole range has assumed a light, airy, and elegant appearance. The old houses, however, still exhibit some curious peculiarities; and as they were built before any window-tax was contemplated, the entire front of the dwelling-rooms is occupied by windows. Many of these houses have been converted into offices; and behind some of them are lofts, granaries, and cellars, where great quantities of corn and merchandize are kept.
The Quay, or Keyside, is built, like all the lower parts of the town, upon sand. Previous to the year 1763, it was bounded on the south side by the town-wall, which rendered the street very narrow, dirty, and inconvenient. It is at present one of the longest and most commodious wharfs in the kingdom; being, from Sandgate to the Tyne Bridge, about 541 yards in length. The whole line is usually crowded with shipping, keels, wherries, steam-boats, and other small craft; and exhibits a continual, varied, and pleasing bustle. The entire street consists of shops, ware-rooms, offices, and public houses; and the situation being so convenient for those concerned in the shipping trade, property is very valuable here, and every contrivance is employed to adapt the shops and houses to the taste and necessities of modern times. (fn. 5) After the old wall was pulled down, the east end of the Quayside, from Spicer Lane to Sandgate, was divided by iron rails, and the part next the river was descended by several steps; but a few years ago, it was raised and levelled, and now forms a fine broad wharf, used mostly by Scotch vessels. The west end of the Quayside, opposite to the Exchange, was also considerably widened in the year 1811.
Twenty narrow lanes, or chares, (fn. 6) lead from the Quayside to the streets that bound it upon the north. Their names seem to have changed with almost every change of their owner; and it is now impossible to ascertain the situation of some of those mentioned in old writings. 1. The Dark Chare commences the series of lanes on the west end of the Quayside. Most of the chares may be easily reached across by the extended arms of a middle-sized man, and some with a single arm; but a stout person would find it rather inconvenient to press through the upper part of this lane. It is very properly termed the Dark Chare, for the houses at the top nearly touch each other. It is not now used as a thoroughfare. It has been justly observed, that the ground occupied by these chares is the most crowded with buildings of any part in his majesty's dominions.
2. Grinding Chare is written by Bourne Granden Chare, but by others Grindon Chare. Near the south end of this chare stand the remains of the very ancient building called St. John's chapel (see page 152). In lowering the floor of the cellar on the north side of the crypt, about 20 years ago, a vast quantity of human bones were found. This, and the crypt, which is strongly arched with stone, are used as cellars by Mr. Anthony Teasdale. Above the main entrance, on the west, were some grotesque heads cut in stone; but these ornaments are now destroyed or removed. At the east side of the entrance into this chare, there was a remarkably old building: the front, towards the Quay, had a balcony, supported by posts with shields on them; but the posts have been removed, and the front of the house modernized.
3. Blue Anchor Chare, or Blew Anchor Chare, is a narrow, crowded lane, that leads, like the preceding and four following ones, into the Butcher Bank. 4. Pepper Corn Chare. 5. Palester's Chare was also called Armourer's Chare. 6. Colevin's Chare is spelled by Brand Colwin's Chare, and by Bourne Colvin's Chare. It was for many years named the Black Boy Chare, from the sign of a Black Boy. Coleman's Chare occurs in a deed in the reign of Charles II. 7. Hornsby's Chare was formerly called Maryon House Chare. 8. Plumber Chare was noted, a few years ago, as the receptacle of Cyprian nymphs, whose blandishments were of the most coarse and vulgar description. Indeed, most of these dark lanes were inhabited by "very dangerous, though not very tempting females." But the character of these lanes has been much altered in late years; most of the dwelling houses having been converted into granaries, warehouses, maltings, breweries, &c. Robert Plumber occurs, in the year 1376, as one of the bailiffs of the town.
9. Fenwick's Entry, so called from its owner, Cuthbert Fenwick, Esq. alderman, who resided in the upper part of the chare; for, however confined, dirty, and disagreeable these alleys may now seem, they formerly contained some of the best houses in the town, and were inhabited by opulent merchants, particularly those engaged in the coal-trade. Bourne supposes this was formerly called the "Kirk Chare," because the top of it is almost upon a line with the stairs that lead up to All Saints' church. This entry was much widened and improved by the late Malin Sorsbie, Esq. who erected convenient offices and warehouses on each side; and Benjamin Sorsbie, Esq. has built a very large and commodious tobacco warehouse near the top of the lane.
10. The Park, or "Back Lane," in Bourne's plan is called the "Dark Chare," which name has been revived by the corporation. 11. Broad Garth. The buildings in this chare have been mostly re-edified and converted into warehouses. 12. Peacock's Chare adjoins the Custom-house, and contains a large brewery. 13. Trinity Chare was anciently called "Dalton Place," probably from the name of a former owner. 14. Rewcastle Chare is a very narrow lane.
15. Broad Chare is so called by way of pre-eminence, being broad enough to admit a cart. Most of the old houses have recently been pulled down, and lofty, commodious warehouses erected in their place. A narrow flagged foot-path runs up the west side; but it is neither a safe nor pleasant passage. "Le Brod Chere" occurs so. early as the year 1390. 16. Spicer Lane is a short lane, which communicates with the Broad Chare by a small area, called Stony Hill.
17. Burn Bank is the place where Pandon-burn runs into the Tyne. "It lies," says Bourne, "very low, and before the heightening of the ground with the ballast, and the building of the wall and key, was often of great hazard to the inhabitants. Once in particular, a most melancholy accident happened in this place, in the year 1320, the 13th of king Edward III. the river Tyne overflowed so much, that one hundred and twenty laymen, and several priests, besides women, were drowned, and, as Grey says, one hundred and forty houses were destroyed."
18. Byker Chare, or, as Brand writes it, "Baker Chare," was formerly inhabited by several respectable merchants. It is supposed to have got its name from Robert de Byker and Laderine his wife, who had lands in Pandon. Few of the old houses now remain; and the new ones are erected for the purpose of holding corn and merchandize. 19. Cocks' Chare is sometimes called "Coxton's Chare," and, in Bourne's plan, is written "Cockis Chare." 20. Love Lane was, in the seventeenth century, called "Gowerley's Rawe." It communicates with the foot of the Wall Knoll, and is the birth-place of the Lord Chancellor Eldon, and his able brother, Lord Stowell. Their paternal house is on the west side of the lane, and has still a respectable appearance. (fn. 7)
Proceeding westward from the Sandhill, (fn. 8) and passing the north entrance to the Tyne Bridge, we enter the street called the Close, and which probably had its name from its closeness or narrowness. (fn. 9) "It was formerly," says Bourne, "that part of the town where the principal inhabitants liv'd, Sir John Marly, Sir William Blacket, Sir Mark Milbank; and the houses of many other gentlemen of figure are still remembred by the ancient inhabitants. And indeed however the street itself may be, however mean the fronts of the houses are, within they speak magnificence and grandeur, the rooms being very large and stately, and for the most part adorn'd with curious carving." The house of the Earls of Northumberland stood on the south side of the street, next the river, bounded on the east by Bower Chare, betwixt Tyne Bridge and Javil Groope. In 1482, Henry Earl of Northumberland demised it to his servant, George Bird, by the name of the Earl's Inn, under an annual rent of 13s. 4d. Bourne tell us, that it stood on the scite of a house, having, in his time, a great gate at its entrance, with a round ball of stone; from which circumstance the place was called the "Round Stone Entry;" and that in the lower part of the building, towards the water, were very manifest tokens of its antiquity.
The next opening to the river from the street is called the Javil Groop. Brand conjectures that this name is derived from groope, or grype, a ditch, and javel, a corruption of gaol. (fn. 10) The castle was long the common prison of the county of North umberland; and, he adds, it is probable it has been anciently the communication between the ditch or fosse of the castle and the river Tyne. Beyond this, to the west, on the same side, is a meeting-house belonging to the United Secession; adjoining to which is the Mansion-house, which will be described in the sequel. On the north side of this street runs a precipitous eminence, which is clustered, to the very summit of its almost perpendicular banks, with houses, built during the turbulent times which preceded the union of the crowns, when the inhabitants naturally crowded as close as possible under the protection of the Castle. On the right hand, after having entered the Close from the Tyne Bridge End, is the first ascent to the Castle and its precincts, called Castle Stairs. On each side are shops for the sale of old clothes, shoes, clogs, &c.: near the top is the south postern of the Castle. A little further to the westward are other lofty flights of stairs, called the Long Stairs, anciently (at least the upper part) the "Castle Mote," on each side of which is a range of gloomy miserable tenements, which seem as if they would tumble upon the head of the passenger. Proceeding a little further along, are a large pile of lofty warehouses; beyond which, and exactly opposite to the Mansion-house, are the Tuthill Stairs, which terminate at the foot of Westgate Street. Bourne imagines that the name is derived from the touting or winding a horn upon the summit when an enemy appeared. Brand, with equal probability, supposes that this place should be called Toot-hill, or hill of observation. About half way up this ascent, which consists of one hundred and thirteen steps, is a very ancient house, in which the Baptists assembled during many years, until their new meeting-house near the head of the stairs was erected.
The Close is now not less noted for the extent and value of the manufactories and warehouses which it contains, than it was formerly for the opulence and rank of its inhabitants. An attempt has been made to widen the narrowest parts; and the premises adjoining the entrance to the Javil Groop have been pulled down, and rebuilt about 14 feet further back. But the great value of property in this street has retarded, and will probably prevent, the projected improvements from being carried into full effect. However, the south side of the street, from near the Mansion-house to within a short distance of the scite of the Close Gate, has just been widened, by throwing back the extensive manufactory (fn. 11) of Messrs. Doubleday and Easterby, so that carts can now pass each other with ease and safety.
The north angle of the Sandhill opens into the Side. This name is plainly derived from the circumstance of its being erected on the side of a hill. The lower part of this street was anciently divided by the Lork-burn, up which the river flowed. The east side was called the Flesher Raw, probably because the fleshers, or butchers, had their shops there, as well as on the Butcher Bank. The west part bore the name of the Side: but in the year 1696, Lork-burn was arched at the top, and paved over, so as to form one street, which has since been called the Side. When the present width of this part of the street is considered, the space that the runner of dirty water would occupy, and the heavy projections with which the houses were disfigured, of which specimens still remain, we cannot entertain a very high idea of the taste of our forefathers for convenience and comfort. The Cale Cross, which stood on the north side of the Lork-burn, near the Sandhill, will be noticed hereafter.
The lowest or widest part of this street is called the Foot of the Side. About 90 years ago, it was "filled with shops of merchants, goldsmiths, milliners, upholsters, &c." and is still a place of considerable trade and bustle.
A little above the middle of the Side, the ascent becomes very steep. This, added to its extreme narrowness, and the dingy houses on each side, projecting in terrific progression, rendered the passage inconceivably gloomy and dangerous. Yet, before the erection of Dean Street, it formed the principal communication with the higher parts of the town. It was mostly inhabited by cheese-mongers, and dealers in bacon, butter, &c. whose goods were here kept cool, and effectually protected from the rays of the sun. The corporation lately purchased most of the houses on the west side, which were pulled down, and rebuilt in the modern style. This street is now considerably widened; but a few old houses on the east side still remain to attest its ancient appearance.
Just above the middle of the Side, there was a very narrow and steep flight of steps, that communicated with the eastern postern of the Castle. This ascent, which is called the Dog-Loup Stairs, (fn. 12) has recently been widened, and rendered safe and commodious. At the head of these stairs, there was a large waste place, which was, until very lately, the common receptacle of filth. It is described in the account of Pink-Tower Ward as "a great waiste upon the Castle-hugh, sumtime called olde Laurence Acton's Waiste." (fn. 13) This place still contains some remains of the outer fortifications of the Castle.
Having reached the Head of the Side, we turn to the left, and enter a narrow, short passage, called King Street, on the south side of which is the grand entrance to the Castle, very properly named the Black Gate. Within this strong and gloomy gateway is a narrow, awkward street, leading into an open area before the Castle. After the Union, the Castle Garth seems to have been much neglected; and, by a survey taken in the year 1649, consisted of small gardens and waste grounds, with a few tenements interspersed. But it being within the county of Northumberland, Scotchmen and other strangers gradually increased its population, though much persecuted by the frivolous and vexatious suits of the corporation, who claimed a jurisdiction within the liberties of the Castle. (fn. 14) It is still mostly inhabited by dealers in old clothes and shoes, who are remarkably clever in translating old articles into new ones, or vice versa, as it may suit the taste of their customers.
Within the last sixteen years, the appearance of the Castle Garth has been greatly altered. The Old Moot Hall, on the east side of the yard, has been pulled down; an immense accumulation of ashes and dung, south of the jury-room, removed; and the curious building which surrounded this artificial hill, called the Half-moon Battery, demolished. The latter place was divided into tenements, and contained a great number of families. The upper rooms in front were reached by stairs, which communicated with wooden galleries, that led along each story of the building, and gave to the whole, when viewed from the bridge, a very curious appearance. This place was entered from the front area of the Garth by a narrow, dirty entry; but the whole is now covered with the County Courts, one of the most magnificent edifices of modern times. Adjoining to the east side of the Castle stood a range of houses, called the Clogger's Raw. (fn. 15) This, and a cluster of wretched tenements and pig-sties which faced the south and west sides of the Castle, have been pulled down; and that noble structure is now left insulated and open to view.
At the west side of the top of the Castle Stairs was a cluster of mean buildings, called Dowey's Corner, the abodes of wretchedness and prostitution. It was so named from a baker, named Dowey, who long resided here. The clearing away of these nasty tenements has exposed to view part of the outer wall of the ballium of the Castle. In one part of the wall, which is at present below the surface, there has been a door, that is now walled up. On the south side of the Castle there was an eminence, called The Mount, on the north and west side of which were tenements of various forms. The Mount was levelled, and the houses removed, in forming the commodious approach to the County Courts called Castle Street, the south side of which consists of a range of regular-built houses.
From the south postern of the Castle to the head of the Long Stairs, there is a dirty, narrow communication, the east part of which is called the Bank Side, and the west part Sheep Head Alley. Brand calls this alley a short "subterraneous or arched passage," and evidently means the sloping passage which led direct from the Mount to the head of the Long Stairs, and exactly opposite to the gates of St. Ni cholas' poor-house. Even these miserable lanes are partaking in the improvements of the age.
Queen Street commences at the head of the Long Stairs, and at its northern extremity joins the narrow passage leading to the Head of the Side, called King Street. Bailey-gate extends from the west side of Queen Street to Westgate. It anciently conducted to the postern gate (lately pulled down) that opened into the ballium, or court of the Castle, from which circumstance it has plainly received its name; though it was for many years called Bailiff-gate, which Bourne derives from "the coming of the felons of the county of Northumberland along it, attended by the county bailiffs." The corporation has very properly rejected this name. (fn. 16) Grey, in his Chorographia, says that this street formerly belonged to the Castle and county of Northumberland. In 1649, it was claimed as crown-land, but in the following year was given up again to the town of Newcastle.
The Back Row, a street that runs westward from the north end of Queen Street, was anciently called Gallow-gate, because the prisoners to be executed, from the county prison in the Castle, were brought along it in their way to the gallows, erected for such executions without Westgate. This street is narrow and extremely dirty. Some of the houses are lofty and well built; but others are small, old, and crazy.
The Postern is a little, narrow, but well-built street, opposite the Back Row, and which extends to the scite of a strong postern in the town-wall, adjoining Nevil's Tower. The road on the south of this tower leads into Forth Street, and that on the north to a pleasant range of houses, called Paradise Row, which terminates at Spital Place. The upper stories of these houses overlook the town-wall, and command an extensive prospect.
From the west end of Bailey-gate there is a beautiful continuation of Westgate, called Clavering Place, (fn. 17) from the late Sir Thomas Clavering, who obtained property here by marriage with the daughter of Mr. Joshua Douglas, town-clerk. In Bourne's time, from the Postern to the Tuthill Stairs was named Tuthill. It now contains two neat Dissenting chapels, and several genteel and well-built houses, which, however, are very irregularly disposed. The south part is called Hanover Square, at the north end of which are a few houses, which are named Russel Square. (fn. 18)
Westgate is usually called Westgate Street, which is a pleonasm, as gate, or yate, signifies a road or street. This is a long, airy, and pleasant street, and contains several very handsome houses, having gardens or grass plots behind. At the house of Dixon Dixon, Esq. near the centre, it is 57 feet in breadth. Grey says this street "is broad and private; for men that lives there hath imployment for town and country." And Bourne remarks that, "It is chiefly inhabited by clergy and gentry: and indeed it seems all along to have been inhabited by such more than others. In some writings above 400 years old, we meet with the names of some clergymen who lived in this street, not to mention those who belonged to the monasteries and hospitals." The lower part, above the Postern, is being a little widened, and much improved by a new range of good houses, erecting by Messrs. Willis and Dawson, through which is a convenient passage into the Postern, called Dawson Court. A little further up, on the opposite side, is a narrow lane, named Denton Chare, which runs eastward. It is paved with flag-stones, and contains many small shops, principally for the sale of fruit and pastry. Collingwood Street, so called in honour of the late gallant Admiral Lord Collingwood, runs in a similar direction, and forms a safe and convenient communication between Westgate and that fine spacious area which is now formed on the north side of St. Nicholas' church. This street, which was commenced in the year 1809, is 53 feet wide, and both sides consist of handsome houses with elegant shops; but the narrowness of the scites on which they are erected has rendered them less agreeable and convenient than at first sight they appear to be. Most of the south side is occupied by the Turf Hotel, which affords ample accommodations for the passengers of one of the largest and best regulated coach-establishments in the United Kingdom. The south-west end of Collingwood Street has a fine termination in the elegant house of Mr. William Fife, surgeon. The opposite end, by a circular sweep, communicates with Pudding Chare. This street, according to Bourne, was anciently called Budding Chare. It leads to the Bigg Market, but is narrow, dirty, and inconvenient for carriages. It communicates with a foot-way, called Gravesend Walk, that runs along the south side of St. John's church-yard, by another little street, named anciently St. John's Chare, but now Rosemary Lane. St. Mary's Hospital stands opposite to the south end of this lane.
In Westgate, and opposite to Mr. Fife's house, before mentioned, stands the New Library of the Literary and Philosophical Society. Adjoining the north side of this commodious structure is Westmoreland Place, which was called Bolbeck Hall before the founder was created an earl, which took place in 1398. It was built, according to Bourne, by the Baron of Bywell and Bolbeck, about the 9th of Edward III. who, near the same time, erected a house within the precincts of the Castle, for its defence. That this is the scite of Westmoreland Place he thinks is certain, from the circumstance of Nevil's Tower being directly behind, which, it is admitted, was built by the Nevil family of Raby, for the security and defence of their house. Though this place exhibits the remains of the magnificence and grandeur of antiquity, yet nothing of the original structure remains except a remarkable wall that passes the garden, and which has been converted into a terrace. Under this there is a vaulted passage, made of very old bricks, which communicated with Nevil Tower. James Bertram, in 1569, held this ancient mansion in free soccage of the Earl of Westmoreland, at the yearly rent of 6s. 8d. It was purchased, some years ago, of George Anderson, Esq. by the late Mr. Thomas Anderson, builder.
A little higher up, on the same side of the street, stands the Hospital of St. Mary the Virgin, the chapel of which was granted to the Free Grammar School in the 42d of queen Elizabeth. St. John's church is on the opposite side of the street, and is divided from the Vicarage by a lane called St. John's Lane, and which communicates with the Bigg Market. The north side of this lane consists of small, neat houses; and the opposite side is mostly occupied by the extensive coach-manufactory of Mr. Caleb Angas, the proprietor. The formation of this place was justly considered an important improvement; but these buildings are now confined by the lofty floor-cloth manufactory of Mr. John Hardcastle on the north side, and the high offices of the coach-works on the other. This lane was for many years called Copper Alley, from the circumstance of the workmen being paid mostly in copper.
After passing the wall in front of the Vicarage House, the elegant Assembly Rooms open to the view. This is the widest part of Westgate, and is divided by the Cross House into two streets. The continuation of Westgate from the Forth Lane is rather narrow; but since the removal of the old, clumsy, gloomy gate, and part of the town-wall, it appears open and airy, and affords a view to the toll-gate on the summit of Westgate Hill. At the extremity of this street another runs eastward, formerly called Ratten Rawe, but at present Cross Street. Its north side is formed by a wall, supporting and enclosing a shrubbery, round which are some excellent buildings called Charlotte Square, erected by the late Mr. Newton, architect, on the property of the Bennet-chessie Friars, who obtained a lease of the ground for the term of one hundred and four years, at £9 a year. Behind these houses, and opposite to the town-walls, are a few neat tenements, called West Wall Cottages. Fenkle Street stretches from the east end of Cross Street to the Cross House, near the Assembly Rooms. In Corbridge's Plan of the town, this street is spelled Fennel Street. It has also been called Fenchale Street.
Near the head of Fenkle Street, a lane or street runs eastwards to Newgate, called Low Friar Chare, but anciently the Shod-Friar Chare, from its vicinity to the monastry of the Black or Shod Friars. The south-west entrance into this street was last year made more convenient for carriages, by taking off the angle, and making the turn circular. Most of the houses in this street have been rebuilt after the modern fashion; but a few old houses remain, as specimens of the taste of former times. A curious old stone house, belonging to Miss Hedley, ornamented with allegorical figures, never fails to attract the notice of strangers. The Dispensary, formerly a Masonic Hall, stands in this street.
The monastry of the Black Friars stood behind the north side of this chare or street. It was granted by the corporation, in 1552, to nine of the ancient trades of the town, most of which still have their respective halls in it, and by that means it has been preserved from dilapidation. The area, or quadrangle, is about eighty-seven feet square. The ground-floor of the Smiths' Meeting-house was the chapel of the monastry, and the scene of a remarkable event (see page 126) At the west end of this hall was a window of the most elegant design and beautiful execution; but it was pulled down a few years ago, the building lowered, and two modern windows made in its place. A low room, on the right hand on entering the quadrangle, contained the remains of a curious wooden ceiling, about the pannels of which were arms, or punning devices, thought to be expressive of the names of its ancient benefactors; but it is now either removed or plastered over. Above this room is the work-shop of Mr. Edward Story, house-carpenter, the floor of which has been fancifully formed of triangular bricks. Bourne complains of the dirtiness of the place in his time; and Brand says, "I could not, on a late visit, compliment the present tenants with profiting any thing by his censure, of which, however, it is probable they have never heard. Their want of eleanliness is the more to be wondered at, as they still enjoy the advantage of abundance of fine water in the old well adjoining to it, and still called Our Lady's Well, which, whatever imaginary qualities it may have forgone, retains, to the present hour, its purifying virtues." He proceeds, "The whole pile has still a monastic appearance, and affords a mournful instance of the vicissitude of all human things.—Once the recess of a respectable order of religious, who were the sole patrons and possessors of the learning of their times, it is now tenanted by ignorant old women: some of it is converted into stabling, and its out-offices are appropriated to the feeding of hogs." The clean and orderly habits of the present age have, however, improved the appearance of this monastic building, which now has a pleasing air of neatness and comfort. It is a beautiful remain of antiquity, and retains many of its original features; though the windows and arches are built up with stone and bricks, some parts completely modernized, the roofs covered with red pantiles, and the whole surmounted by lofty and unseemly brick chimnies The principal entrance at present into the Black Friars, is from the south end of Charlotte Square. It was raised and paved by the corporation, on the petition of the free companies that have property here. The famous well of Our Lady is now dry.
Newgate Street has clearly derived its name from the New Gate, that seems to have been erected on the scite of Berwick Gate. It is now a broad and commodious street; and since the gaol, guard-house, and other obstructions have been removed, it has become one of the best streets in the town. This place has been inhabited in very remote times, as may be inferred from the antiquity of the chancel of St. Andrew's church. Some writers conjecture that Monkchester was here; but as "most of the Saxon towns were on the very scites of Roman forts, from analogy we therefore suppose that Monkchester (of which in 1074 no vestige could be found) stood upon the grave of its parent, Pons Ælii."
The Main Guard-house was built on the south side of the gaol of Newgate, as represented in the wood-engraving at page 111. St. Andrew's church is contiguous to where this building stood. On the east side of the street, and opposite to the church, is a long, narrow street, called High Friar Chare, in contradistinction from Low Friar Chare, before noticed. This street led to the monastry of Grey Friars, A long, dead, brick wall on the one side, and the town-wall mouldering into ruins on the other, occupied a considerable part of this street, and had a dreary appearance; but the east end of the north side is now terminated by a new Dissenting chapel, after which the south side becomes part of Blackett Street. The spacious meetinghouse of the Joiners' Company adjoins the chapel, and was for many years the principal ornament of the street. High Friar Lane branches off near the east end of the street, and also communicates with Pilgrim Street.
In Newgate Street, and a little below High Friar Street, there is a retired row of houses, which runs eastward, called Green-Court. On the opposite side, and at the bottom of the church-yard, there is a little ancient street, in which are three tanneries, named Darn Crook. It runs westward to the town-wall, through which a passage was made into Gallowgate in 1810, and dignified with the name of Heron Street, in honour of the late Sir Cuthbert Heron. In 1824, this passage was widened, by pulling down an old house that stood across it. Mr. Young has also built a long row, consisting of about thirty houses, which runs from Darn Crook in a direction parallel with the town-wall. It is called Stowell Street; and the other side, containing about 7000 yards, is to be let for work-yards and mechanics' shops. An immense quantity of earth and clay has been led from this place, which is now reduced to a dead level; but the houses are thereby rendered less private, dry, and airy. They are very judiciously planned, consisting of four fire-rooms each, and are well adapted for families of a certain rank, whose convenience is seldom consulted by building speculators.
Opposite to the Darn Crook is a little runner of water, which goes into Lork-burn. It is now arched over, and is generally known by the name of Execution Dock. The debtors, not confined to close prison in Newgate, had liberty to walk as far as this small brook.
Further down Newgate Street, and near the entrance to Low Friar Street, stood the White Cross. This cross was of great antiquity, being mentioned so early as the year 1410; and the White Cross Street occurs in 1577. "This cross," says Bourne, on the authority of the Milbank MS. "was pulled down that very night after Sir George Selby died, and king James of sacred memory, March 24." He adds, "On the place where the cross stood was a cistern for receiving the water which was then called the New Water. This was lately pulled down; and there is now, in the place where the cross was, a pillar of stone-work." In 1773, a milk-market was established at the White Cross, which, in 1783, was taken down, and rebuilt in the following year, after a neat design, by the late Mr. David Stevenson, architect. It had a pretty little spire, with a good clock, and was ornamented on the four sides with the arms of the mayor, magistrates, and sheriff. It was removed to the north side of the New Flesh Market in 1807.
There is a tradition that anciently several markets were held between the Newgate and the White Cross. The "Horse-market Gate" is mentioned in a deed dated 1281. The "Nolt-market neare the White Crosse" occurs in the reign of Charles II.; and "the great inns in the Nolt-market" are mentioned as late as the year 1722. There are still three annual fairs held in this street; two for horses, and one for black cattle.
A row of houses stood nearly in the middle of the street, between the White Cross and Execution Dock. Part of these houses, in Bourne's Plan of Newcastle, are marked near to the east side of the street. They were anciently styled "Cocksour or Cokstole Bothes," and afterwards the "Hucksters' Booths," where the religious houses and the other people of this part of the town were supplied with provisions. They were pulled down some years before Brand wrote, having been repeatedly complained of as a nuisance to the street.
Near the White Cross, and opposite to the Booths, was a great gate, that formed the principal entrance into the Black Friars. The approach was by a narrow lane, which passed the mill, and in the Milbank MS. is called Wind's Hole. In Bourne's time, Mr. Thomas Marshall built a house on the scite of this gateway.
Newgate Street, from the cross to near the Nun-gate, was formerly called the White Cross. Most of the houses on both sides are modern, lofty, and commodious buildings. A little below Low Friar Chare, on the west side of this street, a pascious plot of ground, called Marshall's Yard, contains several work-shops, stables, and dwelling-houses. Lower down is Rankin's Entry, and another range of dwelling-houses called Bell's Court, below which is a row, just built by Mr. Cuthbert Burnup, who has named it St. Martin's Court.
The arch of the great gateway, which was the grand entrance into the nunnery of St. Bartholomew, remained to Brand's time; but Major Anderson has preserved the locality of the passage, by erecting, close to it, a house in an antique fashion, which he has called the Nuns-gate. The part of the street which bears this name is inconveniently narrow, considering the increased trade of the town.
The south end of the Nun-gate opens into a spacious street called the Bigg Market. This name is derived from bigg, a particular kind of barley, properly that variety which has four rows of grain on each ear, still common in many parts of Scotland, where it is called bear. This street was also called the "Oate Markett;" and it is still the weekly market for the sale of oats.
On the west side of this street, directly opposite to the Turk's Head, stood the Scotch Inn, so called because the kings, nobility, &c. of Scotland, lodged there in time of truce or league with England. Bourne describes it as an "ancient building, with a large gate, which had formerly been a piece of stately workmanship." The arch of the great gate remained till the year 1783. The south end of this street was formerly called the Pullen Market, being the place where poultry was sold. In 1766, this market was removed to the High Bridge.
The south part of the Bigg Market, which is 90 feet in breadth, is separated into three divisions, of which the west is called the Meal or Groat Market, the east the Old Flesh Market, and the street between these two the Middle Street.
The houses in the Groat Market, (fn. 19) says Bourne, "are generally very ancient and mean;" but this street, of late years, has received many improvements, and has now a respectable appearance. The Wool Market was held at the lower end of this street, where was a wide communication with the Middle Street, nearly opposite to Collingwood Street. It was removed from the old Pullen Market to this lane in the year 1676. Near the Wool Market, and opposite to the shop of the late Mr. W. Charnley, bookseller, a house stood about the middle of the last century, on the top of which was a reservoir for the water that came from Gateshead Fell. The continuation of this street beyond the east end of Denton Chare, and opposite to St. Nicholas' church, was the ancient Iron Market. In this street the Nonjurors had a chapel. The Library of the Literary and Philosophical Society was near the upper end: it is now converted into a Masonic Hall.
Middle Street appears to have been called anciently Glover Street. Bourne says it bare formerly three names. The upper part of it was called Skinner-gate, and the lower parts Spurrier-gate and Sadler-gate. "It is a street," says Bourne, "as it was in Grey's time, where all sorts of artificers have their shops and houses."About 30 years ago, it contained a great number of shoemakers' shops; but the persons engaged in this trade are now dispersed throughout the town.
The Old Flesh Market, (fn. 20) on the side next Middle Street, consists mostly of low old houses: the other side has been much improved, and has a more modern appearance. Most of the shops have been new fronted; and many being occupied by drapers, have a gay appearance. This street is wide at the bottom, but narrows gradually towards the upper or north end. It was anciently inhabited by the mayors, aldermen, and principal merchants of the town. Part of it was called the Cloth Market, part the Flesh Market, and part the Fish Market. Many houses in it paid an annual rent to University College in Oxford. At the foot of this street stood the Cordwainers' meeting-house, which was once the spinn or work-house; and, a little above, a large cross, with a lead cistern at the top to hold the new water, adjoining to which was a pillory. The butchers' shambles were formerly erected here every Friday evening, and a great market for flesh held on the following day. The ancient custom of setting up booths to sell cloth in this street, at the two annual fairs, still remains. All the old houses at the Head of the Side, and on each side of the Middle Street up to a line above the entrance into Collingwood Street, were purchased by the corporation, and pulled down; by which the magnificent church of St. Nicholas has been exposed, and a fine spacious area obtained, in which the Wheat Market has been held since May 2, 1812.
The junction of Middle Street and the Old Flesh Market is called Union Street. At the east side of this street, the High Bridge, or Upper Dean Bridge, conducts to Pilgrim Street. In this street is the elegant hall of the company of Cordwainers, underneath which is a large weigh-house for leather, where also great quantities of that valuable article are kept. A little further along is a small passage into a Presbyterian meeting-house. On the south side of the west end of this street there is a covered place, where the poultry and butter market was held; and another adjoining, for the sale of pigs, &c. After the erection of the New Flesh Market, these markets were removed to it. During the late war, part of this piazza was converted into a regimental guard-house; and the whole was afterwards used as a barracks and storehouse for a party of the horse-artillery. After this, the east end was, during years of scarcity, fitted up as a temporary soup-kitchen, where thousands of distressed families were supplied with cheap and nutritious food.
Some years ago, the Lork-burn ran exposed through the middle of the town, from the High Bridge to the middle of the Side, and was a receptacle of all the filth, butchers' offals, &c. of the neighbourhood. The banks on each side were very steep and dangerous; and the only communication between the central parts of the town was by narrow, dark, and stinking alleys. The magistrates had long determined to remedy this serious inconvenience, but the immense sums expended in building the Tyne Bridge retarded the execution of this useful design. At last, an act of parliament was procured, the necessary arrangements made, and this great work commenced. The first street formed was called Mosley Street, in compliment to the alderman of that name, who warmly patronized this excellent improvement. It leads from the new Wheat Market eastward to Pilgrim Street. This street was begun in 1784, and is 59 feet in breadth. It is airy and well paved, and has a commodious flagged foot-path on each side. The houses are lofty, handsome, and uniform, and the shops large and elegant. About the middle of the north side of this street stands the theatre, on the west side of which is a communication with the Old Flesh Market, by a clean flagged passage, called Drury Lane.
The east side of the theatre is separated from the post-office by a passage which conducts to the New Flesh Market, which is principally formed over the dean, that was arched, levelled, and, by removing some adjacent old buildings, converted into a market-place, which is certainly not inferior to any of the kind in the kingdom. It is in the form of a long square, enclosed with buildings and high walls, and has four entrances—the one just mentioned from Mosley Street, one from the High Bridge, one from Pilgrim Street, and another from the Old Flesh Market. The shops are fronted with stone, and covered with blue slates; with ventilators on the top to admit the air. They are also numbered and disposed in streets; the whole number amounts to one hundred and fifty-one, most of which are occupied. But the divisions between the shops on the east side have been taken down, and the whole appropriated for the sale of butter, eggs, and poultry. The north side, under the cross, is used for the sale of roll and salt butter; and at the foot, or south end of this market, is a commodious weigh-house, with a house for its keeper, and another for the person appointed to keep the market clean, lock the gates, &c. This market cost the corporation an immense sum; but it is both an ornament and a convenience to the town. The late Alderman Joseph Forster, whose attention to the execution of this improvement was unremitted, received a merited and honourable acknowledgment from the common council shortly after its completion.
Between this market and the houses adjoining the theatre, another large area has been formed, to the east side of which the women employed in the sale of tripes (of which large quantities are skilfully prepared in this town) have been removed from the Foot of the Side. The area itself is used as a market for the sale of vegetables and fruit; but the entrance is narrow, steep, and awkward, and the ground slopes so as to render this place rather ineligible for the purpose. A passage for carts into the west side of the New Flesh Market has just been opened, with the view of disencumbering Mosley Street from the long rows of potatoe carts which stood there on market-days.
Dean Street is so named from having been formed over the dean, or dene, which was a vast nauseous hollow, equally unhealthy and inconvenient. This street extends southwards from the middle of Mosley Street to about the middle of the Side. Its parallel breadth is 68 feet, and the houses are handsome and convenient. It is well flagged, and the street was recently Macadamized. The shops on each side are filled with goods of various descriptions, exhibiting an appearance of neatness and elegance not to be surpassed in any provincial town. In forming this street, in 1787, the curious old arch of the Low Overdean Bridge was pulled down.
The north side of St. Nicholas' Church-yard, sometimes called Church Street, adjoins the houses that front Mosley Street. The east side of the Church-yard, to the Church-stairs, presents the back part of the houses in Dean Street. The continuation of this yard to Amen-Corner consists mostly of old, irregular-built houses. There is a good flagged foot-path and a cart-road nearly round this place. The new houses are light and airy, and contain several shops. Before the Royal Grammar-school was removed to St. Mary's Hospital, it was kept in a building at the north-east end of St. Nicholas' Church-yard. Brand informs us, that a petition occurs in the common council books, February 13, 1657, to make the old school into a dye-house, which was rejected. "Part of it," he quaintly adds, "has been made subservient to more necessary purposes; and, having experienced the fate of Baal's temple of old, 'it remaineth a draught-house unto this day.'"
Pilgrim Street is said to have derived its name from the pilgrims who lodged in it, that came from all parts of the kingdom to worship at Our Lady's chapel at Jesmond. "There was an inn in this street," says Bourne, "which the pilgrims were wont to call at, which occasioned their constant coming up this street, and so it got its name of Pilgrim Street, as the inn did that of Pilgrims' Inn." (fn. 21) In the copy of a grant of a house to Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland, dated 1292, this street is called Vicus Peregrinorum. Brand supposes there were more pilgrims' inns in this street than one; for, in 1564, mention occurs of the execution of one Partrage, for coining false money in "the greate innes in Pilgrim Street." He is also of opinion, from a passage in Bale's Life of Hugh of Newcastle, the famous Franciscan, that pilgrims came hither too to visit certain reliques of St. Francis that were preserved in the house of Grey Friars, near the head of this street. Hodgson, on the authority of an old MS. states that there was a place of sanctuary, or refuge, near the Pilgrims' Inn.
Grey calls this the longest and fairest street in the town. Bourne says that "from Upper Dean Bridge downwards is the most beautiful part of the street, the houses on each side of it being most of them very pretty, neat, and regular; such are the houses of Mr. Edward Harl, Mr. Thomas Biggs, John Rogers, Esq. Thomas Clennell, Esq. Nicholas Fenwick, Esq. Nathaniel Clayton, Esq. Edward Collingwood, Esq. Mr. Perith, Mr. John White, John Ogle, Esq. Mr. Thomas Waters, Matthew White, Esq. &c." At present, scarcely any of the families above mentioned retain their residences here; the greater part of the street having, of late years, been converted into offices, shops, and inns. It is a good, spacious street, and, at Major Anderson's gate, is 73 feet broad. Since the old gate in the town-wall was pulled down, this street and Northumberland Street form a most noble line of buildings, the effect of which is heightened by a gentle curve or bend near the High Bridge.
On the right hand, on passing down this street, stands a noble mansion, which was built in 1580, by Robert Anderson, merchant, out of the offices, and nearly upon the scite of the Franciscan priory (see page 123). In Speed's Map, 1610, it is called the "Newe House;" and it was selected for the head-quarters of General Leven, during the captivity of king Charles in Newcastle. Sir Francis Anderson, Knt. (fn. 22) in 1675 conveyed it to Sir William Blackett, of Matfen, Bart. who added the two wings to it, without attempting to preserve the style and uniformity of the building. It came into the possession of Sir Walter Blackett, Bart. (fn. 23) by his marriage with Sir William's grand-daughter. In 1782, it was sold to Mr. George Anderson, an opulent architect, (fn. 24) whose son, Major Anderson, the present possessor, has very properly styled it Anderson Place, it having been, at two distant periods, in the possession of different families of the same name.
Grey very properly calls this a princely house; and Bourne says, "It is surrounded with a vast quantity of ground: that part of it which faces the street is thrown in walks and grass-plots, beautified with images, and beset with trees, which afford a very pleasing shade: the other part of the ground on the west side of it is all a garden, exceedingly neat and curious, adorned with many and the most beautiful sta tues, and several other curiosities." This grand and noble mansion was long concealed from the view of the passenger by a very large wooden gate; but the present spirited proprietor has substituted an ornamental iron one, which exposes the beauties of this agreeable place. A fine avenue shaded with trees leads direct to the house, and on each side of the grass-plot is a curved coach-way. The whole combines to produce a very fine effect. In the interior of this spacious mansion are some curious and well-painted ceilings. The apartments occupied by the royal captive are calculated to dispose the mind of the visitor to reflections the most melancholy and impressive. (fn. 25)
At the head of this noble street, a passage ran eastward, and communicated with a small field, bounded on the east side by the town-wall, and on the west by the garden walls of houses in Pilgrim Street. It formerly belonged to the family of Carlels, or Carliols, from whom it was called the Carle, or Carliol Croft. (fn. 26) The foot-path next the wall formed an agreeable walk, presenting a prospect of the gardens on the west, the Wind-mill Hills, and the adjacent country. In Bourne's time, this walk was "generally frequented, in a summer's evening, by the gentry of this part of the town." In 1823, the south end of this field was purchased of the proprietor, James Graham Clarke, Esq. for building upon it the New Prisons and House of Correction. A street, nearly 50 feet wide, is now nearly completed, called Carliol Street, which runs from the Prisons to New Bridge Street; and another narrower street runs in a similar direction, called Erick Street, from a small runner of water, called Erick Burn, which bounded the west margin of the Croft.
On the east side of Pilgrim Street there are several pleasant, well-built ranges of houses, which stretch downwards towards Erick Burn. The principal of these are, Hill's Court, so called from Mr. Richard Hill, the late town's marshall; the court that conducts to the Roman Catholic chapel; Wellington Place, erected by the late Joseph Bainbridge, Esq.; and Bell's Court, which is now used as a thoroughfare to Carliol Street. Below this last is the meeting-house of the people called Quakers, adjoining to which is a burying-ground for persons of that denomination.
A little further down, on the same side of the street, is the Manor Chare, which leads to Jesus' Hospital by a part formerly styled Austin Chare, as conducting to the house of the Augustine Friars. The part which leads from thence to the head of the Broad Chare, was anciently called Cow-gate; for previous to the building of Mosley and Dean Streets, it was usual for cattle and carriages passing from the north to go by this street, Cow-gate, and the Quay, to the Bridge, in order to avoid the danger and inconvenience of descending the Side. The present name of this street is accounted for by the house of the Austin Friars, after the dissolution, being called the King's Manor. "The Taylor's meeting-house," observes Bourne, "was formerly at the very end of the chare, in that house which fronts Pilgrim Street, which, by the marks still remaining of a large window, seems to have been a chapel, as well by the tradition of the people thereabouts."The Tailors afterwards removed their meetings to a house a little below the east end of the chare; and this meeting-house was fitted up into an inn, known by the name of the Three Tuns. This old building was lately pulled down, and rebuilt in a modern and substantial manner: the front is converted into shops and offices, and the back part into a spacious public house. Since the year 1788, the Tailors have met in their ancient hall in the Black Friars. In this street the Methodists of the New Itinerancy have a neat chapel, called Bethel, a little above which is the entrance into Messrs. Pickersgill and Co.'s waggon-yard. The hospitals and other public buildings will be noticed hereafter.
The market for wheat was formerly held in Pilgrim Street, below the head of the Manor Chare. A little further down, on the west side of the street, is the Low Bridge, or Nether Dean Bridge, so called from the bridge across the dean, and which communicated with St. Nicholas' Church-yard. The high and ancient arch of this bridge was supposed to be of Roman architecture; (fn. 27) and some imagine that the famous stone barrier of that warlike people went along it. "Formerly," says Bourne, "when the merchants had their shops and warehouses in the Flesh Market, the river ebbed and flowed above this bridge, and the boats came under it with the ware and commodities of the merchants." The narrow lane which is still called the Low Bridge is flagged, and consists principally of shops for the sale of old clothes, &c.
A little lower down, the Painter Hugh, or Heugh, by a steep descent, conducts to nearly the foot of Dean Street. There is a flight of stone steps on one side for the convenience of foot-passengers. Bourne derives the name from painter, a rope by which boats are moored, and hugh, a steep hill or bank: nor is this supposition improbable, as boats were, no doubt, fastened by painters to this hill, when the tide flowed up the dean to the Low Bridge, before the river was embanked by the Quay.
At this place Pilgrim Street becomes narrower; and further down, on the east side, is Silver Street, which leads down a very steep hill, impassable for carriages, to Pandon. This street appears to have had several names: it was anciently called All-Hallow-gate, as also Temple-gate, it should seem from the circumstance of its communicating with All Saints' church. It occurs too in old writings with the name of Jew-gate, which, as well as its present name, probably originated in the same cause, that is, from the place being principally inhabited by Jews who dealt in silver plate. There is at present a Presbyterian meeting-house in this street. Below Silver Street, and on the west side of Pilgrim Street, there is a long descent, by steps, to the foot of the Butcher Bank. This passage is called George's Stairs.
At the foot or southern extremity of Pilgrim Street, two narrow streets branch off in opposite directions. That on the left hand, which leads down a steep hill to Cowgate, is called the Dog Bank, and seems formerly to have been inhabited by Jewish merchants, as it is named Silver Street in some ancient writings. It now consists mostly of shops for the sale of furniture and old clothes. The other street communicates with the foot of the Side, and is called the Butcher Bank: it was formerly called All-hallow Bank, and takes its present name from the number of that profession dwelling here, and having their shops and slaughter-houses in it. There has long been a daily market for mutton kept in this place.
Cowgate, the ancient appellation of the Manor Chare, is still used to distinguish that part which extends from the foot of the Dog Bank to the foot of Silver Street. It communicates with the Quayside by the Broad Chare, and is very confined and inconvenient for the passage of carts and waggons; yet it contains some lofty granaries and warehouses. Some eminent men of fortune and estate are said to have inhabited this part of the town, as Gilbert de Cowgate, Walter de Cowgate, &c. who lived in the reign of king Edward I.
Pandon is a place of very high antiquity. In all ancient records it is written Pampdon, or Pampedene. Adepts in etymology have amused themselves in offering conjectures concerning the origin of this name. Horsley derives the latter syllable from dean, a hollow or brook; but he does not hazard a probable etymon of the first syllable. Some have imagined that the Romans called it Pandana, from one of the gates of Rome; some from the Pantheon at Rome, as it might have contained a similar building; and others have suggested that it came from one Pandara, a Scottish virgin saint. But all these suppositions rest on such flimsy foundations, as scarcely to deserve consideration. The most probable conjecture is, that the name Pampedene comes from a Saxon term signifying well-hill, and probably obtained from the ancient reservoir at the head of Pandon Bank.
It is impossible to define the ancient boundaries of Pandon; but they could not be of great extent. By a charter dated December 20, 1299, Edward I. granted to the burgesses of Newcastle the lands and tenements, with their premises in Pampdon, in the manor of Byker, near Newcastle, to be held like Newcastle in free burgage, and the two places henceforth to constitute one town and borough. By the term lands and tenements, without the mention of either town or village, it would appear to have been an inconsiderable place at the time of making the grant. "After the departure of the Romans,"says Grey, "the kings of Northumberland kept their residence in this place, and had their house, now called Pandon Hall."—"It was of considerable bigness," writes Bourne, "having been, according to tradition, on its north front, in length from Stock Bridge to Cowgate; and, on its west front, in length from its west corner, beyond that lane that leads into Blyth's Nook." There still remained, even in his time, "many ancient walls and parts of this building."—"Some gentlemen of Northumberland," we are told in the Chorography of Grey, "had their houses in it; "and it is recorded that the Duke of Northumberland had his house in Pandon, called "Duke's Place."
Opposite to the Red Row, formerly Pandon Hall, stood a pile of buildings anciently called Alvey's Island, and which was removed to widen the street. It was called an island because, when the tide flowed up to the Stock Bridge, there was here a hill of sand, which at ebb tide appeared like an island. Alvey seems to have been the proprietor's name. Near the foot of the Manor Chare was a street or place called Ewe-gate. The continuation of Cowgate-to the foot of the Manor Chare is, in Corbridge's Plan of the town, 1723, called " Duck Hill," alias " Stoney Hill."
The arch that crosses Pandon-burn is called Stock Bridge, (fn. 28) probably from the circumstance of selling stock-fish at it. Bourne supposes it was anciently made of wood; but it appears to have been of stone about the time of king Edward I. Formerly the river flowed up to it every tide; and there was a fish-market held in that part of the street which extends from the bridge to the foot of the Wall Knoll, and which was anciently called Fisher-gate. The stairs on the east side of this street lead up to St. Michael's Mount, where the monastry of the Carmelites originally stood.
Pandon Street leads from the foot of the Wall Knoll, eastward, to the head of Coxon's Chare. It is a narrow, winding, dirty street, and appears to have been called, in old times, Crosswell-gate. According to tradition, the opulent, pious, and munificent Roger Thornton lived in this street; though now it is generally shunned by respectable people, not only on account of the dirtiness of the passage, but as being inhabited by many of those coarse and impudent wenches, called, in these refined times, Cyprian nymphs, who subsist by administering to the gross appetites of those who are unfortunately strangers to the exquisite pleasures arising from a correct and refined taste, and blind to the disgrace, pain, and disappointment which result from deviating from the smooth paths of moral rectitude.
This street contains several narrow lanes or alleys. The first, which is built over Pandon-burn, is at present called Blyth's Nook, and communicates with Cowgate near the foot of the Dog Bank. The next is a narrow lane leading to Burn Bank, which place was overflown in 1320, and occasioned a great loss of lives and property (see page 164). A considerable part of Pandon Street has recently been used for depositing merchandise; and, at the east end, Ralph Atkinson, Esq. is now erecting a lofty and substantial building for holding grain and other merchandise.
The Wall Knoll communicates with Pandon by a steep, narrow ascent, on each side of which are clusters of dwelling-houses. On the side of the knoll, or hill, there is a compact meeting-house, belonging to a congregation of Presbyterians. On the east side of the hill there is another small, convenient meeting-house, belonging to the Glassites. A narrow passage on the inside of the town-wall leads to the very summit of this lofty eminence.
Having reviewed all the streets, squares, and principal lanes, contained within the walls of the town, we will next proceed to describe the suburbs. To render our account as connected and perspicuous as possible, we shall class these detached places under different divisions, and, beginning with the eastern suburbs, proceed regularly to those of Pandon, Pilgrim Street, Newgate, Westgate, and the Close.