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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SUBURBS OF NEWGATE.
These suburbs were also destroyed by the Scots in the reign of Charles I. The street proceeding straight on from Newgate to Barras Bridge was formerly called Sidgate (or the road leading to the Side); but its proper modern name is Percy Street. At the foot of this street is another, nearly on a line with Blackett Street, called Gallowgate, and which communicates with the Ponteland turnpike road. It is so named because the malefactors from Newgate passed along it on their way to the fatal tree, which stood near the entrance to the Town Moor, in a place called Gallows-hole. This street was called Galogate in the reign of Edward IV. It has been much improved during late years. Beyond Heron Street is the large skinnery of Messrs. Arundale and Son; and a little further, the lead-works of Messrs. Locke, Blackett, and Co. Above this, on the east side of the street, is a house where the late Sir Cuthbert Heron occasionally resided. Nearly opposite to this is a passage which the corporation permitted to be made in 1768, for the convenience of the Lunatic Asylum; and at the foot of the turnpike road is a pleasant little house, inhabited by the relict of Mr. Isaac Richardson. Behind is a fine grass field, ornamented with trees. It is called the Spring Gardens, being formerly used as a place of genteel resort, where the gay and fashionable were entertained in tents, and amused with music, singing, &c. A little further up the road, and past Tod's Nook, Mr. Darling erected a number of houses, which form three sides of a square. They are let into tenements, and mostly occupied by married soldiers, as affording conveniences not to be obtained in the adjoining barracks.
A little above the entrance into Gallowgate from Percy Street, were the nursery grounds of the late Michael Callender, but which are now covered with buildings. Albion Street commences at Percy Street; and at its termination is a long line of neat gardens and shrubberies, which front a row of convenient houses, called Albion Place. A passage crosses the foot of Albion Place, named Strawberry Lane, which conducts to Strawberry Place, a neat row of houses. St. James' Street branches at right angles, in a north-west direction from this row, and is certainly one of the most healthy, airy, and retired situations in the suburbs. The houses are erected on a gentle declivity, and front the houses and gardens of Mr. Harvey and Mr. Wilson, now occupied by Mrs. Hood. But had the front of this new street been made where the back is, the inhabitants would have enjoyed a clear, uninterrupted prospect across the Leazes and adjoining lands, and also the benefits of a south-west aspect. It is in contemplation to continue this street to the extremity of the tongue of land which projects into the Leazes.
On the north side of Albion Street there is a lane that leads to the Leazes, anciently styled Myln Chair, from its conducting to the mills in that place. It was also long named the Blind Man's Loaning, probably because some blind beggar sat in it formerly to solicit alms. It is now called Leazes Road. There are a few retired houses within the walls on the right hand side of this passage.
A short distance above Leazes Road, a narrow, unseemly passage leads to a cluster of small houses, called Percy Court. Further up, there is another entrance to a row of new cottages, which extends to Leazes Road; and it seems as if all the gardenground near this place would soon be covered with irregular buildings. Proceeding northwards, on the same side of Percy Street, is the house and commodious academy of Mr. John Bruce (which will be again noticed), adjoining to which is the tannery of Mr. Benjamin Thew. Above this, nearly all the ground between the front houses and the Leazes is divided into small gardens, which are mostly let to tradesmen whose business confines them to the central parts of the town. This side of Percy Street is terminated at the Barras Bridge by a range of pleasant, modern-built houses.
On the west, or right hand side of Percy Street, and adjoining to St. Andrew's girls' free-school, is an opening leading to the back of Blackett's Square. Above this is Percy Place, a row of neat houses. Passing the New Jerusalem Temple, Prudhoe Street, and Prudhoe Place, we come to The Parade, which was first opened for the inspection of the Newcastle Volunteers by Colonel Rawdon, April 26, 1808. This large angular area had long been a dirty, unseemly waste, full of little, putrid pools, alike offensive to the senses and inimical to health. The street upon the west has also been raised, levelled, and paved. Indeed the whole of Percy Street has been recently much improved; though it is still, in some measure, disfigured by a few mean, low cottages, the proprietor of which seems to have an unsurmountable antipathy against all innovation.
On the west side of the north end of the Parade is the large yard, work-shops, and veneer saw-mill of Messrs. Brown and Son, builders; also the patent nail-manufactory of Messrs. Carter and Burnet. This place was long the town's pinfold. On December 10, 1823, the engine-house and machinery of the saw-mill were destroyed by fire. The chimney of the new engine forms a very striking object on entering the town from the north. It is 78 feet in height, and only one brick in thickness. The side of the square is 8 feet at the bottom, and 2 feet 3 inches at top. The rookery adjoining Mr. Armstrong's house on the west side, and the trees that shade the Magdalen Meadows on the east, impart to this part of the street a rural and pleasing aspect.
The Barras Bridge, which is thrown over a very steep dean where the great northern post-road commences, was formerly narrow, ill-built, and exceedingly dangerous to passengers in carriages or upon horseback; but in 1819, it was rebuilt, raised, and considerably widened. On the west side are some new, well-built houses, and on the east the toll-houses, This side, being judiciously left open, offers to view a handsome range of houses, called Lovaine Row, which commands a view of the north part of Percy Street and the Magdalen Field. At the end of this row, another stretches eastward, called Lovaine Place, which possesses the advantage of a fine, open, southern aspect, and of an interesting view down Pandon Dean and the river Tyne. Each house has a large plot of garden-ground in front, and ample space for convenient offices behind. It is one of the sweetest situations in the vicinity of the town. The proprietor, Mr. Joseph Nixon, who commenced these handsome buildings, has parcelled out in building scites part of the adjoining ground.
The road from the Barras Bridge to Sandyford, and thence to Benton Bridge, has, during late years, been in a state of progressive improvement. Villa Real, beyond Sandyford, built by Captain Dutton, was recently purchased by Sir Thomas Burdon, who is winning a colliery at a short distance from the mansion.
Proceeding along Benton-road, and passing Dead Men's Graves, and Cradle Well, we arrive at the top of Benton-bank. On the right hand side stands the new and pleasant country-house of Armourer Donkin, Esq.; and on the opposite side, a snug villa, belonging to the Rev. Edward Moises. Turning along the coach-road which overlooks this fine and romantic vale, we reach the ancient mansion-house of the Stote family. (fn. 1) John Anderson, Esq. James Losh, Esq. and Miss Deer, have pleasant residences in Jesmond. In 1669, Sir Francis Anderson, knight, had valuable possessions in this ancient and delightful village. (fn. 2) The Holy Well, and the picturesque ruins of the chapel, are objects of interest to the curious. The public gardens in the village attract large crowds of visitors during the fruit season.
West Jesmond is the property and residence of Sir Thomas Burdon, knt. who is preparing to erect an elegant gateway at the entrance of his coach-road. In the rich and sheltered vale below is the handsome mansion-house of Thomas E. Headlam, M. D.
On a small eminence, opposite to the Barras Bridge, stands St. James' Place, formerly the Sick-Man's House. Before the bridge was rebuilt and widened, BarrasMill Field (fn. 3) contained a deep dell and several bold hillocks; but the Bailey Burn is now arched over, the mill-pond filled up, the inequalities levelled, and the whole converted into gardens, which are attached to a neat row of airy houses, called Eldon Place. Villas are to be erected between the east end of the row and the turnpike road; and at the west end it is in contemplation to form a bold crescent. The ancient mill is also to be pulled down, and the houses on the south side to be extended parallel with the villas. Behind, and fronting the road leading to the Cow Hill, is a row of humbler dwelling-houses, called Eldon Cottages. All these buildings have been projected and partly executed by the proprietor of the ground, Mr. Cuthbert Burnup, builder, whose persevering industry in improving this rugged ground is truly meritorious.
Further westward, and past the wind-mill, is Claremont Place, a neat row of small, convenient houses, with suitable offices annexed. The front of each house is ornamented by a garden, and commands a free and uninterrupted view of the Leazes and neighbouring grounds; and the back doors and windows face the Town Moor. When the buildings in Barras-Mill Field are completed, there will be a fine, level coach-road, and convenient flagged foot-path, from the Barras Bridge to this place, which it is intended to continue westward to Chimney Mills. At the latter place is an extensive manufactory for tobacco and snuff, with an elegant dwelling-house, which were built by the late Mr. Smith, and are now possessed by his son-in-law, Mr. Matthew Harrison. Here are also two corn wind-mills, and several pleasant houses, with gardens attached.