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
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
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
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
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
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
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.