The present state of Newcastle: The suburbs of Pilgrim Street

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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Eneas Mackenzie, 'The present state of Newcastle: The suburbs of Pilgrim Street', Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827), pp. 188-191. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

Eneas Mackenzie. "The present state of Newcastle: The suburbs of Pilgrim Street", in Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827) 188-191. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

Mackenzie, Eneas. "The present state of Newcastle: The suburbs of Pilgrim Street", Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827). 188-191. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,


The suburbs of Pilgrim Street were ruined during the civil wars in the reign of king Charles I.; but they are now one of the pleasantest and best-built parts of the town. The continuation of Pilgrim Street is properly named Northumberland Street; and since the old gate was removed, these two long streets have a most airy, light, and elegant appearance. At the foot of Northumberland Street, a new and handsome street is now forming, called Blackett Street, (fn. 1) and which terminates at the north end of Newgate Street. This street is 70 feet broad; and the houses are building after a commodious and elegant plan, furnished by Mr. Dobson, architect. The south side of the street terminates on the east by a new Presbyterian chapel. On the north side, a handsome square is forming, with a shrubbery in the centre, 192 feet broad, and which is to be inclosed by a low stone wall and ornamental iron railing. The street round the square is to be 62 feet wide; and each side will contain ten houses, with tasteful stone fronts. The front of this square is laid out for twelve dwelling-houses; and if the beautiful portico and other architectural ornaments which appear in the design of the centre buildings be executed, the effect of the whole will be greatly heightened; and this square will be one of the proudest monuments of the taste and spirit of the corporation in modern times.

Above Blackett Street there is a range of houses named Northumberland Court; and, a little further up, a neat-built new street, called Brunswick Place, across the west end of which stands Brunswick Chapel, the spacious and elegant Wesley an place of worship. After passing this chapel, there is a few small, retired houses, named Blackett Place, which joins Blackett Street at the west side of the Scotch Church.

Proceeding up the west side of Northumberland Street, and passing the noble stone house recently erected by John F. Baird, Esq. there is a passage which leads into Elswick Court, where are several very pleasant and retired houses. Beyond this stands, within a court or yard, the Orphan House, where the numerous sect of the Methodists long assembled, but which is now converted into an Infant School. On the north side of this structure there is a long entry, called Mackford's Buildings, which contains a great number of inhabitants. A little above this is a passage into Prudhoe Street. This street, which was formed in 1822, extends westward to Percy Street. Though the eastern entrance be rather narrow, the street itself is tolerably wide, and contains many good, convenient houses; but as they were built to suit the taste and purposes of their several proprietors, uniformity has not been preserved. Some rows of buildings branch out from the south side of this street. The first is called Prudhoe Court, or Lambton Place; the next Smith's Court; and the third Park Place. On the north side, a range of houses called Prudhoe Place lead into Percy Street, near the bottom of the Parade.

Northumberland Street is terminated on the west side by an uniform range of buildings, vulgarly called Pedlar, or Pether Row; and at the end of which this fine spacious street becomes united with Percy Street.

Bridge Street runs eastward from the bottom of Northumberland Street, and, passing partly over the scite of the town-wall and the King's Dykes, communicates with the bridge built over Pandon Dean in 1812. This airy street is 48 feet in width, and contains several elegant, well-built houses. The first building on the north side is the Weavers' Meeting-house, adjoining to which the corporation has planted several trees, which will add much to the beauty of the place. Higham Place is a range of substantial, good houses, that branches northwards, and was so called by the late proprietor, William Batson, Esq. from his estate in Ponteland parish. Beyond this place stand two villas in the line of the street. The first is a stone building, with a neat front, belonging to Mr. Dobson; and though the exterior presents nothing particularly striking, yet the greatest ingenuity is displayed in combining interior elegance and convenience. The apartments are finished in good style; and the plaster-work, executed by Mr. Ralph Dodds, are fine specimens of chaste and skilful workmanship. Passing the next villa, built and occupied by Mr. Benjamin Tulloch, surgeon, a range of large, well-built villas, branch off in a bold curve towards the north, and is denominated Picton Place. There are to be a double row of villas facing each other, at the distance of 50 feet. The first on the east side is built by Mr. Robert Todd, and is a very capacious and convenient house, though the chimneys seem to be too ostentatiously displayed. The villas on this side will stand on the brink of the steep bank that rises from Pandon Dean. Oxford Street runs northward from Picton Place, and is intended to communicate with Ellison Place.

Carliol Street and Erick Street, which proceed from New Bridge Street, have been noticed before. Croft Place runs behind the east side of Carliol Street, and conducts to the Clergy Jubilee School. After passing the Girls' Jubilee School and the new Lying-in Hospital, there is an uniform range of houses, called Portland Place, which reaches to Trafalgar Street. The parallel breadth of this street is to be 60 feet, and it is intended to communicate with Cowgate, by being carried in a direct line from New Bridge Street to below the Manor Chare. The east side of this street is to be laid out in villas, a mode of building which certainly combines many advantages.

Near the foot of Northumberland Street, on the right hand side, there is a row of very neat houses, terminated by the work-shops of Mr. J. Green, architect: it bears the name of Northumberland Place. Beyond this, there is a small, quiet street, denominated Lisle Street. A little higher up, and opposite to the Orphan House, there is a genteel street, erected about 40 years ago, and which was named Saville Row, in honour of Sir George Saville, Bart. who, during the years 1776 and 1777, resided here as colonel of the first battalion of the West York Militia. At the end of this street is a neat, retired, little place, named Saville Court; nearly opposite to which are a number of commodious houses, denominated Princes' Street, and which communicates with Lisle Street. Beyond Princes' Street, a row of handsome houses branch southward, improperly called Queen's Square. Adjoining to Saville Court is a range of good houses, named Saville Place, which is continued by a noble row of grand and elegant buildings, called, after the original proprietor of the ground, Ellison Place. The situation is retired, lofty, and airy; and the ground on the south, or opposite side of the coach-road, is laid out in gardens and shrubberies. This is, doubtless, the genteelest and best built part of the town. The row is now terminated by the noble and capacious mansion of David Cram, Esq. and which contains twenty-seven good apartments. The east front is executed in stone by Mr. R. Robson, and is, perhaps, the most chaste and elegant specimen of masonry exhibited in any private house in the town. The effect of the whole is much increased by a neat conservatory. The south front is built of brick, by Mr. Joseph Grey; but the joints are being tucked, which adds greatly to the appearance and durability of brick-work. The carpentry-work, executed by Mr. Thomas Hall, seems to be firm and substantial; and the plaster-work is under the management of Mr. R. Dodds. As all the persons employed are allowed full scope for the exercise of their skill, the entire building will do honour to the taste and spirit of the proprietor. The gardens and pleasure-grounds offer, on a limited scale, a rare and pleasing specimen of variety and beauty. The whole is designed by, and proceeding under the direction of, Mr. John Dobson, architect.

Proceeding from Saville Row up Northumberland Street, are several spacious, genteel dwelling-houses; particularly the houses occupied by Mrs. Hedley, Councillor Cookson, and the Rev. H. Williamson, behind which are useful and extensive plots of ground. Ridley Place is a quiet street, which branches eastward, erected a few years ago by Mr. Grey and Mr. Mackford, builders. The back part of the houses, on the north side of this street, forms the south side of Vine Lane, which leads into Pandon Dean.


  • 1. This street was commenced in 1824. Previous to this time, it consisted of a few straggling houses and work-shops, built against, or adjoining to, the town-wall. The north side consisted chiefly of gardens; but the street, being unpaved, was dirty and almost impassable. This place was formerly an useless waste, where manure was deposited. Some countrymen, while carting away the manure about 14 years ago, discovered a child, which they carried into an adjoining painter's shop. Due notice was immediately given to the proper authorities, when the coroner attended and a jury was formed. One of the jurymen touched the corpse, and observed that it was in a very putrid state. When the coroner, who was a surgeon, proceeded to examine the body, his surprise and vexation may be easily conceived on discovering that it was a mere doll. On enquiry, it was found to be Rolla's child, used, in the representation of Pizarro, by Mr. Stephen Kemble (who had retired from the management of the theatre), and had been conveyed among some rubbish from his house in Newgate Street.