The present state of Newcastle: The suburbs of the close

Pages 196-197

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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These suburbs extend from the scite of the Close-gate to Skinner-burn, which is the west boundary of the corporation of Newcastle; but the buildings a little further up the river, from their vicinity to the town, may properly be considered as belonging to its suburbs. The advantageous situation of Close Street, near the river, will always render it a desirable place for certain manufactories. Most of the inhabitants near the west end are engaged in the adjoining glass and iron works. A wide and commodious road conducts from its extremity up a bold ascent to the Infirmary and Forth. On the west side of this road, called the Forth Banks, and just beyond Skinner-burn, are, the Northumberland Flint Glass-house, a flour steam-mill, a foundry, a plate-glass manufactory, and an extensive brewery. The opposite side is now nearly covered with a double row of dwelling-houses, mostly occupied by workmen. Some of the higher houses, and Forth Row, near the top of the bank, are very neatly built.

Near the river, and just beyond Skinner-burn, is the raff-yard of Messrs. Armstrong and Co. The banks fronting the river, between the lime-kilns and the leadfactory at Low Elswick, are exceedingly steep; but being let into small plots, their rugged sides have been smoothed, reduced into order, and rendered wonderfully fruitful. Such transformations should not be suffered to pass without notice, while we bestow such high eulogiums on the industry of the Chinese, because they have formed a few hills into cultivated terraces. The neat and airy village that has been created by the extensive lead-works of Messrs. Parker and Co.; the lofty shot-tower, above 175 feet in height; and the adjoining colliery and staith, combine to give to Low Elswick an agreeable air of business and importance. (fn. 1)

The Maiden's Walk is a favourite resort of people living in the west parts of the town. It passes through a field in which immense quantities of bricks have been manufactured; and at one end communicates with a foot-path leading to the river side, and at the other joins a road conducting to the Forth. On the east side of the Forth are a few pleasant and genteel houses, with gardens adjoining. (fn. 2) Contiguous to the road that skirts the south side of the grounds called the Forth, is a range of new houses, denominated Forth Terrace, from the middle of which a street is partly formed, called Regent's Street, and which it is proposed to carry southwards. Forth Street occupies the line of the old road leading from the Postern to the Forth. The houses are built of various sizes, to suit the purposes of their several proprietors; and much of the ground is occupied by work-shops and manufactories. South Street and Orchard Street are branches which extend to the summit of the bank that overlooks the Close; and both streets are filled with manufactories, and the houses of their proprietors, overseers, or workmen. All this ground, as before observed, belongs to St. Mary's Hospital, and is let on leases of three lives.


  • 1. See Hist. of Northumb. vol. ii. p. 408.
  • 2. The large and commodious dwelling-house in Forth Lane, belonging to the late George Waldie, Esq. is now offered for sale. The approach by the coach-road is from the Westgate. Further along the lane are some very convenient and good houses, belonging to Mr. Burnup, builder.