BYKER, a township and a church district, in the parish of All Saints, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, union of Newcastle, E. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 1¼ mile (E.) from Newcastle; containing 6,024 inhabitants. This place, which is situated on the north bank of the Tyne, and forms the easternmost part of the parish, comprises about 636 acres, nearly equally divided between arable and pasture, with upwards of 100 acres occupied by houses, manufactories, and yards for various uses. The soil is chiefly a bright clay, and of moderate quality, yet productive from good manure. Sandstone is quarried which is well adapted for large works; some of it is shipped to London, and much has been used in the handsome new quay and other works undertaken by the corporation of Newcastle. There are three or four coal-mines worked under the surface, though there are few pits, these being sunk in the adjoining townships: the shaft of one of the mines is on the south bank of the Tyne, so that the works extend below the entire bed of the river, and coal is dug beneath the lands of Byker at a distance of a mile and a half from the shaft. Among the manufactories, which are very numerous, are potteries for brown and common, and blue and white, ware, crown and bottle glass-works, cinder and coke kilns, foundries, chain and other iron works, soap-manufactories, white-lead and colour establishments, flour-mills, saw-mills, a considerable flax-mill, fire-brick works, alkali-works, and ropewalks; and on the banks of the river are large timber, and ship and boat building, yards. Of these manufactures an extensive export trade is carried on, and the pottery-ware is much esteemed in the north of Europe; while the India vessels built at St. Peter's dock by Messrs. Smith, are among the finest specimens of our commercial marine. The living was formed under the 6 & 7 Victoria, c. 37, and is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Durham alternately. A handsome church is about to be erected, for which a subscription has been opened, aided by grants from the Incorporated Society and the Church-Building Commissioners; and Sir M. W. Ridley, Bart., has given a site, nearly in the centre of the township. A tithe rent-charge of £80 is paid to the Bishop of Carlisle, one of £80 to the Dean and Chapter, and one of £35 to the vicar of Newcastle. There are six places of worship, nearly all belonging to the different Methodist connexions.
Extract from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.