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South Shields, Historical Account, 1890

Extract from: Kelly's Directory of Durham, 1890

SOUTH SHIELDS, a sea-port, municipal and parliamentary borough, market and union town, and by the Local Government Act, 1888, is now a county borough for certain purposes, in the Jarrow division of the county, east division of Chester ward, head of a petty sessional division and county court district, situated on the south bank of the river Tyne, at its confluence with the German Ocean, and at the northeastern extremity of the county of Durham, in the rural deanery of Jarrow and archdeaconry and diocese of Durham, 20 miles north-north-east from Durham, 9 east from Newcastle, 7 north from Sunderland and 276 from London. On the opposite side of the river are North Shields and Tynemouth, The branch of the North Eastern railway from Newcastle has three stations, one at High Shields, one at Tyne Dock, and a third in Mile End road, within a few yards of King street, opened for traffic June 2nd, 1879: there is also a branch at Tyne Dock, uniting South Shields and Sunderland, and the Marsden railway, the property of the Whitburn Coal Co. Limited, was opened for passenger traffic from Westoe Lane to Marsden in March, 1888.

South Shields was incorporated on the 3rd September, 1850, and is governed by a mayor, eight aldermen and twenty-four councillors, who also act as the Urban Sanitary Authority. The borough has a commission of the peace.

The borough (the municipal and parliamentary boundaries being co-extensive) is divided into four wards, viz. South Shields, Westoe, Laygate and Tyne Dock, returning six councillors in each ward.

The town, which extends about 3 miles from east to west, is populous and thriving; the streets in the modern part are wide, well lighted with gas and paved, but those in the older part, on the river side, are still narrow and inconvenient.

The town is well supplied with water by the Sunderland and South Shields Water Company, incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1852: the supply is obtained from shafts at Humbledon Hill, Fulwell and Cleadon Hill, and is very pure. The Gas Works, in Coronation street and Oyston street , contain gasometers holding 1,900,000 feet of gas. The Gas Company supply Shields, Jarrow, Hebburn, Boldon and Whitburn, and have works at Jarrow as well as Shields.

South Shields (anciently written "Le Sheels") originated with the fishermen of the Tyne, who built here, along the southern shore, sheds, provincially termed "Sheelds," or "Shields," to defend themselves from the weather.

Far some few centuries, the place was famous for its salt works, nearly 200 pans having been at one time employed, and an annual duty of £80,000 was paid on the salt boiled therein, but the salt manufacture here having become nearly extinct, its place has been supplied by other industries of greater importance.

So recently, however, as the year 1740, only four vessels, according to Hutchinson, the historian of this and the neighbouring county of Northumberland, belonged to South Shields. In 1829 an Act was obtained for “paving, lighting, watching, cleansing, regulating and improving,” under the provisions of which the sanitary state of the town was much improved. In 1782, three small docks only were in existence at South Shields, but the Tyne Dock, the property of the North Eastern Railway Company constructed under their Act in 1854, is 320 feet in length, and has a water area of 50 acres, that of the tidal basin being 10 acres, and of the quays and yards about 300 acres; and the depth of water on the sills at ordinary spring tides is 25 feet, at neap tides 20 feet 9 inches; there are two entrances, one 60 feet, the other 80 feet in width, and 22 miles of sidings; and in the grain warehouses the storage capacity is 80,000 quartern The quantity of coal and coke shipped in 1888 was 5,324,000 tons; the exports were 5,458,000, imports 327,000.

The numerous railways and branches intersecting the town and surrounding country, all giving access to the river side, and communicating with the coal mines for many miles south and west, afford great facilities for the export of coals and coke, which are shipped in large quantities from this port.

The port of South Shields formed a portion of the port of Newcastle-on-Tyne until the 6th of April, 1848: but on that day both it and North Shields were constituted a distinct port, by the name of the “Port of Shields.” Subsequently a further separation was made, and South Shields has now for some years been an entirely distinct port, having its own Custom House, Mercantile Marine Office and Local Marine Board.

The Custom House and Mercantile Marine Office, situated on the Corporation Quay, and opened 24th June, 1864, is a building in the Italian style, erected at a cost of about £3,000, and extensively enlarged during the year 1878 at an additional cost of £3,000: the principal facade displays eight Corinthian columns, standing upon a rusticated basement of piers and arches, forming an arcade; on a pediment surmounting the four central columns are the Royal arms in alto-relievo, the Borough arms being placed over the centre arch: the interior is arranged for the convenience of the shipping business.

The South Pier, at the end of Ocean road, is solidly constructed of stone, forming the southern breakwater for the protection of the entrance to the river Tyne, and was begun in 1856 by the River Tyne Commissioners, from designs by the late Mr. Walker; it now extends 5,218 feet seaward, the submerged base being 135 feet in advance; it is intended, in conjunction with the North Pier at Tynemouth, to protect vessels from the prevalent and destructive gales varying from N.E. to S.E. as well as to facilitate the removal of the bar. Both are formed of rubble stone, and a superstructure of concrete and built stone work. From the exposed position of the works and the constant interruption caused by rough seas the progress is slow and the operations generally are attended with great difficulties. Mammoth cranes, specially designed by Mr Philip John Messent C.E. engineer of the works, and capable of setting blocks of 40 tons in weight at a distance of 92 feet from the centre pivot, are in use, and upwards of 3,000,000 tons of stone, exclusive of lime and cement, have already been used on the works, the cost of which, up to the present time (1888) is about £1,000,000. The South Pier, which it is anticipated will not be finished before 1892, forms a magnificent promenade upwards of a mile in length, and is much used by the inhabitants and by visitors to the town.

At the mouth of the Tyne are lighthouses and land-marks for the guidance of ships entering the river, which the largest vessels can do now at almost any state of the tide; the bar of sand which formerly obstructed the entrance of the river having, by the operation of powerful dredging machines, been almost entirely removed; the Tyne Commissioners have also established an effective river police.

South Shields is in the parish of Jarrow, but for ecclesiastical purposes was constituted, June 30, 1845, a separate and independent parish and denominated the parish of St. Hilda, which also comprises the townships of Westoe and Harton.

The church of St. Hilda, situated in the Market place, was rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in 1810-11 on the site of the old church, and is a building of stone, consisting of apsidal chancel, nave, north and south porches and a western tower containing a clock and 8 bells: the apse has three stained windows, and galleries extend round the sides and west end of the church: in 1880 it was thoroughly restored and stained windows inserted at a cost of £3,000, and a new pulpit was then presented as a memorial to the late William Anderson esq. J.P.: the church was reseated with open benches in 1871, and affords sittings for 1,800 persons. The register dates from the year 1652. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £574, including glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and held since 1883 by the Rev. Johnson Baily M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge, rural dean of Jarrow, hon. canon of Durham, and surrogate.

Holy Trinity is an ecclesiastical parish, formed August 17th, 1848, out of St. Hilda’s; the church, situated in Laygate lane, and erected at a cost of about £3,700, was consecrated in 1834, and is an edifice of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles, transepts and a western tower containing an illuminated clock and 6 bells: in 1879 extensive additions and alterations were made, the cost of which exceeded £3,000; the east and west windows are stained, and in the south aisle is a stained window, erected in 1886 by the members of the Church Institute to Thomas Henry Swinburne, one of the Felling Colliery heroes: there are 1,200 sittings, of which 800 are free. The register dates from the year 1834. The living is a vicarage, average tithe rent-charge £209; net yearly value £400, including 1 acre of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and held since 1872 by the Rev. John Coulson M.A, late fellow of Durham University and surrogate.

St. Aidan’s is an ecclesiastical parish, formed in 1885, from the parishes of St. Hilda, St. Stephen and St. Thomas: the church, situated in Henry Nelson street, and erected in 1888 at a cost of about £5,000, is a building of rubble, with chiselled stone dressings, in the later Early English style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, organ chamber and narthex at the west end: the chancel is divided from the nave by a moulded arch with clustered columns and carved corbels: there are 660 sittings. The register dates from the year 1888. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £300, in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Durham alternately, and held since 1885 by the Rev. Lewis David Evans B.A. of University College, Durham.

St. Jude’s is an ecclesiastical parish, formed September 4th, 1883, out of Holy Trinity: the church, situated in Walpole street, erected in 1886, at a cost of £3,100, is an edifice of red brick with stone dressings in the late Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, two western porches, and a turret over the chancel arch containing 2 bells: there are 620 sittings, all free. The register dates from 1886. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Durham alternately, and held since 1884 by the Rev. William John Wingate, of St. Aidan’s, Birkenhead. St. Jude’s Parish Hall, built in 1885 at a cost of £1,637, for parochial purposes, will seat 750 persons.

St. Mark’s is an ecclesiastical district, formed February 11th, 1873, out of Holy Trinity parish: the church, in Hardwick street, erected in 1874 at a cost of £6,000, is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles and western narthex: there are 600 sittings. The register dates from the year 1870. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £330, with residence, in the gift of the Crown and Bishop of Durham alternately, and held since 1873 by the Rev. David Evans L.Th. of Durham University.

The church of St. Mary, situated at Tyne Dock, and erected in 1862, is a building of stone, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, vestry, west gallery, west porch and a tower at the north-west angle, containing one bell: there are 646 sittings, of which 400 are free. The register dates from the year 1862. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and held since 1862 by the Rev. James Jeremy Taylor M.A. of Durham University.

St. Michael and All Angels, South Westoe, is an ecclesiastical parish, formed May 24th, 1878, out of St. Hilda’s: the church, situated in Westoe lane, Westoe, was built in 1881 at a cost of £3,500, and consecrated February 2nd, 1882, and is a structure of brick in the Late Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel and nave only: a very beautiful stained east window has been erected as a memorial to the late Alderman Broughton, by his widow and daughter: the organ was the gift of Mr. Williamson, of Westoe: there are 426 sittings. The register dates from the year 1882. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Durham alternately, and held since 1878 by the Rev. Cuthbert Edward. Adamson M.A. of St. John's College, Cambridge.

St. Simon’s is an ecclesiastical parish, formed October 29th, 1875, from that of St. Mary’s, Jarrow Docks: the church, situated in Symonside, Tyne Dock, and erected in 1880, consists of chancel and nave under one roof and south porch; there are 300 sittings. The register dates from the year 1876. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £300 with residence, in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Durham alternately, and held since 1888 by the Rev. Edward Mansergh Wolstencroft, of St. Aidan’s.

St. Stephen’s is an ecclesiastical parish, formed August 17th, 1844, out of St. Hilda’s: the church, situated in the Mile End road, and erected in 1846 at a cost of £2,500, is a building of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave of three bays, aisle, south porch, and a tower at the north-west angle, with spire, containing one bell: there are 650 sittings. The register dates from the year 1846. The living is a rectory, average tithe rent-charge £182, net yearly value £300, with 1 acre of glebe and house, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and held since 1868 by the Rev. Henry Morton B.A. of Trinity College, Dublin, and surrogate.

St. Thomas’s, Westoe, is an ecclesiastical parish, formed in 1864: the church, in Fowler street, erected in 1877 at a cost of £8,000, on the site of the old Westoe chapel of ease, built in 1818, is an edifice of stone, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles and south porch: there are sittings for 600 persons. In connection with the church, a large hall, situated in Denmark street, was erected in 1889, seating 600 persons: it is adapted for Sunday schools and a Young Men’s Institute. The register dates from the year 1864. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and held since 1886, by the Rev. Joseph Morris M.A. and fellow of Durham University.

The Catholic church, dedicated to St. Bede, situated in Westoe lane and erected at a cost of £8,000, is a building of freestone in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel with chapels, nave with clerestory, aisles and two sacristies: the seven windows of the chancel form a memorial to the Rev. E. J. Kelly; the remaining windows, all of which are stained, were presented by J. Grunhut esq.: the chapel to the right of the sanctuary is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and has a handsome silver lamp, the gift of the congregation, as a mark of affection for the Rev. G. W. Waterton: the church will seat 800 persons.

There is another Catholic church, situated in Boldon road, Tyne Dock, dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul; also a Catholic Apostolic church in Westoe lane.

The Presbyterians have a place of worship in St. John’s terrace, with 700 sittings; another in Frederick street, 530; and a third in Ingham street, 600.

There are the following denominational chapels: Baptist, Laygate lane and Westoe lane, seating 850 and 750 persons respectively; the latter is a building of red brick, with stone dressings, in the Italian style, erected in 1881 at a cost of £2,600. Congregational, Ocean road, 500; Belle Vue terrace, Tyne Dock, 350. Methodist New Connexion, Laygate lane, 800 sittings. Primitive Methodist, Westoe lane, 700 sittings; Laygate lane, 800; Baring street, 300; Heugh street, 250; Eleanor terrace, Tyne Dock, 350; Lord Nelson street, Tyne Dock, 300. United Methodist Free church, Queen street, 700 sittings. Wesleyan Methodist, Chapter row, 1,000 sittings; Reed street, 850; Wellington st. 400.

The South Shields and Westoe Cemetery, situated midway between South Shields and Westoe, on the south side of the railway, covers an area of 16 acres, and was formed in 1857 at a cost of £11,000.; it contains 2 mortuary chapels.

A new cemetery, situated beween Westoe and Harton, consisting of 33 acres, of which about 15 acres are laid out, has also been formed at a cost of £22,000 and has three mortuary chapels: the cemeteries are jointly governed by a Burial Board of 18 members.

The Town Hall, situated in the centre of the Market place and erected in 1768, is a building of stone supported on pillars; the hall is used for the municipal business of the Corporation, as well as for public meetings, and will hold 200 persons.

The Corporation insignia consist only of a mayoral chain and badge and a common seal: the chain is formed of circular links of gold, plain but massive, and the badge, also circular, exhibits the arms of the borough, with supporters, crest and motto, and behind these, two flags: the seal is an embossing stamp, similar in design to the badge, with a marginal inscription. The mayor’s robe is of red cloth trimmed with sable fur.

The Savings Bank, in Barrington street, was established on the 27th of October, 1817, and has a branch at Grange road, Jarrow.

The Theatre Royal, situated on the north side of King street, in one of the most central positions in the town, is a fine building of stone in the Italian style and has an imposing facade with a central portico supported by four columns, surmounted by a pediment; the interior will seat an audience of 2,000.

The South Shields Public Library, Reading Room and Museum, Ocean road, erected in 1859, as the new premises of the Mechanics' Institution, first established in 1825, was in 1872 transferred by the members of the institution to the Corporation for the purposes of a Public Library: the library contains 17,552 volumes. A branch of this library, with a free reading room, has been established at Tyne dock. The museum, located in the basement, is rich in specimens of local sea birds and Roman remains, the latter principally taken from the Roman camp excavated at the Lawe; it contains also the original model of the lifeboat invented by William Wouldhave, of South Shields. There is a large hall on the second storey seating 1,000 persons, in which public meetings are held. Spacious class rooms for the study of science and languages adjoin this hall. The institution is managed by a committee appointed by the town council.

The Ingham Infirmary and South Shields and Westoe Dispensary, situated in Westoe lane, and erected by public subscription in 1873, from plans by Messrs. Johnson and Hicks, architects, of Newcastle, is a building in the Elizabethan style, covering about 3 acres of ground, and was established in 1821 to commemorate the public services of Robert Ingham esq. Q.C. of Westoe, who was the first member of parliament for this borough and represented it for 25 years: the infirmary contains 21 beds, and for the year ending June 30, 1889, there were 205 in-patients and 1,536 outpatients; it is supported by annual subscriptions, donations and the interest on invested funds.

The Freemasons’ Hall in Ingham street, erected in 1884, from designs by Mr. J. H. Morton F.R.I.B.A. at a cost of £3,000, is a fine building, comprising on the ground floor a billiard room, a banqueting room, used as a news room, and caretaker’s rooms; and on the first floor is the lodge room, of noble proportions, adorned with Ionic columns and having a raised dais; there are also proper ante and preparation rooms.

The Public Baths and Washhouses, situated in Derby street, were erected by the Corporation in 1854, at a cost of £3,000, and consist of first and second-class baths, vapour and shower baths and departments for washing; the whole being conveniently fitted up.

The Fever Hospital, situated about mid-way between Tyne Dock and Westoe, was erected by the Corporation, and opened in 1882, at a cost of upwards of £8,000: it is inclosed in its own taste fully laid out grounds, and, being at a considerable distance from the neighbouring property, enjoys the special requirement of perfect isolation: the interior is arranged for 32 patients.

Both the town and neighbourhood are celebrated for the manufacture of chemicals and glass. The first works for the production of window glass were established at the Ouseburn, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the year 1630, and letters are extant in which John Cookson dates from his glass works at South Shields in the year 1690: before the repeal of the duty on glass, Messrs. Cookson and Cuthbert, and Messrs. Shortridge and Co. frequently paid £150,000 yearly, amounting to one-fourth of the whole duty paid to the government. There are also ship and boat yards, sail, block and rope yards, oil, paint and varnish manufactories, iron works, breweries, and spirit and provision stores.

Markets for the sale of general provisions are held every Saturday in the Market place.

Fairs are held here on the Wednesday before and after the first of May, and on the Wednesday before and after the 11th of November.

South Shields is celebrated as being the port in which the lifeboat was originated, the first boat placed here, designed and built by Henry Greathead, of South Shields, being successfully used for the first time 30th January, 1790, in the rescue of some mariners who were wrecked in the oiling. The pilots who form the crew of the lifeboat are a hardy race, distinguished as much by their courage as by their skill, and display a singular dexterity in managing their tiny cobles. South Shields has a coast-guard station, with houses erected on the South Pier for the boatmen who have charge of the rocket life-saving apparatus in connection with the Volunteer Life Brigade; the latter, an efficient force of about 100 members, established in January, 1866, has since its formation assisted in saving upwards of 160 lives from wrecked vessels with the rocket apparatus, besides affording timely relief to many others. There is also an excellently arranged watch house on the South Pier, consisting of a large general room for the members of both services on Stormy nights; a room for shipwrecked crews, and one containing a bath, drying closet and warm clothing, on the basement; the tipper story forms a look-out, commanding an extensive view seawards. There are several mutual ship insurance companies, the first of which was established by shipowners in 1788.

A monument, to cost £500, is now (1889) in course of erection on the Pier Parade, to the originators of the lifeboat system.

The Master Mariners’ Asylum and Annuity Society was established in 1839, and has for its object the providing of a fund for paying annuities to aged, infirm and poor master mariners, their widows and orphans, and the building of asylums for their occupation. The twenty-two cottages first erected, at the expense of the late Thomas M. Winterbottom M.D. of Westoe, are pleasantly situated on an eminence near the sea coast, forming two sides of a square, and the remaining portions have since been completed from the accumulated funds of the society.

Dr. Winterbottom also gave £5,000 in Consols, and vested the same in trustees for paying to fifteen widows, natives of and residing within this borough, an annuity of £10 each, besides leaving donations for various other charitable purposes.

The Marine School of South Shields, Ocean road, erected in 1868, for the students of the Marine School, founded by Dr. Winterbottom, and first opened March 26th, 1861, at the Mechanics’ Institute, on the anniversary of the founder’s birth, is an edifice of red brick with freestone facings, columns and ornaments, in the Elizabethan style, standing in its own grounds: the funds for the erection of the building and for carrying on the work of the institution were provided by the generous founder, who died in 1859, at the advanced age of 93. This institution is intended for the instruction of seamen and sea-going engineers, and the training of masters and officers of the merchant service, “in all things necessary to qualify them for the higher duties of their profession :” it contains a large study, class-room and a fine lecture-hall, fitted up in the most complete manner, as well as a library and an observatory, containing a powerful equatorial telescope, with an object-glass of 7 inches in diameter, movable by clockwork and covered by a dome. Candidates for admission as students are required to be bona fide seamen, possessing already some elementary knowledge and the rudiments of an ordinary education. The number of seamen who have entered themselves as students since the commencement amounts at the present time to 3,133. There is a junior department for boys intended for a sea life, enabling them to obtain the knowledge necessary for subsequently obtaining a certificate as master, mate or engineer. The management of the institution is entrusted to a body of seventeen governors, of whom five are trustees, six (including the Dean of Durham) are clergymen of South Shields and neighbourhood and six are “merchants or shipowners.” During the five winter months there are free lectures on astronomy and other subjects. Principal, Ambrose T. Flagg M.A. of Christ's College, Cambridge, and the Royal Naval School, Greenwich; secretary, Thomas Tinley Dale.

The "Missions to Seamen" Church and Institute, Commercial road, Mill Dam, was completed in 1885, in place of the Tyne Mission ship, which had become inadequate to the needs of the increasingly large marine population, and was opened by the Bishop of Durham on Whit-Monday of the same year. The church, which is above the institute, will seat 450 persons, and the institute 350; the latter being used as a reading-room, lecture hall &c. The mission is entirely supported by voluntary contributions; the Rev. Herbert William Farrar M.A. chaplain.

The Girls’ Orphanage Home, for six convalescent children, is in connection with the Northern Counties Orphanage Home at Moor Edge, Newcastle.

The Salt Water Baths, situated on the north side of the South Pier, about 270 yards from the sea at full tide and opened in July, 1865, at a cost of £6,000, are the property of a limited company, and comprise swimming baths (90 feet by 35), Turkish, vapour, plunge, shower baths, shampooing room, and a distinct set of tepid baths for ladies. The baths and adjacent grounds cover an area of 2,311 square yards.

The North and South Marine Parks are situated on the east side of the town, and occupy an excellent position contiguous to the sea, near the estuary of the river Tyne, and have an area of 45 acres. The land was given to the town by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the Corporation undertook the laying out. The North Park is planted with trees, shrubberies and has a bowling green, tennis ground and a band stand, where music is provided twice weekly during the summer months.

The Parks are divided only by Pier parade, a thoroughfare leading from Ocean road to the South Pier. In the South Park there is an artificial lake two and a half acres in extent, used in the summer time for model yacht sailing and in winter for skating. Towards the town the ground on either side of Pier parade rises rapidly, and the heights are adorned with broad terraces inclosed with ornamental balustrading, and approached from the lower grounds by flights of stone steps, and from these terraces a magnificent view is obtained of the North Sea and the entrance to the Tyne. To the south, the coast line can be traced to Marsden Rocks and Souter Point; and to the north is Tynemouth with its towering beacon and the lofty ruins of the Priory church. The sands fronting the parks are broad and clean, and being also easily accessible are like the parks and the South pier, a favourite resort of the inhabitants, and bring a large influx of visitors to the town during the summer months. A carriage road and footway called the “Sea road,’’commences at Pier parade and skirting the eastern boundary of the South park, proceeds by way of the beach to Mowbray road, and unites itself with the main arteries of the town. The parks have been formed at a cost of £22,000, and the Corporation have purchased at a cost of £2,000, from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners an additional fourteen acres of land near the river, to be added to the North park.

Marsden Rocks are situated in the parish of Whitburn, about midway between Sunderland and South Shields, a little to the north of Souter Point. The rocks are of a bold, precipitous and romantic character, and are the resort during the summer months of large numbers of people from the surrounding neighbourhood. The chief attraction is, however, the Marine Grotto, excavated by a plodding and industrious hermit named Peter Allen, who for nearly 24 years made it his abode, but of late years it has been adapted as an hotel and restaurant for visitors. The excavations consist of a full suite of apartments and a large ballroom. Provisions and other goods are lowered through a shaft to the “Smuggler’s Cave” by means of a windlass, pedestrians effecting the descent by a zig-zag flight of steps cut out of the rocks. The grotto has also been very useful on several occasions as a place of shelter for shipwrecked mariners. The sands in front, though of limited extent, are fine and sheltered.

The "Lawe," an elevated position near the old town of South Shields, now included in the more modern town, is traditionally the site of an entrenched Roman camp, first mentioned by Leland, who says that in his time foundations of a place called “Burgh” remained on the “Lawe,” and since the year 1770 many objects of interest to the antiquary have been unearthed on this spot. The property upon which the camp stood, having come into the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, was about 1874 laid out for building purposes, but public interest having been aroused by several chance discoveries, a committee was formed and funds subscribed for making a careful examination of the ground by systematic excavation, the result of which was the uncovering of the remains of a Roman settlement, clearly formed at a very early period in the history of Britain, and dominating the south side of the entrance to the Tyne. The ramparts of the camp have been satisfactorily traced, the walls being in places five feet in thickness and several courses in height. The station is built in the form of a parallelogram, with rounded corners, measuring 615 by 360 feet, and giving an area of about five acres; a size approaching that of the larger stations on the Roman Wall. Traces of all the four gateways were found, and the foundations of the forum (market place), aerarium (treasury), two curia (courts of justice), and numerous other buildings, some of which were provided with hypocausts. A large collection of sculptured fragments, Samian and other pottery, and various articles in bronze have also been met with, and are now either in the Public Museum of the town or in private collections. The coins, cameos, intaglios and rings found here indicate a considerable amount of wealth among the ancient occupants. In 1683 an altar dedicated to Jupiter was discovered on the Lawe, and is now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford; in 1878, a tombstone, bearing a bilingual inscription, was discovered on the site of the Roman Cemetery; and in October, 1885, an altar dedicated to AEsculapius, now in the local museum, was found at the Camp. A portion of the site, containing the remains of the principal buildings has been presented to the Corporation by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and is now securely railed in, leaving the foundations and remains in situ, the surrounding space being laid out as a public recreation ground.

The area of the township of South Shields is 89A. 2R. 20p.; rateable value, £43,160; population in 1881, 7,710. The population of the municipal and parliamentary borough of South Shields in 1871 was 45.336, and in 1881 was 56,875, showing an increase of 11,539 in the population in the period of ten years. The remainder of the borough, consisting of the township of Westoe, has an area of 1,780 acres; rateable value £208,869, total £251,029, with a population (including East Jarrow, Tyne Dock, Westoe Village &c.), in 1881, of 49,165.

The population of the ecclesiastical parishes in 1881 was :-St. Hilda, 5,858; Holy Trinity, 12,171; St. Mark, 7,9311 St. Mary, 5,958: St. Michael and All Angels, 3,848; St. Simon, 2,277; St. Stephen, 9,962; St. Thomas, 10,143.

East Jarrow is included in the borough.

The principal landowners are the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the Harton Coal Company and the University of Durham, who also possess the manorial rights, and hold courts baron and leet twice a year in the Town hall, South Shields.

The Petty Sessions are held every Tuesday at the Court house, Waterloo vale, at 10.14 a.m. & every Monday at the Police station, Hebburn, at 11.30 a.m. The following places are included in the Petty Sessional division :-Hebburn Quay, Hebburn New Town, Hebburn Colliery, Hedworth, Monkton, Pelaw, White Mare Pool, Wardley Colliery, East Boldon, Whitburn, West Boldon, Boldon. Colliery, Cleadon, Whitburn Colliery, Harton.


  • Durham (3rd) Artillery (attached to the 1st Newcastle-on-Tyne Artillery Volunteer Corps) (4 batteries), head quarters, Bolingbroke street; Hon. Major W. J. Dawson, H. Todd & J. Carr, captains; William Gowans M.D. & James Drummond M.D. acting surgeons; Rev. Canon Johnson Baily M.A. acting chaplain.
  • Durham Light Infantry 5th Volunteer Battalion, Drill hall, Wellington terrace; E Company, Hon. Major T. Graham; F Company, Capt. T. Guthrie, & G Company, Capt. G. Ogilvie, commandants; Charles James Sutherland L.R.C.P. Edin. acting surg.; Rev. Jas. Jeremy Taylor, hon. chaplain.

South Shields Union

  • The Board of Guardians meet every alternate Thursday at the Union offices, Barrington street, at 3 p.m.
  • South Shields Union embraces the townships of Hedworth, Monkton & Jarrow, South Shields, Westoe, Boldon, Harton & Whitburn; it has an area of 15,775 acres; rateable value, £486,756; & a population in 1881 of 101,283.
  • The Union Workhouse, erected in 1878 & 1880, at Harton, from designs by Mr. J. H. Morton, architect, at a cost of £42,000, is built in four distinct blocks, on the pavilion principle, with a tower containing water tanks for the supply of the entire building; John Craik, master; Mrs. Ann Craik, matron; Charles Pope, medical officer; Miss Mary Hunter, schoolmistress.

Places of worship, with times of services

  • St. Hilda’s Church, Market place, Rev. Canon Johnson Baily M.A. vicar; Rev. E. H. Greatorex M.A. & Rev. F. H. Williams M.A. curates; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Mon. Wed. & Fri. 11 a.m.; Tues. Thur. & sat. 8.30 a.m.; Wed. & Fri. 7.30 p.m.; other evenings, 5 p.m.
  • Holy Trinity Church, Laygate lane, Rev. John Coulson M.A. vicar & surrogate; Rev. Richard E. Holmes M.A. & Rev. George Herbert Wilson B.A. curates; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • St. Aidan’s Church, Henry Nelson street, Rev, Lewis David Evans B.A.; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • St. Jude’s Church, Walpole street, Rev. William John Wingate & Rev. Joseph Short B.A.; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • St. Mark’s Church, Hardwick street, Rev. D. Evans L.Th. vicar; Rev. John Cutting, curate; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • St. Mary’s Church, Tyne dock, Rev. James Jeremy Taylor M.A. vicar; Rev. Robert Vaughan, curate in charge; Rev. Cecil Henry Boutflower M.A. & Rev. Albert V. Baillie B.A. curates; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • St. Simon’s Church, Simonside, Tyne dock, Rev. Edward Mansergh Wolstencroft, vicar; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.
  • St. Michael & All Angels’ Church, Westoe lane, Rev. Cuthbert E. Adamson M.A.; Rev. Alfred Knight L.Th. curate; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; daily, 8.30 a.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • St. Stephen’s Church, Mile End road, Rev. Henry Morton B.A. rector; Rev. G. W. Fisher L.Th. curate; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • St. Thomas’ Church, Fowler street, Rev. Joseph Morris M.A. vicar; Rev. Sinclair Oates A.K.C.L. & Rev. Robert Trotter L.Th. curates.
  • St. Bede’s (Catholic), Westoe lane, Rev. Thomas O’Connor & Rev. Dennis O’Kelly, priests; 8, 9.30 & 11 a.m. 3 & 6 p.m.; daily mass, 5, 8 & 9; Thur. 7 p.m.
  • Catholic, St. Peter’s & St. Paul’s, Boldon road, Tyne dock, Rev. James A. Kirwan; 8.30 & 11 a.m.; 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 8 a.m.
  • Catholic (Apostolic), Westoe lane, ministers various; 10.30 a.m. & 5 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Presbyterian, St. Paul’s, Robinson street, Rev. J. G. Walton M.A., B.D.; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • Presbyterian (St. John’s), St. John’s terrace, Rev. J. MacKenzie; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • Presbyterian (English), Frederick Street, Rev. S. M. McClelland; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Presbyterian, Ingham street, Rev. W. Steele M.A.; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • Baptist, Westoe lane, Rev. Ernest G. Mason; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Baptist (Tabernacle), Laygate lane, Rev. T. E. Rawlings, minister; 8 & 10.30 a.m. & 6p.m.; Mon. Wed. & sat. 7.30 p.m.
  • Congregational, Ocean road, Rev. Metcalfe Grey, minister; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • Congregational, Belle Vue terrace, Tyne dock; Rev. Peter Reid, minister; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Methodist New Connexion (Mission Chapel), Heron street; ministers various; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m.
  • Methodist New Connexion, The Deans, Tyne dock; ministers various, 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Methodist New Connexion, Laygate lane, Rev. Joseph Whitton, minister; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m.
  • Methodist New Connexion, George Potts street, Westoe, ministers various; 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, Heugh street, ministers various; 10.30 а.m. & 6 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, Lord Nelson street, Tyne dock, ministers various; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, Eleanor terrace, Tyne dock; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, Baring street; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; alternate Thur. 7 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, Laygate lane, 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, West Harton; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; alternate Tues. 7 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, Westoe lane; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m.
  • The circuit comprises South Shields, Jarrow, Harton colliery, Hebburn colliery, Heworth lane, Usworth colliery, Washington rows, Hebburn New Town, Boldon colliery, Wardley colliery, Marsden colliery.
  • United Methodist Free Church,Hudson street; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • United Methodist Free Church, | Rev. James Whittles & Victoria road; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m.
  • United Methodist Free Church, Queen street; 10.30 a.m. &, 6 p.m.; Mon. 7 p.m.
  • Unitarian, Derby terrace, Rev. Alexander Ashworth, minister; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.
  • Wesleyan, Chapter row; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Wesleyan, Long Bank; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Thur. 7 p.m.
  • Wesleyan, Reed street; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m.
  • Wesleyan, Boldon road, Tyne dock, ministers various; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Thur. 7 p.m.
  • The circuit comprises South Shields, Jarrow, East Jarrow, Hebburn, Harton colliery, Boldon colliery.

Mission Rooms

  • St. Stephen’s, Wapping street, Rev. Henry Morton B.A. rector; 6.30 p.m.; Thur. 7 p.m.
  • St. Thomas’, Thames street, Rev. Jos. Morris M.A. vicar; 6.30 p.m.; Mon. 2.30 p.m.; Thur. 6.30 p.m.
  • Westoe Church of England, Derby terrace, Rev. C. E. Adamson M.A.; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.
  • Adult Deaf & Dumb, 17 Smithy street; 6 p.m.; Mon. Wed. & sat. 7.30 p.m.
  • German Mission, Thrift street; 3 p.m.
  • Gospel Hall, Wallis street; irregular.
  • Gospel Hall, 65 Palmerston street, John L. Tyson, missionary; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; week days, 7.30 p.m.
  • Plymouth Brethren, 8 King street; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; men. & Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, 134 John Clay street; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • St. John’s (Presbyterian), Mill street, Rev. James Mackenzie; 6.30 p.m.; Tues. 7.30 p.m.
  • Salvation Army Barracks, 17 Saville street.
  • Salvation Army Barracks, Cuthbert st. Geo. Kendle, captn.
  • Seamen’s Mission, Mill dam, Rev. Herbert William Farrar M.A.; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. & sat. 7 p.m.
  • Spiritual Evidence Society, 14 Stanhope road; 6 p.m.
  • Spiritual Mission Hall, 19 Cambridge st.; 11 a.m. & 2.30 & 6 p.m.
  • United Methodist Free Church, Reay st.; 10 a.m. & 6 p.m.
  • United Methodist Free Church, Forster street; 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • Undenominational, Station approach; 5.30 p.m.
  • Wesleyan, 72 Livingstone road; 6 p.m.; Thur. 7.30 p.m.
  • Wesleyan, Albion street; 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Wesleyan, Waterloo vale; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.
  • Wesleyan, Wellington street; 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Westoe Salvation Hall, John Clay street, William Maxwell; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; daily, 7.30 p.m.


  • South Shields School Board, Formed Jan. 27, 1871, & consisting of 13 members. Offices, Wesley street, Ocean road.
  • Clerk, George A. Tate; Assistant Clerk, A. E. Leete.
  • Attendance Officers, B. Kemmet, B. Newham, W. Sewell & W. D. Willits.
  • Number of children on the registers of public elementary schools on 31st May, 1889, 13,329.
  • Board schools accommodation, 7,985; voluntary schools accommodation, 3,644 Board Schools now in course of erection off Westoe lane, will provide additional accommodation for 2,003 children Board Schools.
  • Cone street (mixed & infants), for 403 boys, 396 girls & 351 infants; average attendance, 399 boys, 282 girls & 331 infants.
  • Baring street (mixed & infants), for 358 boys, 358 girls & 347 infants; average attendance, 344 boys, 371 girls & 392 infants.
  • Laygate lane (mixed & infants), for 399 boys, 363 girls & 366 infants; average attendance, 440 boys, 430 girls & 473 infants.
  • St. Mary’s, Whitehead street, Tyne dock (boys), for 476 boys; average attendance, 450.
  • St. Mary’s, Hudson street, Tyne dock (girls & infants), for 374 girls & 195 infants; average attendance, 336 girls & 191 infants.
  • St. Stephen’s, Mile End road (junior mixed & infants), for 660 children; average attendance, 617.
  • Ocean road (mixed & infants), for 456 boys, 473 boys & 437 infants; average attendance, 430 boys, 429 girls & 482 infants.
  • The Barnes (mixed & infants), for 354 boys, 596 girls & 394 infants; average attendance, 323 boys, 492 girls & 276 infants.
  • Government School of Art, 63 Kingst.
  • Marine School, Ocean road.
  • Green’s Home Industrial School, for 60 children 5 it is in connection with the Wellesley training ship at North Shields.
  • The High School, established by the Public Day School Company, & situated in Mowbray road, Westoe lane, was built in 1865, at a cost of £6,000: it contains 7 class rooms, large lecture room & a chemical laboratory, & is available for 250 boys: the playground is 4 acres in extent.
  • Holy Trinity, Commercial road (mixed & infants), for 393 boys, 250 girls & 374 infants; average attendance, 250 boys, 225 girls & 360 infants.
  • National, Green lane, Tyne dock, for 130 children; average attendance, 95.
  • National, Simon side, for 100 children; average attendance, 73.
  • St. Hilda’s National, Oyston street (mixed & infants), for 350 mixed & 133 infants; average attendance, 374 boys & girls & 187 infants (with a yearly endowment of about £70).
  • St. Mark’s National, Hardwick street (mixed & infants), for 500 children; average attendance, full.
  • St. Peter’s National, Harton, for 70 children.
  • Union British, Garden lane, Waterloo vale (boys), for 410 boys; average attendance, 380.
  • St. John’s, Presbyterian, Winchester street (mixed), for 562 children; average attendance, 485.
  • St. Bede’s, Catholic, Victoria road (mixed & infants), built in 1847, for 700 children; average attendance, 586.

Water Conveyance

  • Tyne Ferry Company’s steamers to Newcastle, stopping at all stations on the river, every half hour, Corporation Quay mill dam.
  • Ferry (one penny) from South Shields to North Shields every 15 minutes. Alum house, Ham
  • Ferry (halfpenny) from South Shields to North Shields every 12 minutes, Comical corner
  • Ferry (one penny) from West Holbom, South Shields to Whitehall point, East Howden, every 15 minutes.
South Shields


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