Wallsend Parish, 1848
WALLSEND (Holy Cross), a parish, in the union of Tynemouth, E. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 3½ miles (E.N.E) from Newcastle, on the road to North Shields and Tynemouth; containing, with the townships of Howden-Pans and Willington, 4,758 inhabitants, of whom 1,988 are in Wallsend township. This parish, the name of which is obviously derived from its situation at the extremity of the wall of Severus on the east, contained the Roman station Segedunum, so called from its position, and from its having been a magazine for corn, whence stations in the interior were supplied. The place was garrisoned by the first cohort of the Lergi, who were posted here for the defence of shipping; and an altar to Jupiter, centurial stones, tegulæ, horns and bones of various animals, and evident traces of the ramparts, and of three of the turrets, with other curious relics, have been found upon the spot. Beyond this point the wall does not appear to have been continued; the Tyne itself, near its influx into the ocean, forming, by its great breadth and depth, a sufficient barrier. The ruins of a quay still further evince that this was a considerable trading colony of the Romans, who nearly sixteen centuries since discharged their freights where now are numerous staiths projecting from the northern bank of the Tyne, at which vessels are continually taking in immense quantities of the celebrated coal termed Wallsend, for the London and other markets. The parish comprises about 2038 acres, of which the soil is generally a strong clay, producing good wheat; Wallsend township consists of several small estates held under leases from the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The village is situated on the north side of, and about a field's breadth from, the Shields road; it has a spacious green in the centre, and contains some good houses. To the south-west of the village is Carville House, a fine old mansion, surrounded with thriving plantations, and commanding fine views of the river. There are several yards for ship-building, some extensive roperies, limekilns, and manufactories for copperas and earthenware, a steam corn-mill, and several ballast-quays: John Carr and Company have large coke-works. At Howden and Carville are stations on the Newcastle and Tynemouth railway.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, with a net income of £250: the tithes of Wallsend township have been commuted for £193 payable to the impropriators, and £75 payable to the incumbent, who has 42 acres of glebe. The present church, a stone building with a spire, situated on the turnpike-road, at some distance from the village, was erected at an expense of nearly £5,000, of which about £3,300 were raised by tontine; the first stone was laid in 1807, and the edifice was consecrated in August 1809. Two galleries were erected in 1830, containing 300 free sittings; and an excellent organ has been supplied, and a new clock placed in the tower, through the exertions of the present incumbent, the Rev. J. Armstrong, by whom also the churchyard has been tastefully planted with trees, shrubs, and flowers, and surrounded by a substantial wall. The old church, which is supposed to have been built in the 11th century, is now a ruin; the porch and west end are still standing, and the inner entrance of the porch contains a fine specimen of an early Norman arch. One Allanus is recorded as "Presbyter de Valeshead" in 1153, at which period the parish was called Valeshead, from its situation at the head of a valley or dene. The Methodists, Independents, and Anti-Burghers have places of worship.
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.