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Tynemouth, Northumberland

Historical Description

Tynemouth, a market-town, a municipal and parliamentary borough, a township, and a parish in Northumberland. The town stands on the N side of the mouth of the Tyne, at the terminus of the Newcastle and Tynemouth railway, 1 mile W of the market-place of North Shields, and 278 from London. It occupies a promontory, known anciently as Pendal, terminating in cliffs; originated in a Roman station, subordinate to Segedunum or Wallsend; acquired consequence from a monastery founded in the 7th century, and later from a strong castle. It gave the title of Earl in 1687 to James Fitz-James, Duke of Berwick; had John of Tynemouth, author of the " Golden History," for a native, and John Wethemstede and Thomas de la Mere as priors. It came into repute in modern times as a watering-place, enjoys a fine climate, charming scenery, and excellent bathing appliances; consists of well-built streets, with numerous good private dwelling-houses; and has a post, money order, and telegraph office, a railway station, good hotels, many good lodging-houses, commodious and elegant baths, a public hall and assembly-room, a police station, barracks, coastguard and lifeboat stations, a sailors' home, a cemetery, a parochial church built in 1668 and situated at North Shields, a church called Holy Saviour's, a Congregational chapel with tower and spire built in 1865, a Wesleyan chapel, a Roman Catholic church, and a workhouse. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle resides at Tynemouth. Shipbuilding is carried on, and there are manufactures of ropes, sails, and other shipping requisites. The monastery was founded in 625 by King Edwin, was repeatedly destroyed by the Danes, and as often restored or rebuilt by distinguished persons, prior to the middle of the llth century, was given for a time to Jarrow abbey, was refonnded in 1090 by Robert de Mowbray as a Black priory subordinate to St Alban's Abbey, was fortified soon afterwards by De Mowbray against William Rufus, and then took the name of Tynemouth Castle; had previously been the burial-place of St Oswyn, King Osred, and King Malcolm Canmore; acquired in 1220 a renovated church 275 feet long, with transept 97 feet long, and with a choir 135 feet by 66; went at the dissolution to the Dudleys, and has left extensive and interesting remains. The castle was reconstructed into barracks in 1665, became a depot in 1783, and is now occupied by infantry. A lighthouse stands within the castle yard, was built in 1802, and shows a revolving minute light 154 feet above high water, visible at the distance of 18 miles. A public park was opened in 1885, the west part of the land being presented by the Duke of Northumberland. Another park in the Grand Parade was opened in 1894. The town shares in the business interests of North Shields, was made a parliamentary borough in 1832, and a municipal borough in 1849; comprises as a borough the townships of Tynemouth, North Shields, Preston, Cullercoates, and Chirton; sends one member to parliament, and is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors. The parliamentary and municipal boroughs are co-extensive. Acreage, 4317; population, 46,588. The borough has a separate commission of the peace. Fish quays have been constructed at a cost of over £80,000. About 15,000 tons of fish are landed annually.

The township comprises 1185 acres of land and 245 of water and foreshore; population, 23,678. The parish includes also the rest of the borough, and the townships of Whitley, Monkseaton, and Murtou. Both the head living of Christ Church and the living of Holy Saviour are vicarages in the diocese of Newcastle-on-Tyne; gross value of the livings, £400 with residences. Patron of both, the Duke of Northumberland. The vicarages of Holy Trinity, St Peter, St Augustine, in North Shields, and Cullercoates and Percy are separate benefices. The parish church (Christ Church) is a plain building, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, and western embattled tower containing ten bells. The church of the Holy Saviour was erected in 1839-40, and consists of chancel, nave, and tower with spire.

Tyneside Parliamentary Division of Northumberland was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 69,331. The division includes the following:-Castle Ward (West Division, part of)-Benwell, Brunton (East), Brunton (West), Butterlaw, Callerton (Black), Coxlodge, Denton (East), Denton (West), Fawdon, Fenham, Gosforth (North), Gosforth (South), Kenton, Longbenton, Newbiggin, Newburn, Newburn Hall, Sugley, Throckley, Wallbottle, Whorlton, Woolsington; Castle Ward (East Division, part of)-Wallsend; Newcastle-on-Tyne, municipal borough; Tynemouth, municipal borough.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyNorthumberland 
Ecclesiastical parishTynemouth St. Oswin 
Poor Law unionTynemouth 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Tynemouth from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Northumberland is available to browse.


Online maps of Tynemouth are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers related to Northumberland online:

DistrictNorth Tyneside
CountyNorth Tyneside
RegionNorth East
Postal districtNE30
Post TownNorth Shields