A wet walk round Tynemouth

October 20th, 2017

Misty Priory

Below the intention outlined in blue. Above the reality seen through rain. We’ll start with my wet arrival in Tynemouth and come back to the housing search further down the page.

Tynemouth C19th housing as found from NLS maps


After a sodden Hebburn off via lunch at Asda Boldon through the tunnel to Tynemouth.

The weather was awful, pouring rain, poor visibilty. I wove through the seemingly endless roadworks North of the tunnel East out towards Whitley Bay and followed the signs to Tynemouth where I parked on the coast road within sight of numerous hardy runners in the rain.

It was clear upon arrival Tynemouth is magnificent, noble and majestic even. I had spent several minutes driving along the seafront looking for decent parking and struck immediately by the grandeur of the setting (Gothic Priory in the mist included) and the buildings.

I set off North along Sea Banks to Percy Gardens, left by the Grand Hotel and round the corner past Copperfields.

Grand Hotel Tynemouth – Streetview

Corner of Grand Hotel – Streetview

It had been my intention to study the back lanes of Tynemouth and the standard of the housing but I was distracted by the tower seen at left in the photograph below …

First glimpse of the Watch Tower – Streetview

… which turned out to be a WWI watchtower built by the military to control shore batteries.

Closing in – Streetview

Outside the strangest building in Tynemouth

My photograph not Streetview

On reaching the main road I crossed to get a view from the front and found an information board explaining all.

Information about the Watch Tower

From the sea front

Click for information about the Grand Hotel and immediate surroundings


II

From Percy Park, a long terrace built in sections over time, look at the wall joins if you’re ever there, I headed SW past Holy Saviour church, along King Edward Road to Edith St and Algernon Terrace the latter providing a pleasant surprise being white bricks fronting a red brick construction on an unadopted road, a treasure tucked away where few would ever notice, which is probably the way the residents like it …

Algernon Terrace Tynemouth

… and on past Northumberland Park to my next blue zoned area of housing, Linkskill Terrace and Park Crescent.

Park Crescent

Glazed white bricks on the corner of Linskill Place and Park Crescent.

Recently sold at auction by Cooke & Co.


III

Around the corner in North King Street I found some Tyneside flats. You can tell by the paired front doors with a single window over, then around the back …

… the staircase leading down to the yard.

Image above from page 54 of the excellent English Heritage guide to Gateshead

On to Tynemouth Road and East heading back into town. Stopped raining.


IV

Tynemouth Road holds a few surprises of its own. Heading East from the bottom end of North King Street you pass Northumberland Park and come to the old house of correction …

… and the Tynemouth Lodge Hotel.

Further East again are the historic Master Mariner Asylum dwellings of 1837-40 on Asylum Lane now Mariners Lane. Notes -> Trinity House

 National Library of Scotland Six inch – Pub.1899


V

However my greatest discovery of the day came across the road. Having come upon the mariners homes on the North side of Tynemouth road I crossed to take a photograph and in so doing noticed a block of flats.

My first view of Knott Memorial flats

I followed the access road (“River View” but there wasn’t, yet) to try and find a view of the Tyne which I knew was nearby and as I walked on looking for the river found myself beside a large block of council flats in an outstanding location.

Knott Memorial flats, as I later learned they are called, were built on Percy Square with large basements in the 1930s with a view to protection against what then seemed a likely war.

Knott Flats from wartime map – Mariners homes top of image

A few days later in better weather I took the photograph below from Fish Quay North Shields. Click for main image.

Click above for main image

If you’re interested they are worth Googling, there are some good articles online.


VI

With much left unexplored I continued into town but the light was fading and with one exception my urban exploration was finished for the day albeit with some blue zoned housing for the future.

The first Tynemouth Station but not in its present location, this was over a cutting as is evident from the map below.

National Library of Scotland 25 inch series 1898


On the way back to the car I passed this 1960s insertion into the existing terraces which I like because the stone facings give it context with its surroundings.

Priory Court Flats were built on the large plot (sites 7-13) at the southern end of the gardens which contrary to popular belief was not the result of bombing but had for some reason remained unbuilt on from the start of the original development.


VII

I drove up through Whitley Bay to St Marys in the fading light and captured a shot of the restoration of Spanish City dome …

New Premier Inn, old cinema, and Spanish City dome in context

The new Premier Inn is nicely done and very modest.

Proposal and …

… execution …

… and St Mary’s Lighthouse through the mist before heading home


Next time

North Shields in the sunshine

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