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Tyne and Wear HER(12233): Gateshead, Chirche yar Fishery - Details

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Gateshead, Chirche yar Fishery



Agriculture and Subsistence

Fish Trap

Fish Weir



Documentary Evidence

Chirche yar in 1128, Chirche yare, Kirkeyere in 1279, Kirkyare in 1344. 'Cirice' is old English for 'church'. Thus this was a weir belonging to or near to a church. The bishop of Durham had two weirs in Gateshead. One of them is listed in the Northumberland Assize Roll of 1279 of weirs (gurgites) that had trespassed beyond their due limits, in this case 42 fathoms (teisias). In 1344 the weir extended to the regulation one third of the water of Tyne. It lay east of the medieval Tyne bridge. The main catch would have been salmon, but in fact a wider range of fish would have been taken (eg. Eels, pike, minnow, burbot, trout and lamprey' {G.N. Garmondsway (ed), 1939, 'Aelfric's Colloquy', pp 101-2}.




Victor Watts, 1986, Some Northumbrian Fishery Names II in Durham Archaeological Journal, 2, 1986, pp 55-61; Three Early Assize Rolls for… Northumberland, Surtees Society 88 (1891), 335

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