Tyne and Wear HER(4586): North Shields, Fish Quay - Details
North Shields, Fish Quay
Fish Quay near the Low Light. From 1225 the Prior of Tynemouth had attemped to create a fishing port to provide fish for his religious house. To this end 27 rudimentary houses were erected beside the river at the mouth of the Pow Burn (see HER 1952). Wooden quays were attached to these shiels to provide moorings for fishing boats and a place where fish could be sold. The quays were also used by the Prior to ship coal from the priory pits at Tynemouth. The present fish quay started life in the nineteenth century. From about 1870 an extensive herring fishery had developed using North Shields as a base. A photo of c.1890 shows the the quay moored with herring sailing boats. The herrings were kippered at the fish quay - split open, gutted and salted, then smoked over oak chips or sawdust to produce kippers. A Newcastle man, John Woodger, claimed to have invented the process.
<< HER 4586 >> Ordnance Survey maps, 1899, 2nd edn, 6, Northumberland, 89, SE; Richard Simpson, 1988, North Shields and Tynemouth - A Pictorial History; Maureen Brook, 2006, Unsung Heroes - the fisherwives in Tyneside's Finest, pp 94-95; North Tyneside Council and Nexus, 2010, North Shields Heritage Trail, board 3 'A nest of vice' and board 7 'Peggy's Hole' and board 8 'The Gut'