Tyne and Wear HER(4857): Gateshead, Lawses Close - Details
Gateshead, Lawses Close
Agriculture and Subsistence
Land Use Site
'Lawses Close' is shown north of the Rectory on a pre-1771 plan of the Ellison estates. An undated copy of a plan probably made in the early 18th century marks the same field as 'Laws Close' and this form of the name can be traced back at least as far as 1690. The spelling 'Lawless' has been used by extrapolation to make this field the scene of the murder of Bishop Walcher in 1080, which is recorded by Symeon of Durham as having taken place 'outside' the church at a place called ad caput caprae or Gotesheved. According to a tradition dating back at least to the beginning of the 18th century, St Mary's Church was the sucessor to an earlier foundation, which Mackenzie (1827) says 'stood in the field on the north-east side of the rectory, once called Lawless Close, and afterwards the Miller's Field'. It has further been postulated that this early church was the site of the 7th century monastery referred to by Bede (HER ref. 273). There is no direct evidence for either a church or monastery, however.
<< HER 4857 >> Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 1998, Gateshead Regional Music Centre, Archaeological Desk Top Assessment H. Bourne, 1736, The History of Newcastle upon Tyne, p 168 E. Mackenzie, 1827, A Descriptive and Historical Account of the Town and County of Newcastle, p 751