Tyne and Wear HER(5613): Gateshead, High Street, Tollbooth - Details
Gateshead, High Street, Tollbooth
Shown on Thompson 1746. The tollbooth stood in the High Street opposite the western end of Oakwellgate. According to Boyle it was mentioned as far back as 1577 as being the southern limit of Gateshead's market. In the parish register of 1577 there is the entry "Paid to 4 prisoners in the Tollbooth 2s. 4d". The manor courts of the Bishops of Durham were held at the Tollbooth, and in the seventeenth century at least one of the Trade Guilds held their meetings here. It was rebuilt during the episcopacy, at the expense of Bishop Crewe, whose arms were placed over the entrance. From 1685 to 1700 it was used by the scholars of the Anchorage school. In 1731 it was a "Popish Chapel". Both before and after these uses, it served as the town gaol. It was also the place where women suspected of witchcraft were held. Parish accounts of 1772 record payments for the constable who brought the witches to the gaol, for trying the witches and for a grave for a witch. When the Tollbooth was pulled down, a "miserable and scandalous lock-out" called the "kitty" was built in its place.
<< HER 5613 >> I. Thompson, 1746, Plan of Gateshead; D. Lumley, 1932, The Story of Gateshead Town, pp 63-64; F.W.D. Manders, 1973, A History of Gateshead, p 29