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Tyne and Wear HER(5641): Gateshead, medieval fisheries - Details

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Gateshead, medieval fisheries



Agriculture and Subsistence


Fish Trap



Documentary Evidence

A number of fisheries in the Tyne, between the Team and Friars Goose, are referred to in the 1183 Boldon Book (a survey of land belonging to the Bishop of Durham, Hugh du Puiset) and were an important cause of dissension between the Bishop and the town of Newcastle over rights to the river. These were salmon yares, which were dams and traps set for the fish as they came up river. In 14th century the fisheries are first named as "Greneyare", "Maleyare" (near Redheugh), "Kirkyare" (opposite St Mary's Church), "Helpeyare" (off Gateshead Park) and "Turnwater" (off Friar's Goose). In 1322 an inquiry was held after three of the bishop's fisheries on the Tyne had been destroyed. A further inquiry in 1336 stated that the bishop had fisheries on the south side of the Tyne and the fishermen of Pipewellgate were free to sell their fish as they pleased, but recently they had their catch taken by force to Newcastle and if they attempted to sell it elsewhere they were heavily fined. The King directed that the liberties of the see of Durham should be respected, but a further inquiry was necessary nine years later and interference in fishing and shipping on the south side of the Tyne continued. In 1393, Richard II confirmed the rights of the see of Durham over its rights of navigation, mooring and unloading on the south side of the river but, in 1447, the King granted conservatorship of the whole of the Tyne to the mayor and burgesses of Newcastle effectively giving the Corporation control of all riverine trade. By 1505 the bishop's bailiff in Gateshead was reporting that the revenues of three fisheries, "Gayreyare", "Feuleryare" and "Heleryar" were in decline.




<< HER 5641 >> 1183, Boldon Book D. Austin, (ed) 1982, The Boldon Book, Northumberland and Durham, p 11; F.W.D. Manders, 1973, A History of Gateshead, pp 4 and 7-8

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