Tyne and Wear HER(6498): Newcastle, High Bridge (street) - Details
Newcastle, High Bridge (street)
Road Transport Site
Up until 1785 only one narrow lane linked Newcastle's market street (Bigg Market/Newgate Street) with Pilgrim Street. The main reason was the steep dene of the Lort Burn lay between them and a bridge - the High Bridge - was the only way to link them. Both sides of the lane were built up from early times, but there seem to have been few significant buildings, other than in 1766 when the Presbyterians raised High Bridge Chapel and in 1794 when the Cordwainers Company built their stone-fronted hall on the north side. Both have now gone. The dip in the road outside Nos. 31-37 is where the High Bridge used to span the Lort Burn. In 1902 the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne reported on a rubbing made by a Mr John Ventress of a stone from an old house of the corner of High Bridge. It was 6ft 11 inches long and 2ft 1 inches broad. A goat's head, looking to the left, in the centre of a shield, with the letters R and S either side and the date 1596 above. Below was an axehead. The stone had apparently come from the old Black Bull hostelry. Mr Ventress said that it was over a fireplace built up against a very old stone building. There is a house engraved on Corbridge's plan of Newcastle with the name Richard Swinburne above it. The rubbing was donated to the Society by an Alexander Pringle of Cramer Dykes, Gateshead in 1902.
N. Pevsner and I. Richmond, second edition revised by G. McCombie, P. Ryder and H. Welfare, 1992, The Buildings of England: Northumberland (second edition); D. Lovie, 1997, The Buildings of Grainger Town; I. Ayris, 1997, A City of Palaces; H. Bourne, 1736, The History of Newcastle upon Tyne, p 55; W.H.D Longstaffe, 1857, Local Muniments, Archaeologia Aeliana, Series 2, Vol 1, pp 23-44; Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, Series 2, Vol X (1902), p 12.