Origins of Street and Place names in Gateshead

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ASKEW ROAD – From the Askew family, who owned the Redheugh Estate from 1748 to the 1880’s.

BEACON LOUGH – An area between Sheriff Hill and Wrekenton, east of the old turnpike road. The ‘beacon’ was one of the series of warning beacons established by Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The beacon was blown down in 1808. ‘Lough’ may have originated from of ‘Lawe’ (hill) or may refer to the small lake known as Hazlett’s Pond which once lay at the foot of Beacon Hill.

BEWICK ROAD – Named after Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), the wood engraver, who lived at 19 West Street, Gateshead, from 1812.

COATSWORTH ROAD – Named (but mis-spelt) after William Cotesworth, Lord of the Manor of Gateshead, 1716 – 1726. So named in 1892: the northern part was formerly known as Union Lane.

DECKHAM – Sir Thomas Deckham was owner of the estate in the early seventeenth century.

ELLISON STREET – Named after the Ellison family who were Lords of the Manor from 1730 – 1857. The best known member of the family was Cuthbert Ellison (1783 – 1860) MP for Newcastle from 1812 to 1830. He gave generously to many Gateshead charities.


GATESHEAD – Gates Head, the head of the road.

JACKSON STREET – Known as Collier Chare until the late seventeenth century. Jackson’s Field had appeared by 1702 and Jackson’s Chare slightly later. The Jackson in question was probably Henry Jackson, estate steward to the Gerard family.

JOICEY ROAD – From the Joicey family, members of which lived in nearby Whinney House from the mid-nineteenth century.

KELLS ROAD – Not named, as is often thought, in honour of Gateshead’s first Town Clerk. Kell’s Field Estate had been in existence at least since the mid-eighteenth century. The name was applied originally only to that part of the road formerly known as Kell’s Lane North; the remainder was called Lamsley Road.

OAKWELLGATE – Traditionally said to have been near a well which was sheltered by an oak tree, but occasionally referred to in medieval times as Aquelgate; ‘gate’ is used in place of street or lane.

PIPEWELLGATE – ‘Pipe’ referring to wooden pipes used to carry water.

REDHEUGH – ‘Red’ or ‘reed heugh’ A large estate to the west of the town.


SALTWELL – A salt-spring

SHERIFF HILL – From the thirteenth century. The Sheriffs from Newcastle came to what is now Sheriff Hill to meet the judges from Durham coming north to hold assizes. At the time the area was little more than barren waste and moor, with houses and cottages with very poor living conditions and the Old Cannon Inn which was used as a place of refreshment during the judges journey.

SHIPCOTE – Originally Sheepcote, a shelter for sheep.

SODHOUSE BANK – That part of the Old Durham Road which passes through Sheriff Hill, and so named from the turf or sod huts built there by tinkers and others. The name recently changed to the more genteel Sheriff’s Highway