Collywell Bay is a name derived from the Collywell Dyke, a geological feature which is evident from the various rock structures forming the cliffs at Collywell Bay at Seaton Sluice.
Crab Hill is simply a local name for the extreme easternmost point of Saddle Rocks, adjacent to Cullercoats Bay. It is often used by sea anglers.
Cullercoats: There is little evidence of the existence of Cullercoats prior to the year 1600. ‘Culler’ is a derivative of the name Culfre – an old English word for a pigeon or dove. Combined with the word ‘coats’, the name means dove cotes and the name of Cullercoats is possibly derived from this.
At the beginning of the 1600s, a Quaker family by the name of ‘Dove’ had established a mill in the area and were later responsible for much of the subsequent development of Cullercoats. Situated between Tynemouth and Whitley Bay, it consists of a semi-circular sandy beach with cliffs and caves, and was once a popular destination for day trippers. Historically the village depended on fishing and there was also local coal mining in so-called bell pits.
Curry’s Point is the name of the headland situated opposite St. Mary’s Lighthouse. In 1739, Michael Curry, a glass worker from Seaton Sluice, was hanged at Newcastle for murdering Robert Shevill, innkeeper of the ‘Three Horse Shoes’ at Old Hartley. Curry’s body was brought back to the area and strung from a gibbet within sight of his crime, on this headland which now bears his name.
Duchess Dene is the name for the short dip which crosses Whitley Bay Links and forms the outlet for the Brierdene Burn. Duchess Dene, along with nearby Dukes Walk, are situated within close proximity of the former Prudhoe Memorial Convalescent Homes (built as a memorial to the 4th Duke of Northumberland) so there is a high probability that they were named after the Duchess and Duke of Northumberland.
Dukes Walk forms part of Whitley Bay Links by the northern promenade, and is also known as Panama Dip.
Earsdon is one of the oldest villages in Northumberland and evidence exists of human occupation as far back as the early Iron Age. The village itself sits at the peak of a sandstone outcrop which rises above the surrounding boulder clay formation laid during the Ice Age. The name is derived from its original name of ‘Erdesdun’, meaning ‘hill of red earth.
East and West Holywell: Not to be confused with Holywell Village near Seaton Delaval, East and West Holywell lie to the north east of Backworth Village and were originally colliery hamlets, consisting of four or five rows of cottages mostly inhabited by local pitmen.
by Charlie Steel © 2015
Further reading for many of Charlie’s articles can be found in his books: ‘Monkseaton Village’ (Vol. 1 & 2), North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns’ (Part 1 & 2) and ‘Tynemouth Remembered’ all published by Summerhill Books.