Many years ago when Monkseaton was just a tiny hamlet, the principal industry was farming. During the 1600s and 1700s, there were up to 13 principal farms encompassing the Monkseaton area with open fields providing views towards the villages of Whitley to the east, Cullercoats to the southeast, Preston to the south, Murton to the southwest, Earsdon to the west, Holywell to the northwest and Hartley to the north.
The boundaries of these farms tended to radiate out from Monkseaton to the adjoining boundaries of these villages, and individual fields were given names by the farmers to aid identification. As the farms disappeared and urban development took its course, most of these fields were laid out for housing and many new streets adopted their name from some of the old field names.
For example, the south western section of Red House Farm Estate comprises the following streets: North Ridge (derived from North Field), Tolls Close (derived from Tolls Close Field), Berrishill Grove (derived from Berris Hill), Caseton Close (derived from the North & South Casetons), Well Ridge Close and Well Ridge Park (derived from Well Ridge Field) and Mill Dyke Close (derived from Mill Dyke).
The adjacent area known as Wellfield was derived from Earsdon Well which stood in a field opposite the present entrance to the estate (Roundabout Monkseaton – June 2014).
A small selection of other local street names and their likely origins are as follows:
Cauldwell Avenue and Cauldwell Lane (a corruption of Cold Well), derived their names from a burn which ran eastwards from Murton Village, following the path of these roads to a spring known as the Cold Well which stood close to the present Pykerley Road. (There is also a road in Murton Village called Well Lane).
Pykerley Road derived its present name from Peckerlaw or Pickerlaw Lane, an old farm track which followed the course of the present road to connect Cauldwell Lane with High Peckerlaw or Pickerlaw Hill (a slight rise which stood to the northwest of Monkseaton Village).
Seatonville Road, originally known as Turnpike Lane, derived its name from Seaton Villa (later Seaton Ville Farm) in the mid 1800s.
Burnt House Road is a more recent street named after the nearby Burnt House Farm which stood on the corner of what is now Seatonville Road and Bromley Avenue. The origins of the name are open to speculation, but is likely to be attributable to the burnt out colouring of the original farmhouse bricks rather than suggestions of a fire.
Shields Road because it was once the main road running to North Shields from Whitley Bay.
Dowling Avenue was built in 1919 and named after a long serving member of Whitley and Monkseaton Urban District Council, Councillor W. Dowling.
Hartley Avenue was laid out parallel to the former railway line which ran from Monkseaton to Hartley Station (crossing the Avenue near Seaton Delaval Hall). Hartley Avenue is likely to have derived both elements of its name from Hartley Station and The Avenue.
Bygate Road – prior to the early 1800s, the section of Front Street between the present junction of Coronation Crescent and Chapel Lane was a narrow field path with a farm gate at either end, so instead of taking this route through the village, people would walk to the back of Front Street, thus going ‘By the Gate’ rather than through it – hence the name.
Now – who said history wasn’t interesting!
by Charlie Steel © 2014
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.