Monkseaton has a long historical past, and dates back to at least the 12th century, when it was simply known as ‘Seton’. This is probably a derivative of the words ‘Sea’ and ‘Tun’, i.e. the village being near to the sea, and a tun, meaning a hill or rise.
When King Henry I granted lands to the Prior of Tynemouth circa 1106, the name was altered to ‘Seton Monachorum’. The prefix ‘Monk’ is often found in connection with places belonging to religious houses, and so in this case it became known as Monk Seaton, or Seaton of the Monks.
Despite the fact that over the past 80 years Monkseaton Village has been absorbed into the urban confines of the nearby town of Whitley Bay, its history pre-dates that town by many years, and to anyone who resides in Monkseaton, the place is still referred to as ‘The Village’.
From the year 1577 coal was worked, and in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries there were several farms along with the usual trades people including blacksmiths, shoemakers and shopkeepers. There was also a large brewery and several inns, so the small population was well catered for with ale!
Over the years, Monkseaton Village has gradually changed, and many of these changes have slipped by unnoticed. Many of the old farms and buildings that once stood here have disappeared and remain only as distant memories. The rest, sadly, have long since been forgotten.
These early beginnings are described in more detail in my new book, to be launched on Friday 1st June 2012, which is simply entitled ‘Monkseaton Village – Volume One’. Published by Summerhill Books at a cost of £9.99, the book presents a comprehensive and in-depth history of the village, outlining its early origins and taking us through to the present day. It contains over 200 photographs, maps and illustrations, some of which have never been published before.
The launch has been arranged at Whitley Bay Library on Friday 1st June at 10.30am, and light refreshments will be available
A further signing session will be incorporated in the Jubilee Celebrations to be held at Monkseaton Methodist Church, Front Street on Saturday 2nd June commencing at 3pm. Copies of the book will also be available to purchase there on the day .
The book will be complemented later this year with Volume Two on a date to be announced.
by Charlie Steel © 2012
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, local historian Charlie Steel has lived almost all of his life in Monkseaton. His books “Monkseaton and Hillheads” and “Inns and Taverns of North Shields” are published by Tempus and are available in all good book shops.
All Charlie’s articles which are featured in Roundabout Monkseaton can also be found on his website www.monkseaton.info. Charlie also writes articles for Roundabout Tynemouth.
If you have any old pictures or photographs of Monkseaton that you would like to share then please e-mail Charlie at firstname.lastname@example.org.