The main road access road into Tynemouth from the north and west originally commenced at Holy Saviours Church, connecting Manor Terrace (now Manor Road) to Front Street West and then Front Street itself, leading up to the entrance gates of Tynemouth Castle and Priory.
This early 1860s image of Tynemouth Front Street looks west towards Holy Saviours Church, the original spire of which is visible in the far distance.
There was no break in the line of buildings on this road until around 1883, when the smaller of the two structures shown in the photograph was demolished to make way for the development of Percy Park Road.
Front Street always has been, and perhaps still is, the most significant street in Tynemouth, essentially forming the core of the village, which over a number of years has been built up to provide some architecturally stunning buildings, many of them Grade II listed and all with a fascinating history behind them.
Although there have been numerous alterations to various shop fronts and signage over the years, it should be noted that when looking above eye-level, many of the original features of these buildings are still relatively intact.
As one of the widest streets in the UK, it was first divided in the 1940s by the siting of car parking facilities throughout its central length, a practice which has continued ever since. Today, parking facilities have been limited with the introduction of central paved areas, barriers and pedestrian refuges.
Over the years however, many other significant changes have occurred in the street as many of the old established shops and businesses have gradually disappeared. Even to this day though, some remnants of those old trade and business names are still evident, such as Auty, Allards and the Bath Hotel.
Today, Front Street is still regarded as the main focal point in the village, where many of the old buildings now accommodate a wide selection of shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes to form the busy heart of what is still fondly regarded bymany as a village.
Further reading and in-depth information, accompanied by a number of old photographs and descriptive images outlining the background of many of the old established shops and businesses which once stood on Tynemouth Front Street can be found in my recent book “Tynemouth Remembered” published by Summerhill Books and available from most local booksellers at £9.99.
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.