Wellfield is the area which lies adjacent to Earsdon Road between West Monkseaton and Earsdon Village. Sometimes referred to as South Wellfield, the name was derived from Earsdon Well which stood in a field just a few yards north of the main entrance road to the present estate, and was once the main water source which supplied the residents of nearby Earsdon Village.
Between the 1700s and 1800s, much of the farmland surrounding Monkseaton Village was dotted with wells and springs, and the area upon which Wellfield Estate was built was no exception.
Old ordnance survey maps show the existence of pumps and wells in this area and there is still evidence of two small drainage channels or ‘burns’.
The first ‘burn’ drains eastwards from fields close to Earsdon Village and gently curves northwards where it is now culverted under Nelson Road in Wellfield, to re-emerge on the opposite side of Earsdon Road.
A second stream drains from fields at Shiremoor and Murton and runs parallel to Otterburn Avenue, most of which has likewise been culverted next to where the present housing now stands.
The existence of these ‘burns’ lend their name to the adjacent Wellfield streets – Burnbank Avenue, Thorneyburn Avenue and Otterburn Avenue.
Both of these ‘burns’ connect at a point where the new and inappropriately named housing estate of ‘West Park’ at North Wellfield is currently being built, before linking to the Briar Dene Burn near Hartley Lane, flowing eastwards and eventually draining into the sea.
Wellfield itself is now a residential suburb which was laid out and built between the 1920s and the 1950s. The older properties are situated closer to Earsdon Village and the newer ones are closer to West Monkseaton.
Prior to construction of the present dual carriageway, the main road connecting West Monkseaton and Earsdon ran immediately in front of the houses on Hesleyside Road and Monkseaton Road.
Apart from residential housing, the estate also incorporates two schools, a children’s playing field area, and, until fairly recent years, also had a Post Office, a Co-operative store, a General Dealers and a Hairdresser’s shop, all of which have now closed and been converted into private dwelling houses.
The oldest building at Wellfield is probably the house which stands on the corner of Monkseaton Road, near the junction with Hesleyside Road as seen in the foreground of the photograph above.
The grounds of this house have a sunken garden which has been identified as part of a small quarry on the 1895 Ordnance Survey map.
by Charlie Steel © 2014
His published books include ‘Monkseaton Village’ Vols 1 & 2, and ‘North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns’ Parts 1 & 2, all of which are available from most local booksellers.