The present state of Newcastle
The suburbs of Pandon

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Eneas Mackenzie

Year published

1827

Pages

186-188

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'The present state of Newcastle: The suburbs of Pandon', Historical Account of Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Including the Borough of Gateshead (1827), pp. 186-188. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43339 Date accessed: 24 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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SUBURBS OF PANDON.

The suburbs of Pandon have lately been much enlarged and improved. Without where the gate stood, there is, on the left hand, a road leading into Pandon Dean, where a street has been lately built, called New Pandon Street. Another was also begun, which was intended to run up to the Carliol Croft in an angular direction. The road here has been widened and rendered commodious as far as Mr. Gregory's mustard-mill. A little above this, the dean is arched over by the bridge along which the new branch of the Shields turnpike road is carried. This noble structure has a fine effect when viewed from the base. The walk up this dean is extremely plea sant and romantic: the banks on each side, above the water corn-mill, are covered with little gardens, which are mostly kept in excellent order, and have pretty convenient summer-houses. Here many industrious tradesmen find pleasure and recreation, while they contribute to increase the beauties of this delightful vale. Part of the north side of the dean is occupied by the public gardens of Mr. Rutherford, which, from their convenient situation, are very much frequented during the fruit season.

Straight forward, without the scite of Pandon-gate, is a steep ascent, called Pandon Bank. The left side is one continued range of buildings, including several neat dwelling-houses and a sail-cloth manufactory: it is terminated by the elegant house of the late Thomas Head, Esq. The east side is confined by a very high brick wall, enclosing an extensive garden, at the top of which is a large and commodious house, belonging to James Potts, Esq. Both sides of this street were formerly shaded by large trees, which rendered this entrance into the town exceedingly pleasant.

At the head of the bank are a number of neat houses, forming two sides of an angle, named Wilkinson's Buildings. Some gardens are separated from the north side of these buildings by a lane which leads to Stepney. This place, Brand informs us, was called Conduit-head; and he adds, there were many fine springs about the top of Pandon Bank. He is therefore inclined to think that there has been a reservoir here in the most ancient times, for supplying the palace of the Saxon kings, and after that the house of the Carmelites, with water. There is still a cistern here, from which the water is conveyed by pipes to supply the pants in the lower parts of the town.

Directly north from the head of Pandon Bank there is a paved road which conducts to the Shield Field. This was a place, in ancient times, where the army used to muster. Later accounts represent it as a place of public amusement; and it is said that during the time king Charles I. was a prisoner at Newcastle, before he attempted to escape, he was permitted to go out every day, with his retinue, and play at goff in the Shield Field. The common council, in 1658, prohibited horse-courses in this field. In 1738, it was enclosed, to the great displeasure of the town's people, and is now private property. Fronting the east, there is a row of good houses, very properly styled Pleasant Row, beyond which is another, named Shield Field, from the ground on which it stands. These houses command an agreeable prospect, have a range of beautiful gardens behind, and are, in every respect, very convenient as a retreat for men of business. Near the entrance of the Shield Field, and opposite to Pleasant Row, are the visible remains of the great fort (mentioned page 27, et seq.) which was erected here in the time of what is termed the grand rebellion. It is 67 yards in length, and the same in breadth; the bastion 20 yards each way.

Passing the Shield Field, the wind-mill, and brick manufactories, the road leads to Sandyford-bridge; (fn. 1) above which, on a fine eminence, stands the new mansion-house of Ralph Naters, Esq. The old family house, which stood close by the road, has been pulled down. Mr. Naters' brewery intercepts the view of the pleasure-grounds, which are well laid out.

The new branch of the Shields turnpike intersects the road leading from the Carpenter's Tower to Shield Field. On the north side of the road, a number of neat, well-built houses, called Ridley Villas, have lately been erected. Each house has a garden in front, with necessary offices and garden-ground behind. The scites are held by a lease of 63 years, or three lives, of Sir M. W. Ridley, Bart. subject to an annual ground-rent of £5 each per annum. It is intended to erect villas on the opposite side of the road, the ground to be leased in a similar manner. It is the property of Lord Stowell, and is at present terminated on the east by a fanciful villa, built by Mr. Doeg, lately a ship-builder of this town.

Footnotes

1 On September 20, 1759, a spirited Scotch galloway, on which Mr. Cuthbert Lambert, son of an eminent physician in Newcastle, was riding, took fright, and flying along Sandyford-lane, leaped the battlement, and fell about 37 feet to the bed of the rivulet. Mr. Lambert kept his seat, and the branch of an old ash tree broke their fall. The poor animal jumped up, and, after running a few yards, fell down and expired; and its rider, from the violence of the shock, was for some time indisposed. On examining the body of the mare, all the joints of the back were found displaced. "Lambert's Leap," was cut upon the coping stone of the battlement, in commemoration of this remarkable occurrence.
About 15 years ago, one Henry Southern, a gardener, laboured with uncommon perseverance in smoothing the rugged and almost perpendicular banks of the dean below the bridge, and converting them into gardenground. The transformations he effected were surprising. From the vast quantities of stone chippings he found at some distance below the surface, and the stones whereon the marks of the masons' tools are distinct, it is thought that this gill has been a quarry at some remote period.