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Tynemouth is a town and historic resort in Tyne and Wear, Englandmarker, situated at the mouth of the River Tyne, between North Shieldsmarker (on the Tyne) and Whitley Baymarker (on the coast to the North). It is administered as part of the borough of North Tyneside, but until 1974 was an independent county borough (including North Shields) in its own right. It has a population of 17,056.


Tynemouth was a settlement from Iron Age times and the headland was easily defended. The headland of PEN BAL CRAG . So began the history of Tynemouth - its Priory, sacked by the Danes in 800, and Castle walls, was founded in 1095.

Three kings were buried within - Oswin - King of Deira (651); Osred II - King of Northumbriamarker (792) and Malcolm III- King of Scotland (1093). Three crowns still adorn the North Tyneside coat of arms. (North Tyneside Council 1990).

The queens of Edward I and Edward II preferred to stay in the medieval castle there while their husbands were campaigning in Scotlandmarker. King Edward III considered it to be one of the strongest castles in the Northern Marches. After Bannockburnmarker in 1314, Edward II fled from Tynemouth by ship.


In the late 18th century, sea-bathing became fashionable in Tynemouth. King Edward's Bay and Tynemouth Longsands are very popular with locals and tourists alike. Tynemouth is also a surfing championship venue

Front Street

Marshall's Fish and chip restaurant is locally famous.

The Land of Green Gingermarker on Front Street is a haven of niche shops run by independent retailers housed in the former 19th century Congregational Church (1868 by Thomas Oliver; hall dated 1886 in door lintel). Although converted to retail in 1980, it still retains many original features, including stained glass windows, arches, high ceiling beams and a Commemorative Plaque in recognition of the Volunteers and Reservists from Tynemouth who fought in the Boer War.

Opposite is a statue of Queen Victoria by Alfred Turner, unveiled on 25th October, 1902. This is situated at the edge of the Village Green which is home to the War Memorials for the residents of Tynemouth lost during the Second Boer War of 1899-1902. Designed by A.B. Plummer, it was unveiled on the 13th October 1903 by William Brodrick.

The larger central memorial is made of white granite with a cruciform column rising from between four struts in a contemporary design for its time. The front face has a relief sword and wreath carved onto it with the inscription below. The other three faces hold the honour roll for those lost during both World Wars. It was unveiled in 1920 and the designer is unknown. Further back away from the main road on Huntington Terrace, is The King's Schoolmarker, and further along isTynemouth Metro stationmarker.
Tynemouth Longsands

Sea to Sea Cycle Route

Tynemouth is the endpoint for the 140 mile long Sea to Sea Cycle Route from Whitehavenmarker or Workingtonmarker in Cumbriamarker.

Blue Reef Aquarium

Grand Parade, Tynemouth

Undersea aquatic park, containing seahorses, sharks, giant octopus, frogs, otters and many other creatures. It Seal Cove a purpose-built outdoor facility providing an environment for a captive-bred colony of harbour seals.

The 500,000-litre pool includes rocky haul-out areas and underwater caves, specially created to ensure marine mammals are kept in near natural conditions.

A ramped walkway and viewing panels have been provided so visitors have an opportunity to admire the creatures from both above and below the waterline.

Notable residents

  • Susan Mary Auld - Naval architect
  • Thomas Bewick - The great engraver spent many holidays at Bank Top and wrote most of his memoirs there in 1822.
  • Harriet Martineau - Novelist and journalist, lived at 57 Front Street 1840-45, now The Martineau Guest House named in her honour. She wrote three books here and some hundred pages of her autobiography are devoted to the Tynemouth period.
Her eminent visitors included Richard Cobden and Thomas Carlyle . Carlyle (a Scotsman) considered that Tynemouth residents were Scotch in features, in character and in dialect.

  • Giuseppe Garibaldi - Garibaldi sailed into to the mouth of the River Tyne on 21 March 1854 and briefly stayed in Huntingdon Place.The house is marked by a commemorative plaque
  • Sam Lamiroy - pro surfer
  • Andy Taylor - former lead guitarist for the New Wave group Duran Duran, was born and raised in Tynemouth, the son of a fisherman who raised him as a single parent after Taylor's mother abandoned the family.

  • Henry Treece - Poet and editor, spent 1935-38 teaching at Tynemouth School for Boys. He certainly wrote one story set locally, The Black Longship in his collection The Invaders

Notable visitors

Charles Dickens visited Tynemouth and wrote in a letter from Newcastle, dated 4 March 1867:

'We escaped to Tynemouth for a two hours' sea walk. There was a high wind blowing, and a magnificent sea running. Large vessels were being towed in and out over the stormy bar with prodigious waves breaking on it; and, spanning the restless uproar of the waters, was a quiet rainbow of transcendent beauty. the scene was quite wonderful. We were in the full enjoyment of it when a heavy sea caught us, knocked us over, and in a moment drenched us and filled even our pockets.'

Lewis Carroll states in the first surviving diary of his early manhood, that he met 'three nice little children' belonging to a Mrs Crawshay in Tynemouth on 21 August 1855. He remarks: 'I took a great fancy to Florence, the eldest, a child of very sweet manners...'

Algernon Swinburne arrived hot foot from Wallington Hallmarker in December 1862 and proceeded to accompany William Bell Scott and his guests, probably including Dante Gabriel Rossetti on a trip to Tynemouth. Scott writes that as they walked by the sea, Swinburne declaimed his Hymn to Proserpine and Laus Veneris in his strange intonation, while the waves ‘were running the whole length of the long level sands towards Cullercoats and sounding like far-off acclamations’.


Fairy Fest

Tynemouth Front Street looking towards the Priory
Fairy Fest is a fun event aimed at children and families. Hosted by the Land of Green Ginger, Front Street, it celebrates mid-Summer (20th-21st June 2009) and mythological fairy folklore. In order to create a historic, fictional setting, shopkeepers are transformed into fairies and characters from Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream, while the building is bedecked with flowers and bunting. Entertainment is provided for all ages and the fairies can be seen around Tynemouth and on Tynemouth Market.

(2010 it will be on 3rd May Beltane/May Day - Bank Holiday Monday, and will be larger and partly held be on Tynemouth Station)

Tynemouths' 1st Northumbrian Christmas Market

Tynemouth Station is hosting its first Northumbrian Christmas Market 16-20th December.

It will be a mix of stall, food and drink and live performances and entertainment for young and old.

Also a great chance to pick up last minute decorations, presents and your Christmas provisions from the Farmers Market.

The long established French Market will also be in Tynemouth in December. See the Tynemouth Market website[45275]for further details.

Fish Quay festival

North Shields Fish Quay a fishing port located close to the mouth of the River Tyne, in North Shields, Tyne and Wear, North East England, 8 miles (13 km) east of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The quay began life in 1225 as a simple village of shielings (huts) from which the town of North Shields takes its name. The quay was originally located here to serve the nearby Tynemouth Castle and Priory.

The growth of North Shields was at one time restricted due to fear that it would take trade from neighbouring Newcastle upon Tyne, which was the region's leading port at the time.

Clifford's Fort, located on the Fish Quay was built in the 17th century (1672) as a coastal defence against the Dutch. The Fort also played a role during the Napoleonic Wars. The fort was named after Lord Clifford of Cabal. It is now a scheduled Ancient Monument.

Every Spring Bank Holiday (since 1987) the Fish Quay hosts a mammoth free family festival, with hundreds of stalls and entertainments stretching the full length of the Quay. The Fish Quay Festival generally has several stages featuring different styles of music from the area and around the world, along with copious amount of food, and the traditional "blessing of the fleet". The Festival was sponsored by the mobile phone company Orange in 2001 and 2002 and was known as the Orange WOW (Window on the World) festival at that time but they discontinued their support.[clarification needed] Jack Gibbon, the original founder of the Fish Quay Festival quoted when he first started this to the local newspaper the Evening Chronicle, that he was "extremely delighted" with how the festival went, and hoped it could turn into an annual event.

The 2001 was held over the weekend of 26-28 May. The line up included The Levellers and Arthur Brown.

The 2002 line up included performances from over 80 artists and bands from all over the world, including Bob Geldof and Iona. There were five stages of music - Jazz, Dance, World Music, folk music and local bands. It was the biggest free festival in Europe, attracting thousands of visitors.

Other headline acts over the years have included Jools Holland (1999 - aired on Radio 2), Eddi Reader, Paul Young and Asian Dub Foundation.

The festival was scaled back in 2003.

In 2006 North Tyneside Council decided not to hold the Fish Quay Festival, due mainly to the longterm redevelopment work (including construction work) that was ongoing on the Fish Quay. A council report recommended that the future of the festival should be heritage based. The building work in the Fish Quay area is still ongoing (March 9). The Mouth of The Tyne festival currently continues the local festival tradition. This annual free festival is held jointly between Tynemouth and South Shields and includes a world class open air concert at Tynemouth Priory.

Mouth of Tyne festival

Wide view of Tynemouth pier and lighthouse, with the town behind
Starting in 2005 and continuing annually, the Mouth Of Tyne Festival (also known as the MOTFest) expands upon the Fish Quay Festival. It is staged in Tynemouth and South Shieldsmarker on the opposite bank of the Tyne and includes live world music, cultural performances, processions and pyrotechnics, as well as art displays.

Tynemouth pageant

Tynemouth Pageant is a community organisation in North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England, devoted to staging an open-air dramatic pageant every three years in the grounds of Tynemouth Castle and Priory, by kind permission of English Heritage who run the historic monastic and defensive site at the mouth of the River Tyne.

In popular culture

  • Many of the books of prize-winning children's author Robert Westall are set in Tynemouth.
  • The 80's television series Supergran was predominantly filmed in Tynemouth and the flying bicycle and other artefacts used in filming were until 2006 on permanent display in the Land of Green Ginger (converted Congregational Church) on Front Street.
  • Much of the 2004/5 BBC television series 55 Degrees North, starring Don Gilet and Dervla Kirwan was filmed in and around Tynemouth, including the location of Nicky and Errol's houses.
  • In the 2005 film Goal!, the lead character played by Kuno Becker trains by running along Tynemouth Longsands.

See also


  1. Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
  2. Coast to Coast guide
  3. Face to Face: Sam Lamiroy
  4. De Graaf, Kasper, and Garrett, Malcolm. Duran Duran: Their Story. Published in 1982.
  5. [1]

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