Tyneside locals protect what makes area special

English Heritage has been carrying out a survey of North Tyneside’s historic buildings and residents have voted for their favourite landmarks

The old Free Library building in North Shields, which has been listed
The old Free Library building in North Shields, which has been listed

Residents who voted for their favourite local landmarks have been rewarded with a major heritage boost for their Tyneside neighbourhood.

For several months, English Heritage has been carrying out a survey of North Tyneside’s historic buildings.

The survey was prompted when the council asked the body to look at the authority’s local register of buildings and structures which people had nominated as their favourites.

Now a range of attractions have been nationally listed.

Nick Bridgland, English Heritage designation team leader for the North, said: “North Tyneside is full of great architecture and these listings reflect this, joining the likes of the Spanish City Dome and Tynemouth Station. They all add up to what makes this area special.”

John Harrison, council cabinet member for the environment, said: “This is great news, not only for North Tyneside Council, but also for our community who started off the process through their Local Register nominations.

“Key parts of our local heritage have been recognised as nationally important and this has been a great example of what local communities can achieve by linking their efforts with partners in central and local government.”


:: North Shields Mechanics Institute and Free Library in Saville Street. Dating from 1857-8, it became the first free library on Tyneside.

:: RC Church of St Edward, Coquet Avenue, Whitley Bay. Built 1926-8 to the designs of Stienlet & Maxwell of Newcastle. A painted Descent from the Cross was added to the organ case in 1945 as a memorial to parishioners and members of the Tyneside Irish Regiment who fell in the Second World War.

:: Art deco drinking fountain, Northern Promenade, Whitley Bay, erected in 1937 to mark the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

:: Seven sewer gas lamps in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay. The lamps drew air from the sewer through a copper tube inside the column, converting methane into carbon dioxide before releasing it into the atmosphere. One lamp could vent three-quarters of a mile of sewer.

:: 1914-18 granite cross war memorial in St Bartholomew’s churchyard, Longbenton, unveiled in 1922.

:: First World War memorial, Market Street, Dudley, in the form of a marble female figure, with Second World War additions.

:: First World War memorial, New York Road, North Shields, in the form of a Celtic cross unveiled in 1921.

:: First World War memorial, with Second World War additions at Bridge Street, Seaton Burn, in the form of a mausoleum.

:: First and Second World War obelisk memorial, Backworth Lane, Backworth, unveiled in 1922.

:: Health Centre, The Green, Wallsend. Built as a health centre and school clinic in 1939-40 it has significant socio-historic interest in representing regional political will for improved public health and welfare provision during the 1930s, almost a decade before the creation of the National Health Service.

:: Wallsend Memorial Hall in Frank Street, with a First World War memorial having Second World War additions. Sir John Hunter commissioned the memorial hall as a centre for social, cultural and recreational activity, dedicated to the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson workers killed in the War. It was opened in 1925 and has recently been refurbished.

:: Lifeboat Station , Cullercoats Bay. Lifeboat House was built in 1897, and extended in 2003. The Cullercoats station has seen its lifeboat launched more than 720 times, saving over 840 lives.

:: Finger post, junction of Park Lane and Earsdon Road, Shiremoor. The cast iron mile post by the Tyneside Pioneer iron foundry is a rare example of a once ubiquitous sign, many removed in Second World War anti-invasion measures.


David Whetstone
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