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The History of Cullercoats


In 1677, Lady Elizabeth Percy was granted permission to erect a quay at Caller Coates (Cullercoats) for the export of coal from her own and neighbour's collieries. The work took five years at a cost of £3,013 13s 6d and during that time two men were killed.

John and Thomas Dove in 1677 leased to John Carr for 99 years at £5.00 per annum, roughly 2 acres of land next to the pier. This was to be used for a wagon way which was 15 yards wide and came from Mardon Mill down the east side of the Burn to Alfred Place, curving right past Browns Buildings and the Newcastle Arms to the Bank Top. In the same year, they also leased to Thomas Fearon, a salt merchant of South Shields, land 14 yards wide and 30 yards in length for use as 2 saltpans. The cheap coal from the colliery was used to boil salt from the seawater.

In 1681, Thomas Dove built Sparrow Hall (Spaarer Haal).

In 1710, the collieries were experiencing difficulties in extracting coal and in maintaining the pier, which eventually collapsed. In 1724, the colliery ceased working and in 1726, the saltpans were taken to Blyth. Cullercoats was now in decline and became a fishing village, which, by 1749 was described as the best fish market in the North of England. The pier was rebuilt in 1848.

In 1751 Mrs Astley (Rhoda Delaval) wrote "Tynemouth and Cullercoats are much in fashion - not a room empty. My Lady Ravensworth and My Lady Clavering a month at Cullercoats bathing". In 1807, a bathhouse was built to allow bathing in heated seawater. A shed was built at one side of the bathhouse to house the first marine laboratory, but was burnt down in 1904 and the descendents of the Doves built the existing marine laboratory on the site in 1908, for Newcastle University.

In 1852, the Duke of Northumberland gave Cullercoats its own lifeboat and house and in 1865, the Cullercoats Volunteer Life Brigade was formed. The Board of Trade built the Watch House for them in 1879, with the villages paying half to make it big enough for a social centre.

The railway loop line of 1882 encouraged commuters to move to the coast and the large houses on Beverley Terrace were built. In 1906, the Marconi Point radio station was built.


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