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The Formation of North Shields Fish Quay

The Prior of Tynemouth was a powerful and important man who controlled lands throughout Northumberland. The rent and income from these lands made the Priory extremely wealthy.

In 1225, Prior Germanus decided to improve the fish supplies and increase the wealth of the Priory. He granted the local people the right to build seven shiels, with their own quay, between Pow Burn and the sikket. Over the years more houses were built, but the Burgers of Newcastle insisted that no fish or bread could be sold outside the boundaries of Newcastle. Owners of vessels were forbidden to load or unload cargoes at Shields.

By 1294 over 100 houses existed in Shields and by 1394 the town had its own bailiff. Fish being caught at that time consisted of lampreys, smelt, sprats, conger eels, coalfish and skate. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1530, which protected the fishing but imposed narrow limitations on the industry within the town. With the Dissolution of Tynemouth Priory in 1539 the town began to decline.




The Shiels at Pow Burn

The shiels at Pow Burn

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