Take this video walk around Tynemouth, Priors Haven, King Edward's Bay and The Longsands.

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Northumberland coat of arms.

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The coat of arms adopted by the Borough of Tynemouth upon its formation in 1849. The various bits and pieces are all pretty self-explanatory (the motto means something like ‘harvest of the deep’ – coal and fish, get it?), the three crowns are for the three kings buried in the Priory

Tynemouth is a town and a historic borough in Tyne and Wear, 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 within the county of Northumberland.

Its history, from the Iron Age to Victorian times and beyond, attracts visitors from around the world.

When the Romans occupied it they called it Pen Ball Crag. The Saxons changed it to Benebalcrag and a monastery was built there. Three Kings were buried there Oswins, King of Deir (AD651), Osred King of Northumbria and Malcolm lll King of Scotland (d. 1093) and three crowns decorate the Northumbrian coats of arms.

Tynemouth Village Association would like to to build up an archive of the history of Tynemouth so we would welcome your contributions.


Malcolm lll King of Scotland (d. 1093), who killed Macbeth and Macbeth’s son Lulach, was buried in Tynemouth Priory and Castle. Malcolm gave sanctuary to Saxons fleeing from William the Conqueror and the Normans and expanded his territory into Cumbria and Northumbia.

However William ll and the Normans seized his sons as hostages and he was killed in a battle in Alnwick and buried in Tynemouth, although his remains were later dug up and taken up North either to Dunfermline or Iona.



According to Bede Oswin was "a man of handsome appearance and great stature, pleasant in speech and courteous in manner". He was generous to high and low alike and soon won the affection of all by his kingly qualities of mind and body, so that even men of very high birth came from nearly every province to his service.

"He was a great friend of St. Aidan and a man of piety and devotion". However King Oswin raised a large army against him whereupon Osred withdrew from battle to seek refuge in Yorkshire but was attacked and killed by Oswin and buried in Tynemouth where he was treated as a Christian martyr and his shrine in the Priory became a place of pilgrimage.

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Osred was king of Northumbria from 789 to 790. He was the son of Alhred and Osgifu, daughter of Eadberht.He succeeded Ælfwald, son of his mother's brother Oswulf, who was murdered by the patricius (ealdorman) Sicga. Osred, even though he united two of the competing factions in Northumbria, was king for only a year before being deposed in favour of the previously deposed Æthelred son of Æthelwald Moll. Osred was then exiled, apparently to the Isle of Man.

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A hospital dating back to the twelfth century, found in 1882 has been recently excavated in Northumberland Park It may have been a leper hospital though many hospitals in those days were more like hotels for traveller's which sometimes housed the sick.



John of Beverley designed the medal for Osred, King of Northumbria. One of his pupils was the famous Bede, honoured in South Shields. He was buried at Tynemouth Priory. Seventh century AD

Below: William Bell Scott's depiction of the Vikings arriving in Tynemouth

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KING EDWARD'S BAY​sketch by William Bell Scott

It is thought the Queens of King Edward I and II were both sheltered in the Priory and Castle while their husbands were campaigning in Scotland.

This is probably the origin of the name "King Edwards Bay"". The Priory was considered one of the most fortified castles in the North East

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Above Walker: The Castle and Priory in the eighteenth century. and the ruins in 1789





Admiral Lord Collingwood, born in 1748, was the son of a Newcastle Merchant with connections to North Shields.

He is seldom given credit for in effect winning the battle of Trafalgar since he took over as Commander following the death of Nelson.

He died at sea in 1808. There was also controversy when the Collingwood monument was erected. The Royal Sovereign cannon around the Collingwood Monument. Royal Sovereign Cannon at Collingwood Monument at commemorative event at Tynemouth   7 March 2010



Harriet Martineau lived in 57 Front Street Tynemouth in 1840 to 45. She is often called the founder of sociology and fought against slavery, for women’s rights and for the working class.



Holiday makers at the beginning of the twentieth century at Tynemouth Outdoor Pool.



The Home for Mariners was built after the Collingwood Monument from 1827-1830.



​WInslow Homer, one of America's most famous artists, drew most of his inspiration from Tynemouth and Cullercoats.


Galibaldi visited Tynemouth House (which is now Kings School), in 1854 while he was campaigning with the Red Shirts for the unification of Italy.

It is said that it was in Tynemouth House that Garibaldi accidentally sat on two biscuits and the squashed result inspired the idea for a biscuit-hence the name Garibaldi biscuit!





Right is a portrait in the Illustrated London News of celebrations in Howard Street during Tynemouth's First Municipal Election.


Below is "Return to Tynemouth" painted in 1881.V


Below is his nineteenth century painting "Coble with Tynemouth Priory in background".



On November 1864 two ships were wrecked on the treacherous Black Midden Rocks in Tynemouth at the entrance to the River Tyne, the passenger ship "The Stanley" and the schooner "Friendship." shown above.

It was so rough that the three lifeboats had trouble rescuing the passengers who watched, powerless to help them. Although about a hundred people watched from the shore they were unable to help.

John Morrison,an Officer in the military volunteers based in Tynemouth Castle approached John Foster Spence (later Mayor of Tynemouth) and his brother Joseph Spence. They arranged a meeting and set up what was to be the first Auxiliary Coastguard Service, the Tynemouth Life Brigade. Following their initiative numerous others were set up around the country and which have been recently renamed the Coastguard Rescue Service.


Tynemouth Metro Station was opened in 1882 as a mainline station for the many holidaymakers who came to Tynemouth at that time..​



Above: The Statue of Queen Victoria designed by Alfred Turner.


Above the excavation of the Lion’s Head Fountain Tynemouth Longsands



At the turn of the nineteenth century Tynemouth spa on Longsands beach was reputed to bring good health as residents of Tynemouth were said to live exceptionally long lives. People therefore came to drink from the Lion's Head Fountain and bathe in the spa on Longsands Beach. Priors Park was popular bathing area in the Victorian era.

Left is the excavation of the Lions Head Statue on Longsands.

History Clubs

The Tynemouth Antiquarian Club meets on the second Tuesday of every month at Kings School.

At North Shields Library, Cath Smith has been compiling Memories of North Tyneside. She can be contacted at memories@memoriesnorthtyne.org.uk

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