Various details of events throughout the recorded
history of Swalwell with my own odd comment.
The Swalwell area is first mentioned in The Boldon Book - the
Northern equivalent of the Domesday Book, where its (rateable) value
is listed as 16 Shillings (80p).
And then we slept for 400 years.........!
1629 William Smith of Durham
alienates the land of Swalwell to John Clavering, Alderman of
Newcastle and his son James. (and we have remained aliens ever
1640 A coaching house is built on Hexham Road.
Later it becomes the village post office and of late, the Angel B &
B. It is the oldest remaining structure in Swalwell and was built
1707 Sir Ambrose Crowley
establishes his metal works in Swalwell.
17-- First school is opened.
(with effects still to be seen!).
1715 The Great Fire of Swalwell
(well not quite - the local wood yard caught fire!)
1717 Freemasons' lodge
founded. (which explains why even today Swalwellers shake hands
between their legs!).
1747 John Wesley first
preached at Swalwell. He returned in 1757and 1759. (and still never
found his wallet!).
1748 William Shield,
musician and composer, born. Later appointed Master of the King's
1750 Presbyterian church
built on Market Lane. (Ebenezer Chapel).
1758 Swalwell Hoppings
which had been held on Whit Monday for several years had for this
year an advertisement proclaiming sports such as; `Dancing for
Ribands, Grinning for tobacco, women running for smocks, foot races
for men, ass races (? I'm saying nothing!!) and a man who would eat
a live cockerel, feathers entrails and all. (still done regularly
after a good Saturday night session in the Highlander) What a shame
the hoppings have ended!.
('Buckle-mouthed Jock' won Grinning for Tobacco and 'Slavering
Nell' won the race for the smock, well, at least one year!! - see
Swalwell Hoppings song on the Swalwell Music page)
1759 On the 30th March ,
an unfortunate affair happened at Swalwell. A press-gang went
thither in quest of men, but the inhabitants (Crowley's Crew) gave
them a severe drubbing. The next night the gang returned, and
another scuffle took place. One William MOFFAT, a barber, was
seized, and Mr BELL, one of the chief inhabitants, received five
stabs with a sword in different parts of his body in consequence of
which he died. Some others, on both sides, were dangerously wounded,
including the midshipman who headed the gang. MOFFAT made his
escape, but a reward of £20 having been offered for his
apprehension, he was arrested at Whitehaven by a man named OSBORN,
alias Captain Death, so nick-named for his performance in singing a
celebrated ditty relating to the captain of the Terrible privateer
whose servant he had formerly been. MOFFAT was lodged in Carlisle
gaol, and afterwards brought to Durham, where he was tried at the
assizes in August 1759 but acquitted
1760 Clavering Bridge is
constructed over the River Derwent at Selbey's Ford.
1771 Swalwell is
devastated by a flood which also swept away a bridge in Newcastle.
1775 Charleton Nesbitt,
wood engraver, born.
1780 Crowley's Workhouse
1782 Crowley's works
bought by Milligan & Co. (Later closed and re-opened by Ridley &
1810 Crucible steel
manufacturing is introduced into Swalwell - but too late - Sheffield
had already stolen the lead.
1815 Wesleyan Methodist
1817 The artist Turner visits
Swalwell and paints a picture of the Dam Head for the Earl of
Strathmore (Gibside Estate). Held by the Tate Gallery in London
1822 Keelmen's strike.
Death of William
1830 'Snowball's' Brickworks
established by G.H.Ramsay.
1831 Swalwell is flooded again!!
- (now I know why they built all the new houses above Clavering Road
instead of the Waterside).
1831 During the Reform campaign
the men of Swalwell turned out in support of the reformers. At a
demonstration at Durham in October, Charles Attwood heard of a plan
to break up a reformist meeting organized a force of three hundred
men from the Swalwell district. Armed with oak saplings from Gibside**,
Crowley's Crew (employees of Sir Ambrose Crowley) dealt effectively
with the agitators and the meeting was held without any hindrance.
(** I believe these are now referred to as Sunderland supporters.)
1838 Death of Charlton
Nesbit in London.
1839 Axwell Park Colliery
1875 Swalwell Board School
opened on Market Lane, next to Presbyterian Church.
1876 Crowley's steelworks
are sold to Ridley & Co after 170 years presence in Swalwell.
189- Margaret Dryburgh
(famous missionary and Japanese POW) resides in Swalwell and attends
1893 The Holy Trinity
Church opens its doors.
1898 New Presbyterian Hall of
Worship built on site opposite Ebenezer Chapel Junction of Napier
Road and Market Lane).
1902 Swalwell Social Club
founded and is located in the White House at the foot of Whickham
1911 Metal works finally
1923 Adamsez of Scotswood
buy out Snowball's brickworks.
1926 Coke ovens built near
1928 Shopping and Carnival
1940 Henry Pit closes down due
195- Due to flooding in 1831,
buildings around the Waterside were demolished.
1954 Axwell Park Colliery
1962 Fire Station
constructed in the Greenfields area of Swalwell on Market Lane.
of Blaydon Races held at Blaydon Rugby Club.
1969 Ramsay's Brickworks
Opening of Metro
1986 Swalwell school on Market
Lane closes after 111 years and moves to new premises on Coalway
1999 Swalwell reaches the
Internet courtesy of Michael Gallagher.
2002 Spencer's Buildings,
Foundry Lane, previously 'listed' buildings, are demolished after a
fire gutted their interior.
2005 The foundations of
Sir Ambrose Crowley's iron works off Front Street were excavated,
photographed and measured by an archaeological team prior to being
demolished to provide the foundations for a new Lidl supermarket.
Well there you go, commerce taking precedence over heritage and
history....!!! (Pics HERE)
Swalwell Club is severely damaged by a fire.
SUPPORT A VERY WORTHY CAUSE
2003 Swalwell life reaches
a new level of depravity following the decision of a GERMAN lady (a
certain Ms. Frauenau) to open a SEX DUNGEON in the village. The
'dungeon' will only be charging 100 pounds per 'disciplinary'
session so it is unlikely that any of Swalwell's hostelry regulars
will be taking her up on her services!
2004 Despite local
opposition, the SEX DUNGEON is finally opened assisted apparently by
the intervention of the then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.
And there was little old me thinking this kind of thing was only of
interest to Conservative MPs.......Bad Boy.!!
2006 The Sex Dungeon
closes due to lack of customers. Now why does that not surprise me?
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