Foxhunters: Although not strictly a place, the term ‘Foxhunters’ has been adopted as a generalised term for the area to the south of Seatonville Road and similarly gives its name to that of the nearby Foxhunters housing and trading estates. The name probably originated from the old Foxhunters Inn, once situated in Preston Village. It is said that the pub was named as such sometime after 1834 as a result of the landlord’s passion for hunting. This inn ceased trading in 1939 when the present Foxhunters Inn was built at Preston Gate. Interestingly, a nearby field shown on an old tithe map was known as Fox Holes Close.
Freestone Point is the small outcrop forming the southern edge of Priors Haven as it curves into the River Tyne.
Hartley Pans lies half a mile north to the village of Hartley and was originally so called because of the salt pans that existed there from 1236. The area is now better known as Seaton Sluice.
Hillheads: The area referred to as ‘Hillheads’ is simply a corruption of its correct three-word title ‘Whitley Hill Heads’. Travelling north east towards Whitley, Hill Heads Road was a continuation of Shields Road, the main thoroughfare leading from Preston Township to Whitley Township, and was little more than a track through open fields with no housing other than a handful of pit cottages which stood near the site of the present Railway Inn. Whitley Hill Heads was so named because it was situated on a slight eminence adjacent to the north-eastern boundary of Marden limestone quarry.
Holywell: On the Earsdon to Delaval road, Holywell took its name from the nearby ‘Ladies Well’ situated just below the Manor House, said to be the oldest building in the village. It is believed monks formerly lived on the site of the Manor House, and water from the nearby well was thought to have medicinal properties. The road passing over the nearby old bridge was regularly used by travellers between Blyth and Newcastle, who would often stop off at Holywell to water their horses. The main industries of the day were farming and mining, and although some land is still farmed, the colliery and colliery houses have vanished. Despite many changes, Holywell still retains much of its village character. Holywell also lends its name to the nearby wooded valley known as Holywell Dene.
Howdon, once spelled as Howden and also referred to as Howden Pans was a village, a township and a chapelry in Wallsend parish, Northumberland. Once a village, it stands on the River Tyne, adjacent to the former Newcastle and Tynemouth railway. It was noted in the 16th and 17th centuries for extensive glassworks and afterwards had numerous salt pans, whence it took the suffix to its alternative name. In later years, it became an industrial centre with shipbuilding yards and associated river trades.
by Charlie Steel © 2015
Further reading for many of Charlie’s articles can be found in his books: ‘Monkseaton Village’ (Vol. 1 & 2), North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns’ (Part 1 & 2) and ‘Tynemouth Remembered’ all published by Summerhill Books.