Lawe Top
Landscape South Shields Tyne And Wear

Lawe Top

Landscape In South Shields, Tyne And Wear

A pleasant green with many fine views of magnificent landmarks of North and South Shields.

We had an agreeable surprise when walking up to the Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields as we also found The Lawe Top which was a wealth of history, views, and installations.

Beacons were built in 1832 as navigational aid up here. Originally made from brick and stone, then later they were reduced in height.

Andrew McKeown created the beacon you see now out of Corten Steel. He is also known for the Jewels Of The Sea in Seaham. This beacon has the appropriate name Word Beacon and at the bottom are embossed trades/job titles which are cut out of 5mm Corten steel and welded on. At the top, the words are cut out of the metal and are emotive words that go with the surroundings and history. The beacon is lit up at night.

Notice the green glass at the top, maybe part of the navigational aide?

This was installed in 2020 at the end of the Covid situation. It is hoped it will cause conversation typically between the generations, therefore remembering our past.

The views are amazing from up here and you can see how wavy the one mile pier is. My photo was taken before the lighthouse lost its dome.

You can look out to Tynemouth Priory and Castle, Herd Groyne, and Conversation Piece. All are worthy of a visit.

Back in 1643 a fort was built on The Lawe by the command of the Marquis of Newcastle. It was not huge and only stood around 9 feet high. It didn't need to be tall as it was located on a high point. It was surrounded by a ditch 12 feet wide and 11 feet deep and had a garrison of 100 Royalist soldiers. This didn't stop the Scottish though and there were many incursions including where it was won and lost thrice in one day during October 1644.

You can also note the wind-swept tree. The North wind take no prisoners here!

A castellated rounded watchtower was built in 1830 by Trinity House which is a charity that safeguards shipping and Seafarers. Trinity House was a Royal Charter since it was formed by Henry VIII in 1514.

The Crest bared the motto 'Deus Dabit Vela' (God will give the sails) and an anchor. The pilots that guided ships into port lived near here and would use the nearby Pilot's Stairs to nip down to their cutters. The tower was demolished around 1970. A stone monument has been erected with a headstone depicting what is now a weather-worn Anchor that emblemises hope

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How To Find Lawe Top

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55.00438, -1.426331

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55.003517, 55.003517

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On street parking in vicinity

Contributed by Rosalind Parker

Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.

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Rosalind Parker

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