Tyne and Wear HER(11104): Newcastle, Skinner Burn - Details
Newcastle, Skinner Burn
Water Supply and Drainage
Runs down Bath Lane from just south of Corporation Street, then west of Clayton Street West, curves round the site of the old abbattoir, and down east edge of Forth Banks into the Tyne. Charleton (1885) described the Skinner Burn as "a small runner of water a few yards west of Westgate, which divided the counties of Northumberland and Newcastle… [it] rose near Pitt Lane (Spring Gardens), at the top of Bath Lane, and ran into the Tyne at the foot of Forth Banks". It also divided Newcastle and Elswick. The burn is clearly shown with numbered boundary stones on Hutton's map of 1770 and Oliver's map of 1844. In the eighteenth century the Skinner Burn became an early centre of industrial activity with glass houses, lime kilns, a large brewery, pottery and foundry. Housing grew up around these concerns, but conditions for residents were unpleasant, one local historian describing the burn as "little better than an evil smelling sewer". The Skinner Burn was culverted between 1840 and 1859. You can still see a small outlet in the river wall.
Map of courses of old burns and streams in Newcastle, undated but post 1928 as Tyne Bridge is shown, School of Architecture Library; R.J. Charleton, 1885, A History of Newcastle-upon Tyne, p 265 and 349