Tyne and Wear HER(11105): Newcastle, Lort Burn - Details
Newcastle, Lort Burn
Water Supply and Drainage
Rises in Leazes, between Barrack Road and Richardson Road, then runs across Richardson Road just north of junction with Queen Victoria Road, down north side of St. Thomas Street and bends south just after junction with Percy Street and so on beneath Grey Street and Dean Street. Denburn (1311), le Denburn (1331), Lorteburn (c.1361), Lorteburn (c. 1292, 1394), Lorteburne (1394-5), Lortburn (1414, 1505), Lorkburn (1425), Lorburn (1512), Lortborn (1513). Lort means 'dirty'. There was a tenement on Lort Burn called le Payntithall (1361) and le Payntydhalle (1364) - related to Painter Heugh? The burn was crossed by the High and Low Bridges. Painter Heugh was said to have been the highest upstream point which was navigable by small boats, painters being mooring ropes. By 1580 part of the Lort Dene was being infilled and by 1646 the lowest section was being culverted. The section in the Side was finished in 1696. The Lort Burn was fully covered in 1784 because was deemed "a vast nauseous hollowâ€¦ a place of filth and dirt". To create Grey Street, 250,000 cartloads of material were dumped in the Lort Dene above the culvert to level the site.
Map of courses of old burns and streams in Newcastle, undated but post 1928 as Tyne Bridge is shown, School of Architecture Library; Christopher Goulding, 1995, Hidden Newcastle, p 19-20; S.J. Kirkby, Newcastle's Hidden Rivers in M. Barke and R.J. Buswell (ed), 1980, Historical Atlas of Newcastle upon Tyne, pp 6-7; Barbara Harbottle, 2009, The Medieval Archaeology of Newcastle in Diana Newton and AJ Pollard (eds), 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead before 1700, page 37-8