The Gut, Blyth
3 Jun 2020
This is a
Union Street, Blyth
Current status is
Designer (if known):
Area reclaimed as dry land and now part of Blyth town centre. Union Street pretty much follows its course.
'The area we now know as Blyth’s town centre was, in the mid-19th century, little more than a few terraces of housing with gardens wrapped around the gut. At this time, ‘the Gut’, also known as ‘the Slake’, divided Blyth town in two, with the only connection being Waterloo Bridge. With a rapid increase in industry and, therefore, population, the town began to develop. ‘The Gut’ was reclaimed as dry land and saw the beginning of a new commercial and retail centre for Blyth, in addition to the port related industries. The old line of ‘the Gut’ can be seen by following the rough line of Union Street.' - Blyth Town Council
Listing Description (if available)
The first edition, which is illustrated far above, shows the Gut running through the centre of the town from the River Blyth. Its course started at the shipbuilding yard close to Catapult Energy, and winded its way down towards Crofton on Plessey Road (this is now Crofton Street, Croft Road etc.)
As can be seen on the 2nd edition, the stream was filled in and reclaimed to build what is now Blyth Town Centre. There aren't really many signs of The Gut nowadays apart from building developments following the old alignment. The Keel Row centre car park occupies the marshland which once sat at the slake.
Paint of Waterloo Bridge, with The Gut passing under, around 1870. The market place can be seen to the left of the illustration, as well as the old church that was demolished for the Keel Row shopping centre. The gut still exists as a pipe underneath Blyth Bus Station.
Retrieved from Billy Embleton on Flickr