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Bath Lane, Bowling Green

54.972483, -1.621513








Home Teams/Clubs:

Last Updated:

19 Dec 2023

HER Description

This land, part of Warden's Close, had previously been used for grazing. As early as 1815 it ceased to be used as grazing land because the smoke from the adjacent lead works (HER 6435) had "rendered the grass injurious to the health of the horses". So in 1824 much of the Close was let as a bowling green. By the 20th century the bowling green site had been taken over by college buildings (HER 6294). The bowling green was opened in May 1827. A tavern was built by the subscribers, where they held an annual dinner at the beginning of the season.

NEHL - A bowling green was situated on Bath Lane, on the green between the town walls and St James' Boulevard, from 1824 until the 1900s.

The green is illustrated on the first Ordnance Survey maps surveyed in the 1850s as part of a larger park next to a fever hospital. The earliest reference to the green is in 1859, when it was reported the Newcastle Rifle Club obtained rights to drill in the grounds between the bowling green and the asylum on Bath Lane. It is further referenced in 1867, when a gymnasium was proposed for the people of Newcastle "opposite the bowling green".

A piece from the Newcastle Chronicle in 1890 makes reference to the Bath Lane Bowling Club, for which Alderman John Dobson was a member and ex governor. He was unrelated to the more well known John Dobson - born in an "old fashioned house at the Ouseburn" with his father a farmer from Matfen. Samuel Dixon, a council member, was also one of the earliest members of the club.

An 1891 reference notes the Bowling Green as "old" in a match between the Portland and Newcastle clubs, implying this was the home green of the latter. The Portland Club actually played their first match against Bath Lane in 1878.

It is shown on more detailed maps from the 1890s behind Rutherford College and the church & school on Corporation Street. There was a sizeable club house and pavilion on either side, with an entrance on the town wall.

Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey, 1896

'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

West Walls Bowling Green, undated. Source: Jack & Geoff Phillips Collection, via Steve Ellwood (@TyneSnapper)

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'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 


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