About South Shields
Forest Guest House
South Shields is a coastal town located at the mouth of the river Tyne, approximately 5 miles down stream of Newcastle and across the river from Tynemouth. It is ideally situated for Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and Hexham, with good road and rail networks.
The history of the town goes back to stone age and iron age evidence of settlements. These are well preserved and displayed at the site of the Roman fort Arbeia, which is now a modern and informative museum and tourist attraction. It is well worth a visit to appreciate the important role of the town back in Roman times.
The early post roman history of town and suggests that the town was the home of Oswin , the King of Northumberland and it is documented by Bede, that the land currently accommodating St Hildas Church in the town centre was gifted by Oswin to house a monastry.
In the 9th century the town was visited by the Vikings, and along the Coastline there is evidence of many wreckages dating from that period.
The modern history of the town suggests its development as a fishing town in 1245, and later became prominent for its salt panning activities.
Evidence of the towns involvement in the English Civil War was recovered in 1864, by a dredger in the Tyne uncovering a cannon and cannon balls from that period, indicating the importance of the town as a defensive outpost of the city of Newcastle.
In the 19th century the town was renowned for its coal mining, alkaline and glass production activities bringing prosperity to the town, and following dredging of the Tyne Ship Building added to the areas development.
The town was the subject to attack during both World Wars and left scarred by the bombing raids.
The activities which brought the town its prosperity have all died out with the last mine closing in 1968 and the last Shipyard closing in 1984.
The town today is very much dependant upon service industries and tourism for its survival.
The town has many wonderful reminders of the towns prominence and history, including the old library museum in the town centre, the Customs house on the riverside, the current town hall and the site of the old town hall in the market square, the old lime kilns.
EVENTS in South Shields
South Shields is situated in a peninsula setting where the River Tyne meets the North sea, providing the town with 6 miles of coastline and 3 miles of river frontage. It is some 6 miles to the South of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne and sits next door to Sunderland. The town has a great road, rail and sea network so visiting the area is relatively easy and has plenty to see and visit whilst you are here.
The most frequent comment made by Sanddancers who have returned after moving out of the area is "I never really appreciated the beauty or the history of the Town and its surrounding area whilst living here, but coming to visit makes me really just what I am missing".
We therefore list some of the sites and facilities the area has to offer to ensure that you have the opportunity to visit while you are here, even if it is just a matter of soaking up some of the sites which are literally just minutes from our front door step.