Port of Tyne comprises the commercial docks in and around the
River Tyne in
Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear in the northeast of England.
2 The port today
4 External links
There has been a port on the Tyne at least since the Romans used their
Arbeia to supply the garrison of Hadrian's Wall. Around
1200, stone-faced, clay-filled jetties were starting to project into
the river in Newcastle, an indication that trade was increasing. As
the Roman roads continued to deteriorate, sea travel was gaining in
importance. By 1275 Newcastle was the sixth largest wool-exporting
port in England. The principal exports at this time were wool, timber,
coal, millstones, dairy produce, fish, salt, and hides. Much of the
developing trade was with the Baltic countries and Germany.
being exported from Newcastle by 1250, and by 1350 the burgesses
received a royal licence to export coal. This licence to export coal
was jealously guarded by the Newcastle burgesses, and they tried to
prevent any one else on the Tyne from exporting coal except through
Newcastle. The burgesses similarly tried to prevent fish from being
sold anywhere else on the Tyne except Newcastle. This led to conflicts
Gateshead and South Shields.
From 1600 the growth in the export of coal brought prosperity to
Newcastle. Until the 19th century the port was the responsibility of
the City of Newcastle, but navigation became difficult, and in 1850
the Tyne Improvement Commission was established to better maintain the
port and river. In 1881 they published a review of their
achievements. A major force through this period were the Keelmen.
The TIC deepened the river to 9.83 metres, and built the North and
South Piers, and the Northumberland, Tyne and Albert Edward Docks. In
1928 the TIC opened the Tyne Commission Quay at North Shields, now
known as the Northumbrian Quay, to handle mail and cargo trade with
Bergen in Norway.
In 1968 the TIC was dissolved and replaced by the Port of Tyne
Authority. Since then, with the decline in the coal industry, the port
has switched to the export of cars manufactured in the northeast of
The port today
Port of Tyne is the navigation authority for the tidal reaches of
the River Tyne, from the mouth to the Tidal Stone at Wylam, a distance
of 17 miles. It also has jurisdiction for one mile past the roundheads
at the piers at the river mouth.
The port handles conventional and bulk cargoes at the Riverside Quay.
There are two car terminals, one on either side of the river, a cruise
terminal at Northumbrian Quay on the north side, and a ferry terminal
at North Shields.
^ Marshall, Michael W (1997). Turning Tides. Keepgate Publishing Ltd.
River Tyne Improvement, description by Mr P, J. Messent, C.E. of
works completed and in progress by the Tyne Improvement Commissioners
with chart of the
River Tyne from the sea to Wylam, June 1881. An
example of the 8 page and chart original is available at the North of
England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers Tracts Vol 11
^ University of Newcastle upon Tyne: SINE project Archived 19 March
2012 at the Wayback Machine.
Port of Tyne website: History
Port of Tyne website: Marine services
^ Port of Tyne: the Business
The Last Tyne Wherry Elswick No 2 Information Sheet (front). Tyne
& Wear County Council Museums Service, Undated c1979. An original
may be consulted at
Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums Discovery