Historic Mill Dam area
Customs House and Port of Tyne Health Authority
The Mill Dam area of South Shields has an historic significance, it is in one of the oldest recorded areas of the town.
When the Romans, and the Vikings after them, invaded Britain, this part of land at the mouth of the River Tyne was divided by a substream forming a delta, the river ‘split’ at the area now known as the Mill Dam and the Romans built their fort on an ‘island’ which we now call The Lawe. We are unsure to this day whether there was ever a dam here, but if there was, it would have been small, just large enough to power a water mill to grind corn.
In the 18th. and 19th. centuries many ships tied up here and sailors gathered in the tightly knit local streets hoping to get work from the merchantmen and colliers plying their trade, now an arts centre, The Customs House (on the left) was an office used by the Port of Tyne Commissioners to gather their taxes, the building on the right was used as the Port of Tyne Health Authority in an effort to prevent the spread of diseases brought from abroad, before later being used as a morgue. In between the two buildings is what little remains of Dalton Lane.
Black and white conversion and colour tint performed in Photoshop.
Camera details: Konica Minolta Dimage Z3, 35mm lens, 1/6 second, f2.8, iso 200