A History of Church Street
Church Streets’ medievel name was Soutergate, ‘ the street of the shoemakers’, or ‘Shoemaker Street.’ With Souter meaning a person who makes shoes. The term ‘gate’ which appears in many of Berwicks’ street names comes from the Viking term for ‘street’; it has nothing to do with the town’s fortifications.
We learn from the Council Book the Mayor had liberty by the Statute 5th of Edward VI to put down the selling of ale and beer. He was urged in the year 1574 to use his power to reduce the excessive number of licensed houses, and to see that good order was kept in those licensed, and that no unlawful games were engaged in.
As to the excessive number of such houses the following statement may be of interest:
In 1594 there were –
|Ten||Three||Castlegate and Greens|
|Nine||Two||And one Innkeeper in Briggate (Bridge Street)|
|Five||One||And one Vintner is Crossgate (Woolmarket)|
|Nine||Two||Soutergate (Church Street)|
In all there were 79 ale houses and 22 beerhouses, one Vintner, and one Inn Keeper in 1594.
|King’s Head Licencees 1903 – 1946|
|Thomas Robertson||1903 – 1920|
|George Albert Robertson||1920 – 1926|
|William Fairbairn||1926 – 1936|
|William Fairbairn||1938 – 1940|
|James Malcolmson||1941 – 1943|
|Matthew Joseph Malone||1944 – 1946|