A History of Church Street

Church Street's medieval 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 Berwick's 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 –


 Alehouses   Beerhouses   Street
 Ten  Three  Castlegate and Greens
 Sixteen  Two  Marygate (Uddinggate)
 Nine  Two  And one Innkeeper in Briggate (Bridge Street)
 Five  One  And one Vintner is Crossgate (Woolmarket)
 Four  Three  Hidehill
 Three  One  Sandgate (Segate)
 Six  None  Eastern Lane
 Two  None  Western Lane
 Five  Two  Walkergate
 Three  Three  Ratten Raw
 Nine  Two  Soutergate (Church Street)
 Three  None  Hidegate
 Four  Three  Ness

In all there were 79 ale houses and 22 beerhouses, one Vintner, and one Inn Keeper in 1594.


 Kings Head Licensees 1903 - 1946
 Thomas Robertson  1903 - 1920
 George Albert Robertson  1920 - 1926
 William Fairbairn  1926 - 1936
 George Currey  1937
 William Fairbairn  1938 - 1940
 James Malcolmson  1941  - 1943
 Matthew Joseph Malone  1944 - 1946