The Kings Head Inn Berwick upon TweedA 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 –

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.

King’s Head Licencees 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