Ballast Hills Burial Ground

The area of Ballast Hills is named after the mounds of ballast that was deposited in that area, one of many such Ballast Hills throughout the lower Tyne Valley. Ballast, which could take the form of any large and freely available material, i.e. clay, rocks etc. was used to "balance" the empty ships which used to come into the Tyne to take on cargo's. The ballast was simply unloaded and replaced by the cargoes which had the effect of balancing the ship once again.

The burial ground, known locally as Plaguey Fields or Grannies Park, was the most important con-conformist graveyard in Newcastle in the early and mid-seventeenth century, when many Protestant, Quaker, Baptist and Methodist immigrants buried their dead here. Use of the ground was heavy throughout the plague years and only fell out of use when the 1853-54 cholera epidemic closed all graveyards. In 1930 the ground was laid out as a play area and the remaining tombstones, around 200, laid down as flagging for paths, with the exception of those former non-conformist ministers, which can be found upright in one corner of the site.

The old Ouseburn School

Shepherds Scrap Metals

The gravestones of the non-conformist ministers

The gravestone paths

More information
Tyneside Grave Matters - Ballast Hills Burial Ground. This site also has a list of some of the deceased who are buried here. - Ballast Hills Burial Ground. A little more information.


antiqueslincoln said...

We always played here as kids and was known as Granny's Park. the best thing in the park was the old rope swing from a tree, if you were hot you could 'borrow' a bottle of pop of the waggons and take the empties back to the shop!

ILuvNUFC said...

Cheeky chappies! :)
I also used to play down there when I was a kid too. I loved that rope swing but the best swing was the one under the railway bridge above the Ouseburn. Proper scary :)

Anonymous said...

The description lists Protestants along with Methodists and Baptists. I assume by this the author means Anglicans who actually aren't Protestants, they're Anglican Catholics.

Frenchie said...

My school was in the grounds there was a skull and crossbones stone built into the wall maybe from the time of the plague victims. I did my entrance exam drawings for art college in the park and in summertime we were allowed to spend playtime in there.