"The borough of Gateshead is situated on the south bank of the Tyne, about 14 miles north from the city of Durham, and is connected with Newcastle by several fine bridges, the most notable being the magnificent High Level, and the Swing Bridge, which has replaced the old Tyne bridge, just below the former. The borough is exceptionally extensive, and comprises an area of 3134 acres, and includes, in addition to the town of Gateshead, the populous districts of Low Fell, Sheriff Hill or Gateshead Fell, Carr's Hill (partly in the township of Heworth), and part of Wreckenton, the last-named being two and a half miles distant from the town hall. On the south and west are also large tracts of green fields within the borough boundary.
"Gateshead is more formidable with respect to steepness than its opposite neighbour, Newcastle, the ascent from the river's bank being no less than 500 feet in two miles, and some of the streets leading up from the Swing Bridge are such as horses and drivers regard with an anxious eye. From any contiguous elevated station the view over two towns is very striking; the river, the shipping, the factories, the glass-works, the pottery-works, the steeples, and those prominent features of the town, the High Level and Redheugh Bridges. The appearance of the town has been greatly improved in recent years by the erection of several fine public buildings, numerous handsome religious edifices, and by the addition on the south and west of handsome new streets and squares, the residential portions being spacious and well laid out, and the borders of many of the thoroughfares planted with trees; tram lines have been laid in various directions, on which the cars are propelled by steam. In the low-lying district, near the river, which is the oldest part of the town, there is still much room for improvement, although many of the close alleys and narrow dilapidated streets, for which this part of the town was remarkable, have been cleared away, and their sites occupied by busy thoroughfares and improved dwellings.
"Low Fell is a pleasant suburban village, picturesquely situated on the slope between Sheriff Hill and the Team Valley, about two miles south from Tyne Bridge. Here are places of worship belonging to the Church of England, Methodist New Connexion, and Wesleyan Methodists, and in the place and neighbourhood are several genteel residences. The new road to Durham passes through the village.
"Carr's Hill is a scattered village, about two mile south by east of Gateshead, which, like Windmill House, was dotted with windmills, now fallen into ruins, as are many of the houses. The view from Carr's Hill is particularly fine and extensive."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]