The cave is between King Edward's Bay and Tynemouth Castle. It was originally known as "Jingling Man's Hole", the "Geordie" being a later addition. The origin of the name is obscure. Traditionally, it is the entrance to a subterranean passage leading from the Priory, beneath the Tyne to Jarrow.
The legend says that the cave conceals a fabulous amount of treasure. This inspired a further legend, that a boy named Walter went to look for the treasure when his mother told him the story. He resolved to make the finding of the treasure his "quest" as part of his knighthood. He began the quest on the Eve of St John (24 June, traditionally the day before Midsummer).
Sir Walter entered the cave and ignored the spectre and dragon that attempted to distract him. He discovered a gateway with a bugle hanging from a golden cord. He blew the bugle three times, which caused the doors of the gateway to open to reveal a large and brightly-lit hall. The hall was supported by pillars of jasper and crystal, with gold lamps illuminating piles of gold and gems. The treasures were removed by Sir Walter and he became a wealthy landowner, called "the Lord of a Hundred Castles".
The legend is mentioned in a folk song, which ends with the lines
Gold heaped upon gold, and emeralds green
And diamonds and rubies, and sapphires untold
Rewarded the courage of Walter the Bold.