October 02nd, 2013 | Tags: Newcastle, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

The historical side to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Newcastle is notoriously associated with football and brown ale. But there is so much more to the city, with its great history and famous landmarks. Visitors to the city can explore both the ancient and modern aspects of life here.

Perhaps we should start with Castle Keep, which gave the city its name: ‘new castle’. Established by the eldest son of William the Conqueror, it is one of the finest examples of a Norman keep in the UK. It consists of three floors, linked by staircases, which house the Gallery, King’s Chambers, Queen’s Chambers, Great Hall and dungeon. It is also a strategic place to enjoy wonderful views of the city and the River Tyne.

Newcastle is home to the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, which was built in the 14th century on the site of the Norman church that was originally part of the ‘new castle’. The church became a cathedral in 1882 when Queen Victoria created the Diocese of Newcastle. It is one of the smallest cathedrals in the UK but has some stunning stained glasses, memorials and a wonderful 15th century front. Its Lantern Tower is one of Newcastle’s most famous landmarks and is one of only four such buildings in the UK

The medieval City Walls are another of the Newcastle’s historic attractions. You can find the best remaining examples of the walls at:

  • Stowell Street in Chinatown
  • The 13th century monastery at Blackfriars, which served as a monastic retreat for over 300 years until it was converted into meeting rooms and almshouses for the poor when the monasteries were dissolved
  • Grey’s Monument on Grey Street, which is more than 40 metres high and built in honour of Charles Earl Grey, the UK Prime Minister between the years of 1830 and 1834, and
  • The Old George Pub, where King Charles I is believed to have drank back in 1649.
Newcastle is also famous for its seven bridges that span the River Tyne. The Tyne Bridge is the most famous of these. Opened by King George V in 1928, it was at the time the largest single span bridge in the world. It became the blueprint for the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. The High Level Bridge, designed by Robert Stephenson, was the world’s first road and railway bridge. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian-only bridge connecting Gateshead and Newcastle, is the latest addition to the city's bridges; i. It was designed to look like a blinking eye and was opened in 2002 as part of the millennium celebrations.

Other places of historical interest in and around Newcastle are the Angel of the North, Hexham Abbey, Hadrian’s Wall, Alnwick Castle and the towns of Bamburgh and Jarrow.

The Discovery Museum on Blandford Square presents an overview of the city's illustrious history. It’s a place to delve into the achievements of Newcastle's citizens and famous names.

City pics