Iconic monuments, skyscrapers, landmarks or majestic bridges typically define the cities in the present day. Let’s take a ride across the iconic monuments in Newcastle.
These monuments will remind anyone of this mesmerizing city every time it is mentioned.
When one hears about Buckingham Castle, one immediately starts wondering about London.
Similarly, when one hears about the Taj Mahal, one’s mind starts revisiting the shimmering images of India.
What about Newcastle?
Newcastle upon Tyne, or just Newcastle as it is most frequently referred to, is one of the most iconic cities and metropolitan boroughs in Tyne and Wear, England.
It is also the most crowded city in North East England. It is famous for its industrial heritage, popular nightlife and distinct regional ‘Geordie’ dialect.
1. Monuments in Newcastle Upon Tyne
Here are a few short introductions to some of the iconic monuments in Newcastle upon Tyne. Read on to find out about them.
1.1. Newcastle Castle
Location: Newcastle Castle, The Black Gate, Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RQ, United Kingdom.
Newcastle Castle, or the Castle of Newcastle, is a medieval fortification in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
It is one of the historic buildings constructed on the site of the fortress that gifted the City of Newcastle its popular name.
The most prominent enduring structures on the site are the Castle Keep (the castle’s chief fortified stone tower, and the Black Gate, its fortified gatehouse.
The site was used for defensive purposes and dates from Roman times, when it housed a fort and settlement known as Pons Aelius (meaning ‘bridge of Hadrian’), guarding a bridge over the River Tyne.
A wooden motte and bailey-style castle was built on the site of the Roman fort by Robert Curthose, who was the eldest son of William the Conqueror in 1080.
The stone Castle Keep was constructed on the site of Curthose’s castle between 1172 and 1177 by Henry II.
Henry III added the Black Gate between 1247 and 1250, forming an additional barbican in front of the former north gate of the castle.
It comprised two towers with a passage running between them. A vaulted guardroom was present on either side of the passage.
A drawbridge was at the rear and another at the front (facing west). There was a portcullis that could be elevated and lowered to seal the entrance passage.
Tourists and visitors can climb up on the rooftop of Newcastle Castle to enjoy a mesmerizing scenic view. These stunning scenes have been a part of many films and videos.
1.2. St. James Park
Location: Strawberry Place, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4ST, United Kingdom.
St. James’ Park is one of the country’s oldest and most precious association football grounds. It is a gleaming glass, concrete and steel icon domineering the Tyneside skyline.
Turning over the pages of history, a hospital and chapel stood in the vicinity of where the Hancock Museum building is now located in Newcastle.
In the year 1542, a lease of land and plots that extended to Castle Leazes was granted by the master of St. Mary’s and St. James.
St. James Place was later erected on the location, and the area continued to develop to where the football ground now stands, containing St. James Street, St. James Terrace and Leazes Terrace by the early 19th century.
St. James’ Park’s connection with ‘the beautiful game’ precedes the club’s birth, with the first organised practice match on the location recorded as taking place in the year 1880 – 12 years before the official formation of Newcastle United.
The capacity of St. James’ Park was set at 30,000, but just six years later, in the year 1905, it was doubled to 60,000 with a state-of-the-art venue that even contained a swimming pool.
1.3. Grey’s Monument
Location: 150 Grainger St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5AF, United Kingdom.
Located at the head of Newcastle’s finest streets – Grey Street and Grainger Street – the striking Grey’s monument is one of Newcastle’s most celebrated landmarks.
It’s a pretty meeting point where visitors will often find entertainment, markets and activities around Grey’s Monument’s base.
1.4. Discovery Museum
Location: Blandford Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4JA, United Kingdom.
Discovery Museum is located in the old Co-operative Wholesale Society building, Blandford House.
It rapidly became a remarkable building in Newcastle city centre after opening in the year 1899.
Blandford House was developed into a museum in 1978. It was re-launched as Discovery Museum in 1993.
As the tourists enter to explore the museum, they will get the opportunity to discover Turbinia.
It is a ship that was once upon a time the fastest ship in the world and a spectacular part of the history of Tyneside.
Turbinia takes a significant place in the museum. It was designed in 1894 by the famous Tyneside engineer Charles Parsons.
She was the world’s first ship to be power-driven by steam turbines. Until the year 1899, Turbinia was the fastest ship around the globe, reaching speeds of up to 34.5 knots.
Tourists can immerse themselves in Newcastle’s rich history, focusing on the area’s brilliant maritime, scientific, and technological significance to Britain and the rest of the world.
1.4.2. Inside the Museum
On the ground floor, the tourists will find the momentary exhibition space as well as Newcastle Story. It takes visitors on a trip through the city from the Roman times to the early millennium.
The ground floor also houses Tyne & Wear Archives and the museum gift shop.
On the second floor, visitors can find a cafe. The visitors can relish a refreshing drink and snack here, overlooking the Story of the Tyne gallery.
The second floor is also home to Destination Tyneside. It is the UK’s only everlasting dedicated gallery telling the story of the migration of those who have made Tyneside their home.
After venturing onto the fourth floor of the museum, the visitors will find the majestic Great Hall. It is a massive space, and its art-deco ceiling fascinates many people.
Discovery Museum also showcases a replica of Swan’s first lightbulb and ship models from the famous Tyne shipyards of Swan Hunter. It also showcases several models of Stephenson’s steam engines and a prototype of the BAE Systems Challenger 2 tank.
1.5. The Seven Bridges of Newcastle
The seven famous bridges across the Tyne dominate all views of the Newcastle riverside, which link the city to Gateshead on the river’s south bank.
Starting from west to east, the world-famous seven bridges of Newcastle are as follows,
- The Redheugh Bridge
- King Edward VII bridge
- Queen Elizabeth II bridge
- The High-Level bridge
- Swing bridge
- The George V bridge
- The Gateshead Millennium Bridge
1.5.1. About the Bridges
The George V Bridge is more prevalently called the Tyne Bridge.
An unsurpassed known highlight of Tyneside is the Tyne Bridge.
The famous Tyne Bridge was opened in 1929 by King George V. It was constructed by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough.
It served as a model for the similar but a lot bigger Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was also constructed at Middlesbrough.
The lowest of the bridges is the Swing Bridge of the year 1876, which leads straight into the heart of the Newcastle Quayside underneath the castle keep.
The Swing Bridge is positioned on the site of the Roman and medieval bridges. It was designed by the well-known Tyneside engineer William Armstrong (1810-1900).
During the building of this swing bridge, two Roman altars devoted to the gods Oceanus and Neptune were dredged from the river.
These Roman altars would have belonged to a shrine constructed to defend the Roman bridge of Pons Aelius from the tidal Tyne.
1.5.2. Gateshead Millennium Bridge
The most current of the bridges is the stunning Gateshead Millennium Bridge. It is for the use of cyclists and pedestrians only.
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge was unlocked in 2001, and the whole bridge can be tilted by 40 degrees to permit ships and boats to pass underneath.
1.6. The Stephenson Monument
John Graham Lough designed the stunning monument.
Four further statues of Stephenson, representing the areas of his achievements: as a miner, a locomotive engineer, a blacksmith and a bridge builder, are present below the main bronze statue of George Stephenson on the corners of the sandstone plinth.
1.7. The South African War Memorial
The South African War Memorial, unveiled in 1908 in Newcastle upon Tyne, is dedicated to the soldiers of Northumbrian regiments who died in the Boer War in South Africa.
Its structure comprises a hexagonal column on a square base and a bronze figure representing Northumbria at the base, reaching up to a bronze-winged victory figure at the top of the column.
The Victory figure was removed while building the Metro tunnels, and a recast bronze with fibreglass wings was positioned in its place.
The whole city of Newcastle provides a refreshing vibe to the tourists, which is charismatic and unforgettable.
Numerous such monuments and statues have adorned Newcastle upon Tyne. The visitors and tourists will indeed have a memorable time exploring the city.
These pieces of history promise a memorable tour with the enjoyment of the scenic beauty of this place.