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Seems pretty evident but the name Newcastle is very literal. Newcastle means a new castle.
Newcastle has long been a strategic location for fortresses, dating back to the Romans in the 1st-3rd century AD. In the 11th century, the Norman conquerors built a wooden castle on the site of the Roman ruins, the “new castle” providing the best possible protection at that time.
After being at the forefront of industrial progress during the 19th and 20th centuries, Newcastle has become a great place for art, design, shopping, and much more. Here is a sneak peek at some things to see in Newcastle that I found during my recent visit to Northern England.
8 Great Things to See in Newcastle, England
1. Castle Keep
The Castle Keep served as the most secure location of the castle. This view would have been what visitors to the castle would have seen in the 13th century and onward. Pretty medieval!
In the Castle Keep, there are two notable fireplaces. One fireplace was built in 1599 and was relocated to the Castle Keep from a nearby pub. The other fireplace is believed to be the oldest medieval castle fireplace in England.
Note the numbers in the top corners of the fireplace. “15” on the left side and “99” on the right.
3. Castle Wall
While much of the Newcastle castle wall has been destroyed, built over, or just buried, some intact portions still remain. On the other side of Newcastle, near the Chinatown gate, is this portion of the original stone castle wall, likely built in the mid 13th century.
Did you know that Newcastle was the eastern terminus of Hadrian’s Wall?
4. The Old George
While 1582 does not seem old compared to the nearby castle that is 300 years older, I remind myself that 1582 was before the English went to America to establish the New World (1607 to Jamestown). The Old George Inn in Newcastle was said to be the favorite drinking spot for the ruler, King Charles I.
5. Marks & Spencer
In Grainger Market is this piece of quaintness, the smallest Marks & Spencer location. There is no food service, as in the large department store locations. Although the merchandize and personnel have changed, this site retains the look as it existed in 1895.
There is much, much more to see and do in Grainger Market.
6. Urban Art
I was pleased to see wonderful street art and modern design elements throughout Newcastle. This example is part of a 9 piece installation found throughout the main downtown walking area. The art project is titled, “nine things to do on a bench.”
7. Millenium Bridge
Speaking of design, the super cool Gateshead Millennium Bridge connects Newcastle on the north side of the Tyne River with Gateshead on the south side. The bridge was described to me as looking like a bicycled wheel and its spokes. Many locals refer to it as a winking eye.
8. Sage Gateshead
Walking along the Newcastle waterfront, the quayside, you cannot help but wonder about the futuristic looking building on the Gateshead side of the Tyne River. Sage Gateshead is a state-of-the-art performing arts venue. So, not only can you look in wonderment at an astounding architectural project but you might be looking to attend a show for a visiting music celebrity or a local act.
What are your favorite things to see in Newcastle?