Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Newcastle upon Tyne
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Newcastle upon Tyne

City of Newcastle upon Tyne
Status: Metropolitan borough, City (1882)
Region: North East England
Ceremonial County: Tyne and Wear
- Total
Ranked 229th
113.44 km²
Admin. HQ: Newcastle upon Tyne
ONS code: 00CJ
- Total (2002 est.)
- Density
Ranked 31st
2,294 / km²
Ethnicity: 93.1% White
4.4% S.Asian

Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council
Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
Executive: Liberal Democrats
MPs: Nick Brown, David Clelland, Jim Cousins, Doug Henderson
Newcastle upon Tyne, often called just Newcastle, is a city in North East England in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear. The city has a population of around 259,000 (2001 census), making it the second largest city in North East England after its neighbour Sunderland. Before 1974 the city was in Northumberland.

Table of contents
1 History and development of the city
2 Architecture and urban development
3 Communications
4 The City
5 See also
6 External link

History and development of the city

The new castle which gave the city its name was constructed by the Normans in 1080. Its keep and one of its gates still exist, though they are oddly separated from each other by the nineteenth-century railway tracks that the rest of the castle was demolished to make way for. In an odd way, for once, it is rather appropriate that the city fathers valued the railway above the castle.

Newcastle's development as a major city owed much to its central role in the export of coal from the Northumberland coalfield – the phrase "taking coals to Newcastle" proverbially describes a self-evidently pointless task. In the nineteenth century, shipbuilding and heavy engineering were central to the city's prosperity; and the city was a powerhouse of the nation's prosperity. Innovation in Newcastle and surrounding areas includes:

Heavy industries declined in the second half of the twentieth century; office and retail employment are now the city's staples; a short distance from the flourishing city centre there are impoverished inner-city estates, in areas whose original raison d'Ítre was to provide working class housing for the shipyards or other heavy industries.

Architecture and urban development

The city has an extensive neoclassical centre, largely developed in the 1830s and recently extensively restored.  Grey Street, which curves down from a monument to the parliamentary reformer Earl Grey towards the valley of the River Tyne, has a claim to be one of England's most beautiful urban streets.

Immediately to the northwest of the city centre is Leazes Park, a park established in 1873 after a petition by 3,000 working men of the city for 'ready access to some open ground for the purpose of health and recreation', and in one corner of which is St James' Park, the stadium home of Newcastle United F.C which dominates the view of the city from the south.

Another green space in Newcastle is the vast Town Moor, lying immediately north of the city centre. The hereditary freemen of the city have held the right to graze cattle on the Town Moor since the Middle Ages – a reward for defending the town against the marauding Scots!

The wooded gorge of the Ouseburn in the east of the city is known as Jesmond Dene and forms another popular recreation area.

The development of the city in the 1960s and 1970s was marred by a corruption scandal involving, especially, T. Dan Smith, a local politician and John Poulson, a property developer. Echoes of the scandal were revisited in the late 1990s in the BBCTV mini-series, Our Friends in the North.

Tyne itself passes through a gorge between Newcastle and Gateshead (the administratively separate urban area south of the river), which is famous for a series of dramatic bridges.  Large scale regeneration of the Tyne Gorge has replaced former shipping industries with imposing new office developments; a tilting bridge developed as a millennium project has integrated the Newcastle quayside more closely with major cultural developments on the Gateshead side of the river, including the Baltic gallery of contemporary art and The Sage music centre designed by Norman Foster.


Newcastle has an international airport at Ponteland, some 15 minutes from the centre by car or metro. Its railway station has a fine classical frontage and is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line, providing a half-hourly service of trains to London (under 3 hours) operated by GNER as well as trains to Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Carlisle plus local services.

The North Eastern Railway built an electric suburban railway serving both banks of the Tyne, and the northern suburbs. This system has been transformed into the Tyneside Metro which extends as far as Newcastle Airport, Tynemouth and Sunderland.

The City

Newcastle is part of an area called Tyneside, whose people are commonly known as geordies and famous for their distinctive accent and sense of humour.

Newcastle has a reputation of being a fun-loving city with many bars, restaurants and night clubs.

The city has two universities, the University of Newcastle, and Northumbria University.

See also

External link

Districts of England - North East England
Alnwick - Berwick-upon-Tweed - Blyth Valley - Castle Morpeth - Chester-le-Street - Darlington - Derwentside - Durham - Easington - Gateshead - Hartlepool - Middlesbrough - Newcastle upon Tyne - North Tyneside - Redcar and Cleveland - Sedgefield - South Tyneside - Stockton-on-Tees - Sunderland - Teesdale - Tynedale - Wansbeck - Wear Valley

1974 counties: Cleveland - County Durham - Northumberland - Tyne and Wear