Up Close: Newcastle Skyline
The most populous city in the North East, Newcastle is famous for the Angel of the North, the Gateshead Millenium Bridge, and of course it’s football team.
Our Newcastle skyline gin glasses and tumblers incorporate all of these icons and more and in this blog we go into more depth about the individual landmarks featured.
St James’ Park Stadium
Home to the city’s football team Newcastle United, St James’ Park is the seventh largest football stadium in England, seating 52,388 spectators at full capacity.
As well as football matches, St James’ Park has also hosted Rugby League and Union matches, charity events, and even rock concerts!
RANDOM FACT: The location of the stadium was historically a place of execution. In 1650, 22 people went to the gallows including 15 witches. The last hanging to take place there was in 1844.
Life Science Centre
The Life Science Centre is an award-winning science centre home to a variety of hands-on exhibitions created to bring out your inner scientist. At Life, you’re actively encouraged to get stuck in to interacting with the exhibits which include a science theatre, planetarium, and 4D motion ride.
The centre also regularly hosts science events such as a monthly computer coding club, astronomy evenings, and hands-on science sessions for children and teens.
Standing at over 40 metres tall, Grey’s Monument acts as the centre point of Newcastle’s bustling city centre.
Erected in 1838, the statue depicts UK Prime Minister (1830 – 1834) Charles Earl Grey who’s government passed the Great Reform Act of 1832 which lead to changes to the country’s unfair electoral system. As a result, the monument was created in his honour by local architects John and Benjamin Green, and sculpted by Edward Hodges Baily, who also created Nelson’s statue in London’s Trafalgar Square.
RANDOM FACT: During World War II Earl Grey’s statue stood without a head after being decapitated by a lightning strike!
The Grade II listed Civic Centre is the main administrative and ceremonial centre for Newcastle City Council and was first opened in 1968. The grand entrance to the Centre features nine huge flambeaux’s which can be lit on demand, a hark back to days past when huge barrels of tar would be lit to draw crowds to council meetings.
St Nicholas Cathedral
Originally built as the parish church in 1091, St Nicholas Cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese of Newcastle, of the Anglican Church.
The Cathedral forms part of the medieval area of the city with Medieval features including a stained glass roundel of the Virgin Mary, an ornate front cover, and the Thornton Memorial Brass which is the largest Flemish brass in the country.
RANDOM FACT: The Cathedral has the finest collection of ‘colours’, or regimental flags, anywhere in the country outside London.
Regarded as one of the finest theatre buildings in the country, the Theatre Royal is one of just nine Grade I listed theatres in England. One of the grandest venues in town, the theatre hosts over 300 shows every year, attracting over 300,000 visitors.
The Theatre Royal opened in February 1837 with the first show being a performance of The Merchant of Venice and is now home to the Shakespeare Company, Opera North, and the National Theatre.
Once part of a large fortress, the Castle is where Newcastle got its name and is one of the city’s most historic buildings. Used for defensive purposes in Roman times the castle was also the last line of defense for the town during the English Civil War and graffiti from the eventual stand-off with Scottish forces can still be seen inside.
The most prominent remaining features of the site are the fortified stone tower, known as the Castle Keep, and the Black Gate, a fortified gatehouse.
RANDOM FACT: In 1733, a showman attempted to make a donkey ‘fly’ from the roof of the Castle Keep. Miraculously, it survived!
Gateshead Millenium Bridge
The Gateshead Millenium Bridge holds the title of the world’s first and only tilting bridge. The unique design of the bridge was the result of a competition held by Gateshead Council which gave a brief to create a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists which:
- Allowed ships to pass underneath;
- Did not overshadow the world famous view of the existing bridges;
- Didn’t obstruct the Quayside.
The winning, tilting, design was created by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Gifford and Partners and first opened to the public in September 2001.
RANDOM FACT: The Gateshead Millenium Bridge contains enough steel to make 64 double decker buses!
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
The BALTIC is housed in a vast converted flour mill on the South bank of the River Tyne and is the UK’s largest dedicated contemporary art institution.
Visitors to BALTIC are invited to discover powerful ideas, reflect on provocative new concepts, and experience a collection of innovative international as well as local art. The centre’s exhibitions are ever-changing and aim to create greater understanding of the world and which give an insight into the practice of contemporary artists.
The Sage Gateshead is an international music venue and centre for musical education regarded as one of the finest centres for music in the world. The iconic silver curved building was designed by renowned architects Foster + Partners and first opened in 2004.
Every year the Sage hosts over 400 concerts made up of international, regional, and local artists as well as over 10,000 music classes and workshops. Internationally famous artists to have graced the Sage stage include Morrissey, James Brown, Nancy Sinatra, and Blondie.
RANDOM FACT: The Sage definitely splits opinions with its impressive architecture having won both the Local Authority Building of the Year in 2005 and Private Eye’s ‘Worst Building of the Year’ in 2004.
Connecting Newcastle with Gateshead, the Tyne Bridge is a through arch bridge designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson and built by Dorman Long and Co. who later went on to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The bridge was opened on the 10th of October 1928 by King George V and at the time was the world’s longest single span bridge. These days, you’ll probably most recognise Tyne Bridge from the annual Great North Run which sees thousands of runners pass over the bridge whilst being spurred on by an aerial display by the RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows.
Angel of the North
Perhaps the most famous of Newcastle’s landmarks, the Angel of the North attracts visitors from all over the UK, and even the world, to the city.
The giant angel sculpture measures an impressive 20 metres tall with a wingspan of 54 metres and stands proudly overlooking the A1 into Tyneside. Created by Antony Gormley the steel Angel was primarily funded by the National Lottery and is regarded as the UK’s most famous piece of public art.
RANDOM FACT: Due to its exposed location, the Angel of the North is built to withstand wind speeds of over 100mph!
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