Historically, Newcastle's economy was dependent on its port. In particular, its status as one of the world's largest ship building
and repair centres.
Today, the city's economy is diverse with major economic output in science, finance, retail, education, tourism, and nightlife. Newcastle is one of the UK Core Cities
, as well as part of the Eurocities
The first recorded settlement in what is now Newcastle was Pons Aelius
's bridge"), a Roman fort and bridge across the River Tyne
. It was given the family name of the Roman Emperor Hadrian
, who founded it in the 2nd century AD. This rare honour suggests Hadrian may have visited the site and instituted the bridge on his tour of Britain. The population of Pons Aelius then is estimated at 2,000. Fragments of Hadrian's Wall
are visible in parts of Newcastle, particularly along the West Road. The course of the "Roman Wall" can be traced eastwards to the Segedunum Roman fort
—the "wall's end"—and to the supply fort Arbeia
in South Shields
The extent of Hadrian's Wall was 73 miles (117 km), spanning the width of Britain; the Wall incorporated the Vallum
, a large rearward ditch with parallel mounds,
and was built primarily for defence, to prevent unwanted immigration
and the incursion of Pictish
tribes from the north, not as a fighting line for a major invasion.
Keep is the oldest structure in the city, dating back to at least the 11th century.
Anglo-Saxon and Norman
Conflicts with the Danes
in 876 left the settlements along the River Tyne in ruins.
After the conflicts with the Danes, and following the 1088 rebellion
against the Normans, Monkchester was all but destroyed by Odo of Bayeux
Because of its strategic position, Robert Curthose
, son of William the Conqueror
, erected a wooden castle
there in the year 1080.
The town was henceforth known as Novum Castellum
or New Castle
The wooden structure was replaced by a stone castle in 1087.
The castle was rebuilt again in 1172 during the reign of Henry II. Much of the keep which can be seen in the city today dates from this period.
16th to 19th centuries
From 1530, a royal act restricted all shipments of coal from Tyneside
to Newcastle Quayside
, giving a monopoly in the coal trade to a cartel of Newcastle burgesses known as the Hostmen
. This monopoly, which lasted for a considerable time, helped Newcastle prosper and develop into a major town. The phrase taking coals to Newcastle
was first recorded contextually in 1538.
The phrase itself means a pointless pursuit.
In the 18th century, the American entrepreneur Timothy Dexter
, regarded as an eccentric, defied this idiom. He was persuaded to sail a shipment of coal to Newcastle by merchants plotting to ruin him; however, his shipment arrived on the Tyne during a strike that had crippled local production, allowing him to turn a considerable profit.
In the Sandgate area, to the east of the city, and beside the river, resided the close-knit community of keelmen
and their families.
They were so called because they worked on the keels, boats that were used to transfer coal from the river banks to the waiting colliers
, for export to London and elsewhere. In the 1630s, about 7,000 out of 20,000 inhabitants of Newcastle died of plague
, more than one-third of the population.
Specifically within the year 1636, it is roughly estimated with evidence held by the Society of Antiquaries
that 47% of the then population of Newcastle died from the epidemic; this may also have been the most devastating loss in any British city in this period.
Newcastle was once a major industrial centre particularly for coal and shipping
During the English Civil War
, the North declared for the King.
In a bid to gain Newcastle and the Tyne, Cromwell's
allies, the Scots, captured the town of Newburn
. In 1644, the Scots then captured the reinforced fortification on the Lawe in South Shields
following a siege and the city was besieged for many months
. It was eventually stormed ("with roaring drummes") and sacked by Cromwell's allies. The grateful King bestowed the motto "Fortiter Defendit Triumphans"
("Triumphing by a brave defence") upon the town. Charles I was imprisoned in Newcastle by the Scots in 1646–7.
Newcastle city centre, 1917
A permanent military presence was established in the city with the completion of Fenham Barracks
The Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead
was a tragic and spectacular series of events starting on Friday 6 October 1854, in which a substantial amount of property in the two North East of England towns was destroyed in a series of fires and an explosion which killed 53 and injured hundreds.
The status of city was granted to Newcastle on 3 June 1882.
In the 19th century, shipbuilding
and heavy engineering
were central to the city's prosperity; and the city was a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution
This revolution resulted in the urbanisation of the city.
In 1817 the Maling company, at one time the largest pottery company in the world, moved to the city.
The Victorian industrial revolution brought industrial structures that included the 21
-mile (4 km) Victoria Tunnel
, built in 1842, which provided underground wagon ways to the staithes
On 3 February 1879, Mosley Street in the city, was the first public road in the world to be lit up by the incandescent lightbulb
Newcastle was one of the first cities in the world to be lit up by electric lighting.
Innovations in Newcastle and surrounding areas included the development of safety lamps
, Stephenson's Rocket
, Lord Armstrong
's artillery, Be-Ro
flour, Joseph Swan
's electric light
bulbs, and Charles Parsons
' invention of the steam turbine
, which led to the revolution of marine propulsion and the production of cheap electricity
. In 1882, Newcastle became the seat of an Anglican diocese
, with St. Nicholas' Church
becoming its cathedral.
20th and 21st centuries
Newcastle's public transport system was modernised in 1901 when Newcastle Corporation Tramways
electric trams were introduced to the city's streets, though these were replaced gradually by trolley buses from 1935, with the tram service finally coming to an end in 1950.
The city acquired its first art gallery, the Laing Art Gallery
in 1904, so named after its founder Alexander Laing, a Scottish wine and spirit merchant
who wanted to give something back to the city in which he had made his fortune. Another art gallery, the Hatton Gallery
(now part of Newcastle University
), opened in 1925.
With the advent of the motor car, Newcastle's road network was improved in the early part of the 20th century, beginning with the opening of the Redheugh road bridge in 1901
and the Tyne Bridge
Efforts to preserve the city's historic past were evident as long ago as 1934, when the Museum of Science and Industry opened,
as did the John G Joicey Museum
in the same year.
began to replace inner-city slums in the 1920s, and the process continued into the 1970s, along with substantial private house building and acquisitions.
Unemployment hit record heights in Newcastle during the Great Depression
of the 1930s. The city's last coal pit closed in 1956,
though a temporary open cast mine was opened in 2013 
The temporary open cast mine shifted 40,000 tonnes of coal, using modern techniques to reduce noise, on a part of the City undergoing redevelopment.
The slow demise of the shipyards on the banks of the River Tyne
happened in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
View northwards from the Castle Keep, towards Berwick-on-Tweed in 1954
Panorama from Newcastle castle keep across the River Tyne to Gateshead in 1954
During the Second World War, the city and surrounding area were a target for air raids as heavy industry was involved in the production of ships and armaments. The raids caused 141 deaths and 587 injuries.
A former French consul in Newcastle called Jacques Serre assisted the German war effort by describing important targets in the region to Admiral Raeder
who was the head of the German Navy.
The public sector in Newcastle began to expand in the 1960s. The federal structure of the University of Durham
was dissolved. That university's colleges in Newcastle, which had been known as King's College, became the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (now known as Newcastle University
), which was founded in 1963,
followed by a Newcastle Polytechnic in 1969; the latter received university status in 1992 and became the Northumbria University
Further efforts to preserve the city's historic past continued in the later 20th century, with the opening of Newcastle Military Vehicle Museum in 1983 and Stephenson Railway Museum
in 1986. The Military Vehicle museum closed in 2006.
New developments at the turn of the 21st century included the Life Science Centre
in 2000 and Millennium Bridge
In 2017, Newcastle was the venue for the 2017 Freedom City festival. The 2017 Freedom City festival commemorated the 50 years since Dr Martin Luther King's
visit to Newcastle, where King received his honorary degree from Newcastle University
In 2018 Newcastle hosted the Great Exhibition of the North, the largest event in England in 2018. The exhibition began on 22 June with an opening ceremony on the River Tyne, and ended on 9 September with the Great North Run weekend. The exhibition describes the story of the north of England through its innovators, artists, designers and businesses.
In 2019, various travel sites named Newcastle to be the friendliest city in the UK.
Side, a street in Newcastle near the Tyne Bridge
The ground beneath the city is formed from Carboniferous strata
of the Middle Pennine Coal Measures Group — a suite of sandstones
and coal seams
which generally dip moderately eastwards. To the west of the city are the Upper Pennine Coal Measures and further west again the sandstones and mudstones of the Stainmore Formation, the local equivalent of the Millstone Grit
In large parts, Newcastle still retains a medieval
street layout. Narrow alleys or 'chares
', most of which can only be traversed by foot, still exist in abundance, particularly around the riverside
. Stairs from the riverside to higher parts of the city centre and the extant Castle Keep
, originally recorded in the 14th century, remain intact in places. Close, Sandhill and Quayside
contain modern buildings as well as structures dating from the 15th–18th centuries, including Bessie Surtees House
, the Cooperage and Lloyds Quayside Bars, Derwentwater House and House of Tides, a restaurant situated at a Grade I-listed 16th century merchant's house at 28–30 Close.
The city has an extensive neoclassical
centre referred to as Tyneside Classical,
largely developed in the 1830s by Richard Grainger
and John Dobson
. More recently, Newcastle architecture considered to be Tyneside classical has been extensively restored. Broadcaster and writer Stuart Maconie
described Newcastle as England's best-looking city
and the German-born British scholar of architecture, Nikolaus Pevsner
describes Grey Street
as one of the finest streets in England. In 1948 the poet John Betjeman
said of Grey Street, “As for the curve of Grey Street, I shall never forget seeing it to perfection, traffic-less on a misty Sunday morning.”
The street curves down from Grey's Monument
towards the valley of the River Tyne
and was voted England's finest street in 2005 in a survey of BBC Radio 4
In the Google Street View awards of 2010, Grey Street came 3rd in the British picturesque category.
A portion of Grainger Town
was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Eldon Square Shopping Centre
, including all but one side of the original Eldon Square
360° panoramic shot taken from the top of the Keep
Immediately to the north-west of the city centre is Leazes Park
, first opened to the public 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". Just outside one corner of this is St James' Park
, the stadium home of Newcastle United FC
which dominates the view of the city from all directions.
View of St James’ Park
and surrounding buildings, as seen from Gateshead
The wooded gorge of the Ouseburn
in the east of the city is known as Jesmond Dene
and forms another recreation area, linked by Armstrong Park and Heaton Park to the Ouseburn Valley
, where the river finally reaches the River Tyne
The springtime dawn chorus
at 55 degrees latitude has been described as one of the best in the world.
The dawn chorus of the Jesmond Dene
green space has been professionally recorded and has been used in various workplace and hospital rehabilitation facilities.
Seen here in 2008 on the Quayside are the Tyne Salmon Cubes; a celebration of the River Tyne
Grainger Street, circa 1906
The historic heart of Newcastle is the Grainger Town area. Established on classical streets built by Richard Grainger
, a builder and developer, between 1835 and 1842, some of Newcastle upon Tyne's finest buildings and streets lie within this area of the city centre including Grainger Market
, Theatre Royal
Street, Grainger Street and Clayton
These buildings are predominantly four stories high, with vertical dormers, domes, turrets and spikes. Richard Grainger was said to 'have found Newcastle of bricks and timber and left it in stone'.
Of Grainger Town's 450 buildings, 244 are listed
, of which 29 are grade I and 49 are grade II*.
The Grainger Market replaced an earlier market originally built in 1808 called the Butcher Market.
The Grainger Market itself, was opened in 1835 and was Newcastle's first indoor market.
At the time of its opening in 1835 it was said to be one of the largest and most beautiful markets in Europe.
The opening was celebrated with a grand dinner attended by 2000 guests, and the Laing Art Gallery has a painting of this event.
With the exception of the timber roof which was destroyed by a fire in 1901 and replaced by latticed-steel arches the Market is largely in its original condition.
The Grainger Market architecture, like most in Grainger Town, which are either grade I or II listed, was listed grade I in 1954 by English Heritage.
Newcastle's thriving Chinatown
lies in the north-west of Grainger Town
, centred on Stowell Street. A new Chinese arch, or paifang
, providing a landmark entrance, was handed over to the city with a ceremony in 2005.
The Tyneside flat
was the dominant housing form constructed at the time when the industrial centres on Tyneside were growing most rapidly. They can still be found in areas such as South Heaton in Newcastle but once dominated the streetscape on both sides of the Tyne.
Tyneside flats were built as terraces, one of each pair of doors led to an upstairs flat while the other led into the ground-floor flat, each of two or three rooms. A new development in the Ouseburn valley has recreated them; Architects Cany Ash and Robert Sakula were attracted by the possibilities of high density without building high and getting rid of common areas.
In terms of housing stock, the authority is one of few authorities to see the proportion of detached homes rise in the 2010 Census (to 7.8%), in this instance this was coupled with a similar rise in flats and waterside apartments to 25.6%, and the proportion of converted or shared houses in 2011 renders this dwelling type within the highest of the five colour-coded brackets at 5.9%, and on a par with Oxford
, greater than Manchester
and below a handful of historic densely occupied, arguably overinflated markets in the local authorities: Harrogate
, inner London, Hastings
and Royal Tunbridge Wells
Data in Newcastle was first collected in 1802 by the solicitor James Losh
Situated in the rain shadow
of the North Pennines
, Newcastle is amongst the driest cities in the UK. Temperature extremes recorded at Newcastle Weather Centre include 32.5 °C (90.5 °F) on 3 August 1990
down to −14.0 °C (6.8 °F) on 29 December 1995.
Newcastle can have cool to cold winters, though usually warmer than the rural areas around it, and the winters are often compensated for by warm summers, with very long daylight hours in the summer months, longer than all other major English Cities. Newcastle upon Tyne shares the same latitude as Copenhagen, Denmark
and southern Sweden.
The nearest weather station to provide sunshine statistics is at Durham, about 14 miles (23 km) south of Newcastle City Centre
. Durham's inland, less urbanised setting results in night-time temperature data about 1 degree cooler than Newcastle proper throughout the year.
The city is located within the centre of the North East Green Belt, also known as the Tyne and Wear Green Belt.
The green belts stated aims
- Prevent the merging of settlements
- Safeguard the countryside from encroachment
- Check unrestricted urban sprawl
- Assist in urban regeneration in the city-region by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land
The green belt surrounds Brunswick Village
, Callerton, Hazlerigg
, and Woolsington
. Popular locations such as Ryton Island, Tyne Riverside Country Park, the city's golf courses, Newcastle Racecourse
, and Newcastle International Airport
fall inside the green belt.
The city has been recognised for its commitment to environmental issues, with a programme planned for Newcastle to become "the first carbon neutral
however, those plans have been revised and they now hope to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The Gate complex on Newgate Street is a nightlife destination
There are many bars on the Bigg Market
and its adjoining streets. Other areas popular for nightlife include Collingwood
Street (commonly referred to as the 'Diamond Strip' due to its concentration of high-end bars), Neville Street, the Central Station
area, Osborne Road in Jesmond
and the wider Ouseburn
area - home to a variety of younger metropolitan bars, the Quayside
, and “The Gate
", located on Newgate Street, has become a popular nightlife in the past decade and a half.
Newcastle's LGBT+ bars
are focused on 'The Pink Triangle' in Times Square, surrounded by the Centre for Life
The UK's largest bakery chain, Greggs
, was founded and is headquartered in Newcastle and has the greatest number of Greggs stores per capita
in the world.
In 2010, Osborne Road in Jesmond
was awarded fourth place in the UK Google Street View awards for the "foodie" category.
Additionally, the city has a wide variety of cuisines available including Greek
. There has also been a noticeable growth in Newcastle's gourmet
restaurant industry in recent years.
The city has a proud history of theatre. Stephen Kemble
of the well-known Kemble family
managed the original Theatre Royal, Newcastle for fifteen years (1791–1806). He brought members of his famous acting family such as Sarah Siddons
and John Kemble
out of London to Newcastle. Stephen Kemble guided the theatre through many celebrated seasons. The original Theatre Royal in Newcastle was opened on 21 January 1788 and was located on Mosley Street.
It was demolished to make way for Grey Street, where its replacement was built.
Theatre Royal, Grey Street
The city still contains many theatres. The largest, the Theatre Royal
on Grey Street, first opened in 1837, designed by John and Benjamin Green
It has hosted a season of performances from the Royal Shakespeare Company
for over 25 years, as well as touring productions of West End musicals.
The Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre
hosts smaller touring productions, whilst other venues feature local talent. Northern Stage
, formally known as the Newcastle Playhouse and Gulbenkian Studio, hosts various local, national and international productions in addition to those produced by the Northern Stage company.
Other theatres in the city include the Live Theatre
, the People's Theatre
, Alphabetti Theatre
, Gosforth Civic Theatre, and the Jubilee Theatre
was voted in 2006 as the arts capital of the UK in a survey conducted by the Artsworld
Literature and libraries
Avison Library on New Bridge Street West.
The Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne
(popularly known as the 'Lit & Phil') is the largest independent library outside London, housing more than 150,000 books. Its music library contains 8,000 CDs and 10,000 LPs.
The current Lit and Phil premises were built in 1825 and the building was designed by John and Benjamin Green.
Operating since 1793 and founded as a 'conversation club,' its lecture theatre was the first public building to be lit by electric light, during a lecture by Joseph Swan
on 20 October 1880.
Festivals and fairs
The Newcastle Beer Festival
, organised by CAMRA
takes place in April each year.Evolution Festival
, a music festival that attracted tens of thousands of attendees, took place in May from 2002 until 2013 and was described as "the biggest festival Tyneside has ever staged".
The This Is Tomorrow festival now takes place over the spring bank holiday and is in the same location. The biennial AV Festival
of international electronic art, featuring exhibitions, concerts, conferences and film screenings, is held in March. The North East Art Expo, a festival of art and design from the regions professional artists, is held in late May.
, the largest annual collection of travelling fairs in Europe, comes together on Newcastle Town Moor
every June. The event has its origins in the Temperance Movement
during the early 1880s, and coincides with the annual race week
at High Gosforth Park.
Newcastle Community Green Festival, which claims to be the UK's biggest free community environmental
festival, also takes place every June, in Leazes Park
The Cyclone Festival of Cycling takes place within, or starting from, Newcastle in June.
The Northern Pride Festival and Parade is held in Leazes Park
and in the city's Gay Community in mid July. The Ouseburn Festival, a family oriented weekend festival near the city centre, incorporating a "Family Fun Day" and "Carnival Day", is held in late July.
, held on the late August Bank Holiday
weekend, is an annual two-day multicultural event that blends drama, music and food from Punjabi
NewcastleGateshead also holds an annual International Arts Fair. The 2009 event will be in the Norman Foster
designed Sage Gateshead
Music and Arts Centre in September.
In October, there is the Design Event festival—an annual festival providing the public with an opportunity to see work by regional, national and international designers.
The SAMA Festival, an East Asian cultural festival is also held in early October.
, principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist for English rock band The Police
are a folk-rock group with a strong Tyneside
connection. Their most famous song, "Fog on the Tyne
" (1971), was covered by Geordie
ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne
in 1990. Venom
, reckoned by many to be the originators of black metal
and extremely influential to the extreme metal
scene as a whole, formed in Newcastle in 1979. Folk metal
, often regarded as the first folk metal band, also formed in Newcastle after the break-up of Martin Walkyier
thrash metal band, Sabbat
. Andy Taylor
, former lead guitarist of Duran Duran
was born here in 1961. Brian Johnson
was a member of local rock band Geordie
before becoming the lead vocalist for Australian band AC/DC
, with whom he'd release Back in Black
, the 2nd best-selling studio album
of all time,
and the 4th biggest seller in the USA
ICMuS, Newcastle University
's music department, has been a driving force for music in the region, producing innovative work, organising concerts and festivals, instigating the first degree programme in folk music in the British Isles, and engaging creatively with communities in the region.
Metro Radio Arena
The largest venue used for music concerts is St James Park, home of Newcastle United, which has also previously been used for Rugby League games and the Olympic Games. The second largest music venue
in Newcastle is the 11,000-seat Metro Radio Arena
, which opened in 1995 and hosts major pop and rock concerts.Newcastle City Hall
is one of the oldest venues in the region and "attracts big names who are often legends of the past".
Both of the city's universities have venues that mainly host indie
O2 Academy Newcastle
music venue on Melbourne Street, open from 1985 until 1999, notably hosted Nirvana
's first European show in 1989.
The venue also welcomed Oasis
, David Bowie
and The Stone Roses
and was named Best Regional Venue by NME
Riverside has also been the subject of a book, Riverside: Newcastle's Legendary Alternative Music Venue
The small music venue Think Tank? was a nominee for Best Small Venue in NME in 2015. The Cluny
in Ouseburn Valley
is "one of the most important venues for breaking bands in the region".
Trillians Rock Bar is well-noted for its rock and metal
and The Head of Steam is a 90-capacity basement venue described as "one of Newcastle's staple venues".
Newcastle has multiple independent cinemas, including the famous Tyneside Cinema
located on Pilgrim Street. It originally opened as the 'Bijou News-Reel Cinema' in 1937, and was designed and built by Dixon Scott, great-uncle of film directors Ridley Scott
and Tony Scott
. The Pilgrim Street building was refurbished between November 2006 and May 2008; during the refurbishment works, the cinema relocated to the Old Town Hall, Gateshead
. In May 2008 the Tyneside Cinema reopened in the restored and refurbished original building.
The site currently houses three cinemas, including the restored Classic
—the United Kingdom's last surviving news cinema still in full-time operation—alongside two new screens, and dedicated education and teaching suites.
As well as this, the city is home to The Side Cinema and Star and Shadow Cinema which are both small venues which have built up cult audiences of film fans.
Museums and galleries
TV and film
Newcastle played a major role during the 19th-century Industrial Revolution
, and was a leading centre for coal mining, shipbuilding, engineering, munitions and manufacturing. Heavy industries
in Newcastle declined in the second half of the 20th century; with office, service and retail employment now becoming the city's staples.
The city's thriving nightlife is estimated to be worth £340 million per year, and consequently is seen as a major contributor to Newcastle's economy.
In 2010, Newcastle was positioned ninth in the retail centre expenditure league of the UK.
There are several major shopping areas in Newcastle City Centre
. The largest of these is the Eldon Square Shopping Centre
, one of the largest city centre shopping complexes in the UK.
It incorporates a Debenhams
store as well as one of the largest John Lewis & Partners
stores in the UK. This John Lewis branch was formerly known as Bainbridge
, established in 1838, often cited as the world's first department store
Emerson Bainbridge (1817–1892),
a pioneer and the founder of Bainbridge,
sold goods via department, a new arrangement of trade for that time. The Bainbridge official ledgers reported revenue by department, giving birth to the name department store.
Eldon Square is currently undergoing a full redevelopment. A new bus station, replacing the old underground bus station, was officially opened in March 2007.
The wing of the centre, including the undercover Green Market, near Grainger Street was demolished in 2007 so that the area could be redeveloped.
This was completed in February 2010 with the opening of a Debenhams
department store as well as other major stores including Apple
Central Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne
The main shopping street in the city is Northumberland Street
. In a 2004 report, it was ranked as the most expensive shopping street in the UK for rent, outside London.
It is home to two major department stores including the first and largest Fenwick
department store, which houses some of the most luxurious designer labels
, and one of the largest Marks and Spencer
stores outside London. Both stores have entrances into Eldon Square Shopping Centre.
has become an affluent area and is popular with students.
High Street in the north of the city.
According to the same statistics, the average age of people living in Newcastle is 37.8 years, compared to the national average being of 38.6 years.
From the 2011 Census, two significant religions could be identified in the city: Christian and Muslim. 56.6% of Newcastle identified as Christian and 6.3% as Muslim.
Over 28% stated they have no religious affiliation
Ethnicity and nationality
According to the 2011 census,
the metropolitan borough of Newcastle upon Tyne was predominately white, representing 85.3% of the population (including non-British white). Asians
made up 9.8% of the population (2.3% Pakistani
, 1.7% 'Bangladeshi
', 1.8% 'Indian
', 2.2% 'Chinese
', 1.8% 'Asian other'). Black people
make up a small proportion of the population (1.7% 'Black African', 0.1% 'Black Caribbean' and 0.1% 'Black other'), as do mixed race groups at 1.6% (0.6% 'Asian and White', 0.3% 'White and Caribbean', 0.3% 'White and African', 0.4% 'White and Other'). The last significantly sized ethnic community in Newcastle is 'Arab
' at 0.9%. The remainder of the population, 0.5%, represent other ethnicities.
According to the 2011 UK Census, those born outside the UK were mainly from India (3,315), China (3,272), Pakistan (2,644), Bangladesh
(2,276), Poland (1,473), Germany (1,357), Nigeria (1,226), Iran (1,164), Hong Kong (1,038) and Ireland (942).
In the North East, Newcastle was the most ethnically diverse district followed by Middlesbrough.
The dialect of Newcastle is also referred to as Geordie
. It contains a large amount of vocabulary and distinctive words and pronunciations not used in other parts of the United Kingdom. The Geordie dialect has much of its origins in the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon
populations who migrated to and conquered much of England after the end of Roman Imperial rule. This language was the forerunner of Modern English; but while the dialects of other English regions have been heavily altered by the influences of other foreign languages—particularly Latin
and Norman French
—the Geordie dialect retains many elements of the old language. An example of this is the pronunciation of certain words: "dead", "cow", "house" and "strong" are pronounced "deed", "coo", "hoos" and "strang"—which is how they were pronounced in the Anglo-Saxon language. Other Geordie words with Anglo-Saxon origins include: "larn" (from the Anglo-Saxon "laeran", meaning "teach"), "burn" ("stream") and "gan" ("go").
According to the British Library
, "Locals insist there are significant differences between Geordie and several other local dialects, such as Pitmatic
. Pitmatic is the dialect of the former mining areas in County Durham and around Ashington to the north of Newcastle upon Tyne, while Mackem is used locally to refer to the dialect of the city of Sunderland and the surrounding urban area of Wearside".
"Bairn" and "hyem", meaning "child" and "home", respectively, are examples of Geordie words with origins in Scandinavia; barn
are the corresponding modern Norwegian and Danish words. Some words used in the Geordie dialect are used elsewhere in the Northern United Kingdom. The words "bonny" (meaning "pretty") and "stot
" ("bounce") are used in Scots; "aye" ("yes") and "nowt" (IPA://naʊt/, rhymes with out
, "nothing") are used elsewhere in Northern England
. Many words, however, appear to be used exclusively in Newcastle and the surrounding area, such as "canny" (a versatile word meaning "good", "nice" or "very"), "hacky" ("dirty"), "netty" ("toilet"), "hockle" ("spit").
According to research from 2011, public health and levels of deprivation in Newcastle upon Tyne was generally worse than average in England.
As levels of deprivation is considerably higher than the nationwide average, sociologists argue that as a result, the life expectancy
for both men and women is lower than the nationwide average. There is significant discrepancy between life expectancies in wealthy areas and deprived areas, with life expectancy up to 14.3 years lower for men and 11.1 years lower for women in deprived areas than in wealthy areas.
From 2001 to 2011, as with all UK cities all-cause mortality rates have fallen, life expectancy has increased. Early death rates from cancer and from heart disease and stroke have fallen but remain worse than the England average.
Almost 21.9% of Year 6 children are clinically obese. In 2014/5, 35.9% of 10 to 11-year-olds were classified as overweight or obese, in comparison to a national average of 33.2%.
54.9% of pupils meet the recommendation of at least three hours each week on school sport. Levels of teenage pregnancy
are higher than the nationwide average. In 2011, GCSE
attainment amongst school children was worse than the England average.
Estimated numbers of adults 'healthy eating' are lower than the England average.
Rates of smoking-related deaths
and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm are higher than average.
In a report, published in early February 2007 by the Ear Institute at the University College London
, Newcastle was named as the noisiest city in the whole of the UK with an average noise level of 80.4 decibels
. The report claimed that these noise levels would have a negative long-term impact on the health of the city's residents.
The report was criticised, however, for attaching too much weight to readings at arbitrarily selected locations, which in Newcastle's case included a motorway underpass without pedestrian access.
As well as numerous parks, open spaces, and extensive riverside areas, puzzlingly the report also overlooked the 1000-acre Town Moor
at the heart of the city. Larger than London's Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath combined,
and even larger than New York's Central Park
, the town moor dates back to the 12th century, with the land tenure and its use being regulated by an Act of Parliament.
Inside St James' Park – home of Newcastle United Football Club – looking towards the city centre
There is a women's football team, Newcastle United Women's Football Club, founded in 1989. Newcastle United WFC
currently has 40 ladies aged between 16 and 29 years signed or associated with the club, and plays in the FA Women's Premier League (North).
The 2012 London Olympic committee selected Newcastle as one of the UK host venue cities,
with the stadium St James' Park hosting 9 matches in both the men's and women's football.
Newcastle upon Tyne was one of the 11 host cities for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
St James' Park hosted three matches;
- South Africa v. Scotland (3 October 2015)
- New Zealand v. Tonga (9 October 2015)
- Samoa v. Scotland (10 October 2015)
Aircraft at Newcastle International Airport.
Newcastle International Airport
is situated on the northern outskirts of the city at Woolsington
, near to Ponteland
. It is the largest and busiest airport in North East England
and the second largest and busiest in Northern England
), handling over five million passengers per year. It is also the tenth-largest, and the fastest growing regional airport in the UK,
expecting to reach 10 million passengers by 2016, and 15 million by 2030.
As of 2007, Newcastle Airport operates flights to 90 destinations worldwide.
The airport is serviced by numerous airlines including British Airways
, Air France
, TUI Airways
In 2014, work was completed on the station's historic entrance.
Glazing was placed over the historic arches and the Victorian architecture was enhanced; transforming the 19th century public portico.
The station is one of only six Grade One listed railway stations in the UK.
Opened in 1850 by Queen Victoria
, it was the first covered railway station in the world and was much copied across the UK. It has a neoclassical
façade, originally designed by the architect John Dobson, and was constructed in collaboration with Robert Stephenson
The station sightlines towards the Castle Keep, whilst showcasing the curvature of the station's arched roof.
The first services were operated by the North Eastern Railway
Map of the Tyne and Wear Metro
The city is served by the Tyne and Wear Metro
, a system of suburban and underground railways covering much of Newcastle and the surrounding metropolitan boroughs
. It was opened in five phases between 1980 and 1984, and was Britain's first urban light rail transit system.
The network was developed from a combination of existing and newly built tracks and stations, with deep-level tunnels constructed through Central Newcastle.
was built across the Tyne, between Newcastle and Gateshead, and opened by Queen Elizabeth II
Extensions to the network were opened in 1991 and 2002.
It is operated directly by Nexus
, carrying over 37 million passengers a year.
In 2004, the company Marconi
designed and constructed the mobile radio system to the underground Metro system.
The Metro system was the first in the UK to have mobile phone antennae installed in the tunnels.
The system is currently undergoing a period of refurbishment and modernisation, entitled 'Metro: All Change
.' The programme has replaced all ticket machines and introduced ticket gates at the busiest stations – part of the transition to smart ticketing. All Metro trains are being completely refurbished and most stations are undergoing improvement works (or in some cases complete reconstruction, for example North Shields
). In addition; tracks, signalling and overhead wires are also being overhauled.
Longer-term plans include the procurement of an entirely new fleet of trains and further extensions to the system. Proposed routes include to Newcastle's west end, to the Cobalt business park in North Tyneside, to the Metrocentre in Gateshead and to additional locations in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. Several of the proposed routes would require trams as opposed to the current light rail trains.
Major roads in the area include the A1
(Newcastle Gateshead Western Bypass), stretching north to Edinburgh
and south to London; the A19
heading south past Sunderland
; the A69
heading west to Carlisle
; the A696
, which becomes the A68
heads past Newcastle Airport
and up through central Northumberland
and central Scottish Borders
, the A167
, the old "Great North Road", heading south to Gateshead
; and the A1058
"Coast Road", which runs from Jesmond
to the east coast between Tynemouth
. Many of these designations are recent—upon completion of the Western Bypass, and its designation as the new line of the A1, the roads between this and the A1's former alignment through the Tyne Tunnel
, with many city centre roads changing from a 6-prefix
to their present 1-prefix numbers. In November 2011 the capacity of the Tyne Tunnel was increased when a project to build a second road tunnel and refurbish the first tunnel was completed.
Bus services in Newcastle upon Tyne and the surrounding boroughs part are coordinated by the Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive
.Stagecoach North East
is the primary bus operator in the city, running city services between both the West and East ends, with some services extending out to the MetroCentre
. Go North East
provides the majority of services to and from the south of the Tyne, linking Newcastle with Gateshead
, South Tyneside
, and County Durham
. Arriva North East
runs numerous services to the north of city, North Tyneside
. Additionally, QuayLink
connects Newcastle and Gateshead to the Quayside. Newcastle Central coach station
is the city's main hub for long-distance services, such as those operated by National Express
Other major bus departure points are Pilgrim Street (for buses running south of the Tyne via Gateshead
), and Blackett Street/Monument for services to the East and West of the city. Many bus services also pass Newcastle Central Station
, a major interchange for rail and metro services.
Newcastle is accessible by several mostly traffic-free cycle routes
that lead to the edges of the city centre, where cyclists can continue into the city by road, using no car lanes
. The traffic-free C2C
cycle route runs along the north bank of the River Tyne
, enabling cyclists to travel off-road to North Shields
in the east, and westwards towards Hexham
Suburban cycle routes exist, which use converted trackbeds of former industrial wagonways
and industrial railways. A network on Tyneside
's suburban Victorian waggonways is being developed.
A network of signed on-road cycle routes is being established,
including some designated on-road cycle lanes that will lead from the city centre to the suburbs of Gosforth
Newcastle has a growing culture of bicycle usage. Newcastle is also home to a cycling campaign, called the 'Newcastle Cycling Campaign.'
The ideal of the organisation is to model other European cities like Amsterdam
The aims of the organisation, within the constitution are: To raise the profile of cycling, especially utility cycling
around the city;
to educate decision makers over the benefits of cycling;
to promote equality.
Following guidelines set in the National Cycling strategy, Newcastle first developed its cycling strategy in 1998.
As of 2012, the city council's social aims and objectives for cycling include: highlighting the usage of cycling to cut city congestion and educating that cycling promotes healthy living
The authority also has infrastructure aims and objectives which include: developing on road cycle networks on quieter streets; making safer routes on busier streets; innovating and implementing contraflows on one way streets; developing the existing off-road cycle route networks and improve signage; joining up routes that are partially or completely isolated; Increase the number of cycle parking facilities; working with employers to integrate cycling into workplace travel plans; link the local networks to national networks.
Government and politics
For the purposes of City Council elections, Newcastle is divided into 26 electoral wards
. Each ward elects three councillors. Following the boundary changes in 2016, the wards are as follows:
Schools and Further Education
Newcastle has 74 primary schools and 20 secondary schools, of which 13 are LEA
-funded and 7 are fee-paying independent schools
Northumbria University has its origins in the Newcastle Polytechnic, established in 1969 and became the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 1992 as part of the UK-wide process in which polytechnics became new universities. Northumbria University was voted 'Best New University' by The Times
Good University Guide 2005. It holds the Silver TEF Award.
Newcastle is home to the only Baháʼí
Centre in North East England; the centre has served the local Baháʼí community for over 25 years and is located close to the Civic Centre in Jesmond
Newcastle was a prominent centre of the Plymouth Brethren
movement up to the 1950s, and some small congregations still function. Among these are at the Hall, Denmark Street and Gospel Hall, St Lawrence.
The Parish Church of St Andrew
is traditionally recognised as 'the oldest church in this town'.
The present building was begun in the 12th Century and the last addition to it, apart from the vestries, was the main porch in 1726.
It is quite possible that there was an earlier church here dating from Saxon times. This older church would have been one of several churches along the River Tyne dedicated to St Andrew, including the Priory church
The building contains more old stonework than any other church in Newcastle. It is surrounded by the last of the ancient churchyards to retain its original character. Many key names associated with Newcastle's history worshipped and were buried here. The church tower received a battering during the Siege of Newcastle
by the Scots who finally breached the Town Wall and forced surrender. Three of the cannonballs remain on site as testament to the siege.
Two converted warehouses provided the base for Tyne Tees on City Road until 2005
ITV Tyne Tees
was based at City Road for over 40 years after its launch in January 1959.
In 2005 it moved to a new facility on The Watermark business park next to the MetroCentre in Gateshead.
The entrance to studio 5 at the City Road complex gave its name to the 1980s music television programme, The Tube
Public City WiFi
Newcastle was one of the first cities in the UK to have its city centre covered by free wireless internet
access. It was developed and installed at the end of 2006 and went active in March 2007.
, the leading British composer of concertos in the 18th century, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1709 and died there in 1770.Basil Hume
, Archbishop of Westminster
, was born in the city in 1923.
Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood
, 1st Baron Collingwood, was born in the city. Ironmaster
, metallurgist, and member of parliament Isaac Lowthian Bell
was born in the city in 1816. Other notable people born in or associated with Newcastle include: engineer and industrialist Lord Armstrong
, engineer and father of the modern steam railways George Stephenson
, his son, also an engineer, Robert Stephenson
, engineer and inventor of the steam turbine Sir Charles Parsons
, inventor of the incandescent light bulb Sir Joseph Swan
, actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson
industrial designer Sir Jonathan Ive
, who studied at Newcastle Polytechnic
(now Northumbria University
), modernist poet Basil Bunting
and Lord Chief Justice Peter Taylor
. Portuguese writer Eça de Queiroz
was a diplomat in Newcastle from late 1874 until April 1879—his most productive literary period.
Former Prime Minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva
was born in the city. Composer Agustín Fernández
has been based in the city since 1995, teaching at Newcastle University
and occasionally collaborating with Royal Northern Sinfonia
, Eric Burdon
, Mark Knopfler
, the Lighthouse Family
, Jeffrey Dunn
, Brian Johnson
, Alan Hull
, and Neil Tennant
lived in Newcastle. Hank Marvin
and Bruce Welch
were both former pupils of Rutherford Grammar School.
Actors Charlie Hunnam
and James Scott
entertainers Ant & Dec
and footballers Michael Carrick
and Alan Shearer
were also born in Newcastle. Multiple circumnavigator David Scott Cowper
, Nobel Prize winning physicist Peter Higgs
, who researched the mass of subatomic particles,
and wrestler Neville
were born in the city. John Dunn
, inventor of the keyed Northumbrian smallpipes
, lived and worked in the city. Kathryn Tickell
OBE, the celebrated Northumbrian piper and composer, has longstanding associations with Newcastle as a resident, frequent performer at Sage Gateshead
and teacher at Newcastle University
. Marc Smith
(born 1963), French palaeographer, was born in Newcastle. Freddy Shepherd
, former chairman of Newcastle United F.C.
for ten years, lived in Newcastle upon Tyne until his death in 2017.
Twin towns – sister cities
Newcastle upon Tyne is twinned
- Newcastle, Australia
- Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. (1977)
- Groningen, Netherlands
- Bergen, Norway (1968)
- Gelsenkirchen, Germany (1948)
- Haifa, Israel
- Nancy, France (1954)
- Singkawang, Indonesia
- Elbasan, Albania
- Taiyuan, China
- Trujillo, Peru
Newcastle has a "friendship agreement" with the American city of Little Rock, Arkansas
Since 2003, it has had a "special cooperation agreement" with the Swedish city of Malmö
Furthermore, Newcastle participated in the 1998 summit of worldwide cities named Newcastle
which led to friendship agreements with the following places:
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- Tyneside: A History of Newcastle and Gateshead from Earliest Times, Alistair Moffat and George Rosie, Mainstream Publishing (10 November 2005), ISBN 1-84596-013-0
- Tyneside Neighbourhoods: Deprivation, Social Life and Social Behaviour in One British City, Daniel Nettle, Open Book Publishers, (2016), ISBN 9781783741885
- History of Northumberland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Leslie W. Hepple, Phillimore & Co Ltd (1976), ISBN 0-85033-245-1
Last edited on 14 June 2021, at 14:25
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