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NEWCASTLE, or in full, for the sake of distinction, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, a city (with the constitution of a county), municipal and parliamentary borough, market-town, and seaport in the county of Northumberland, England, is situated on the north bank of the river Tyne, 8 miles above its mouth, and on the main line of the North-Eastern Railway, 276 miles north of London and 70 east of Carlisle. Some of the streets in the older portion of the town along the river side are narrow and steep, and still contain several of the quaint gable-fronted houses of the time of Elizabeth. The business portions of the town - principally erected from the plans of Richard Grainger - are characterized generally by spacious streets with imposing buildings and fine shops ; and in the northern and western suburbs there are numerous terraces and villas inhabited by the wealthier classes. The important town of GATESHEAD (q.v.), on the south side of the river, is connected with Newcastle by three bridges - a high level bridge, an hydraulic swing bridge, and a suspension bridge. The high level bridge has been already described (see vol. iv. p. 337). The hydraulic swing bridge, on the low level a little farther down the river, was built to replace a stone structure erected in 1781 on the site of a bridge dating from 1250, and destroyed by a flood in 1771. The Roman bridge, the Pons 1Elii, probably built by the emperor Hadrian, is said to have spanned the river at the same point. The hydraulic bridge was begun in 1868, and opened for traffic 15th June 1876, at a cost of about £200,000. It consists of one large centre pier, two midstream piers, and two abutments ; and its foundations are iron cylinders resting on the solid rock, 60 feet below the bed of the river. Two spans, which open simultaneously by machines impelled by steam, allow 103 feet of waterway for vessels going up and down the river. About half a mile farther up the stream is the Redheugh bridge, commenced in 1867, and opened in 1871 at a cost of £40,000.
Newcastle is well supplied with public parks and recreation grounds. To the north of the city is the Leazes ornamental park of 35 acres, and beyond this the town moor and racecourse, an extensive common, the survival of the pasture land of the township. Eastward from the town moor is Brandling Park. The picturesque grounds of Armstrong Park to the north-east of the city extend to about 50 acres, the larger half of which was presented by Sir W. G. Armstrong, who also has presented the beautifully wooded grounds of Jesmond Dene. Elswick Park in the south-west of the city, extending to 8i acres, and in-chiding Elswick Hall, was purchased by the corporation and opened as a recreation ground in November 1878.
The earliest artificial method of water supply for Newcastle was by pipes of elmwood from Heworth and from springs about 3 miles north of the town. In 1845 a water company was formed to supply the town with water from Whittle Dene. The reservoirs of the company have been extended from time to time, and the water of various other-streams utilized to meet the increasing necessities of the town. The gas supply is also in the hands of a company_ Of the old walls of the town, which, according to Leland, "for strength and magnificence far surpassed all the walls of the cities of England and of most of the towns of Europe," and the circuit of which was 2 miles 239 yards, there still remain some towers in good preservation, although the fortifications were allowed to go into disrepair after the union of Scotland and England. The castle, from which the town takes its name, stood on a. slight elevation rising abruptly from the river, and was erected by Henry II. between 1172 and 1177 on the site of an older structure built in 1080 by Robert eldest son of the Conqueror. It was originally the strongest fortress in the north of England, and its keep is now one of the finest specimens of the Norman stronghold remaining in the country. While it was still incomplete, William the Lion was led within its walls after his capture at Alnwick; and within its great hall Baliol, on 26th December 1292, did homage for the crown of Scotland to Edward I. The area of the castle within its outer walls and fosse was 3 acres. Fragments of these walls, with the principal entrance or Blackgate (portions of which are, however, of later construction), and the Watergate or southern postern, still remain, but the inner wall surrounding the keep has been entirely removed. The massive keep, with walls 14 feet thick, is in a state of good preservation, as is also the chapel, a. beautiful specimen of the Late Norman style, for some time used as the cellar of a public house. The castle was purchased by the corporation in 1809 for £600, and is now under the charge of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, who have fitted up a portion of it as an antiquarian museum. Near the castle is St Nicholas church, now forming the cathedral of the diocese of Newcastle (instituted in 1882). The church, which is principally Decorated, consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and transepts, the total length of the interior from east to west being 245 feet, and the width at the transepts 128 feet. The principal feature of the church is the lantern tower, a later addition and a very fine specimen of Early Perpendicular. The church has been frequently repaired, and underwent extensive renovation (1873-76) at a cost of £30,000. Among other interesting old churches is St Andrew's church, erected in the 1 1 th century, principally Norman, with a low square tower and a peal of six bells. During the siege by the Parliamentary army in 1644 it was greatly damaged. St John's church is a stone building of the 14th century with an ancient font. Of the nine conventual buildings at one time existing in Newcastle or its immediate neighbourhood, a few fragments of the monastery of the Black Friars still remain, and the chapel of the hospital of St Mary at Jesinond forms a picturesque ruin.
The most important public buildings are the corporation buildings, including a large public hall, and a corn exchange, erected (1863) at a cost of £100,000; the guildhall, originally a hospital called the Maison de Dieu, and afterwards used as "the stately court of merchant adventurers," re-erected in 1658; the moot-hall (1810) for the meetings of assizes and sessions and the transaction of county business ; the exchange (1860); the central news-room and art gallery (1838) ; the assembly-rooms (1774, re-erected 1876); the barracks (1806); the market (1835); the central railway station, opened 1849, at a cost of £130,000; the police courts (1874); the general post office (1876); the Wood memorial hall (1870), used for the meetings of the North of England Institute of Engineers; the customhouse; the theatre royal ; Trinity house, with a chapel dating from 1491; and the (branch) Bank of England.
The Grey monument in Grey Street, an Ionic column surmounted by a statue of Earl Grey, was erected in 1836 to commemorate the passing of the Reform Bill; the Stephenson monument near the railway station was erected in 1862.
The principal educational establishments are the colleges of medicine and of physical science, affiliated to the university of Durham ; the royal free grammar school, founded in 1525, and rebuilt by the town council in 1870 out of the funds of the hospital of St Mary ; the school of science and art in connexion with South Kensington, opened in 1879 ; and Allan's endowed schools, founded in 1705, and reorganized by the charity commissioners in 1877. Among the clubs and similar institutions are the Literary and Philosophical Society, founded in 1793, possessing buildings erected in 1825 at a cost of £16,000; the Society of Antiquaries, founded in 1813, with a museum in the castle ; the Natural History Society ; the Tyneside Naturalists' Club, established in 1846 ; the Mechanics' Institution, 1824; the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers, 1852 ; the Fine Arts Society ; the Farmers' Club ; the Northern Counties Club; the Union Club ; and the University Club. There is a public library and news-room, erected at a cost of £20,000. The benevolent institutions include the infirmary (originally founded in 1751 and enlarged in 1801 and 1851), the dispensary (1777), the fever house (1803), the lying-in hospital (1760), the eye infirmary (1822), Trinity almshouses (1492), the hospital of the Holy Jesus (1682), the Philipson memorial orphanage for boys (1876).
Newcastle owes its prosperity to its convenient situation on a tidal river, and to the immense stores of coal in the neighbourhood, which, besides being largely exported, have stimulated a great variety of industries which are dependent on their use. It began to export coal about the end of the 13th century, but the trade received a severe check by the Act of Edward I. which made the burning of it in London a capital offence. In the reign of Edward III. licence was granted to the inhabitants "to dig coals and stones in the common soil of the town without the walls thereof in the place called the Castle Field and the Forth." North and South Shields are both important ports at the mouth of the Tyne, and the whole of the river to about 10 miles from its mouth is lined on both sides with quays, shipbuilding yards, chemical works, furnaces, and numerous manufactories. The quay in front of the town, extending from the hydraulic bridge to the Ouseburn, forms a fine thoroughfare of about a mile in length ; and by means of dredging a depth of water has been obtained at the shore permitting vessels of large tonnage to approach, although the berths of the ocean steamers are a little farther down the river. The quay is supplied with the most improved mechanical appliances, and by a double line of rails has direct communication with the North-Eastern Railway.
In 1853 the number of sailing vessels in the coasting trade that entered with cargoes was 2132 of 164,440 tons, cleared 11,172 of 1,502,813 tons ; of steamers - entered 399 of 81,886 tons, cleared 429 of 97,154 tons. In the same year, in the foreign and colonial trade, the entrances with cargoes were 2555 sailing vessels of 350,190 tons, and 70 steamers of 17,243 tons ; the clearances 5396 sailing vessels of 864,291 tons, and 70 steamers of 17,243 tons. In the annual statement of the shipping of the United Kingdom for 1882 the returns for the coasting trade are not given for Newcastle separately; but for the Tyne ports, which include, in addition to Newcastle, North and South Shields, the numbers were - entered with cargoes and in ballast 10,152 of 3,377,108 tons, cleared 8214 of 2,361,248 tons. The following table gives similar details of the foreign and colonial trade of the Tyne ports for the same year : - In 1878 the value of the imports of foreign and colonial merchandise for Newcastle 'was £5,367,931, and for the whole Tyne ports £6,540,359; in 1882 the values were £7,650,085 and £9,028,925 respectively. The value of the exports of the produce of the United Kingdom for Newcastle in 1878 was £3,712,899, and in 1882 £4,597,700, - the value for the whole Tyne ports being £4,128,227 in 1878, and £5,337,983 for 1882. Besides coal, which is brought down the river in broad boats called keels, and of which 4,557,277 tons left Newcastle by sea in 1882, the principal exports are coke, iron, machinery, chemicals, alkali, glass, hardware, earthenware, and pig and sheet lead. The imports include various ores and chemical substances, timber, corn, provisions, and cattle. There is regular steam communication with theprincipal British ports, the Baltic ports, Norway, Montreal, and New York. The number of vessels built at Newcastle in 1882 for British owners was 75 of 85,121 tons, of which 68 with a tonnage of 82,468 were iron, and 3 with a tonnage of 1785 were steeL In the same year there were built for foreigners 25 ships of 27,102 tons burden. The principal other industrial establishments of the town and neighbourhood are engineering and machinery shops, ordnance works, including the well-known Armstrong factory at Elswick, alkali manufactories, sheet and plate glass works, bottle works, stained glass works, potteries for earthenware, coachbuilding yards, hat factories, chemical works, sail, cable, and anchor works, and manufactories of nails, files, and spades and shovels. Within the present century the population of Newcastle has more than quadrupled. In 1781 the houses numbered 2389, with an estimated population of 30,000. The census of 1801 gave the number of houses as 3141 and the population as 28,294 ; the numbers in 1821 were 4031 and 35,181; in 1871 they were 16,460 and 128,443; and in 1881 they had increased to 20,264 and 145,359. The number of males in 1881 was 71,100, and of females 74,259. The area of the municipal and parliamentary borough is 5371 acres.
History. - Newcastle owes its origin to the Pons mentioned above. The most important relics of Roman occupation are a well in the centre of the buildings of the old castle, a mutilated statue of Hercules and a figure of Mercury preserved in the castle, numerous coins, altars, and various specimens of Roman pottery. The foundations of the old Roman bridge, with the remains of the piers, were discovered during the dredging operations after the destruction of the old wooden bridge in 1771. On account of its position as a fortified town affording protection to the inhabitants of the monasteries of Tynemouth, Jarrow, Lindisfarne, and Wear-mouth, Newcastle was known in early times as Monkceastre or Monkchester ; along with these monasteries it was ravaged by the Danes, who massacred the monks and nuns within its walls. After the union of the kingdom under Egbert it continued till the Conquest to be the residence of the earls of Westmoreland and Northumberland. The town was destroyed by William the Conqueror in 1068, after he had defeated Edgar Atheling and Malcolm of Scotland on Gateshead Fell, but in 1080 a fortress was reared at it by Robert Courthose, eldest son of the Conqueror, which, in contradistinction to the old fortress, was named Newcastle, and formed the nucleus of the present town, burgesses being gathered round the fortress to defend the country against the Scots. After the conspiracy of the barons under Earl Mowbray the town was stormed and taken by William Rufus in 1095. After the death of Henry I. it was seized by the Scots under David, and it remained in their possession until 1157, when it was restored by treaty to Henry H., who established at it a mint. The town was, under the three Edwards, the chief rendezvous of troops for the invasion of Scotland. In the reign of Edward L it was surrounded by walls, after which it withstood attempts of the Scots to capture it in 1322, 1342, and 1389. In 1640 it was taken by the Scottish Covenanters under Leslie, who held it for a year, and are said to have destroyed most of the public documents. After the battle of Marston Moor it was besieged and taken by the Scots in October 1644, from which time it was held by the Parliament till the close of the war. When Charles gave himself up to the Scottish army at Newark-upon-Trent, they took him to Newcastle, where he remained in their hands until, on the 28th January 1647, lie was delivered up to the Parliament.
Newcastle is a borough by prescription, and was first incorporated by Henry II. In the reign of Henry III. the government was vested in a mayor chosen by the burgesses, in lien of a provost appointed by the crown. In 1400 it obtained a charter from Henry IV. constituting it a county in itself, with lord-lieutenant, sheriff, and magistrates of its own. Its privileges were confirmed and extended by Queen Elizabeth in 1589. Though it still retains the constitution of a county, the old corporation was dissolved by the Municipal Act of 1835, and the government vested in a mayor, sixteen aldermen, and forty-eight town councillors. Since 1282 it has returned two members to parliament. The gross estimated rental of the borough in 1871 was £457,868, and the rateable value £402,030; in 1882 these were £803,961 and £714,470.
Among the eminent persons who have been connected with Newcastle are Ridley the martyr, Akenside the poet, Hutton the mathematician, Brand the antiquary, Lords Eldon and Stowell, Lord Collingwood, Thomas Bewick, and George and Robert Stephenson.
See Cherographia, or a Surrey of Newcastle...upon-Tine, by W. (1,1619, reprinted 1813 and 1818; John Bell, Collections for a History of Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1835; and Histories of Newcastle-on-Tyne, by Bourne (1736), Brand (1789), and Mackenzie (1827).
of 656,906 tons, the number that cleared 1305 of 925,926 tons. There is daily communication with Sydney by two lines of steamers. Besides the agricultural produce of the Hunter river district, the principal export is coal from the extensive mines in the neighbourhood of the town, which give employment to over 5000 men. The industries of the town include copper and iron founding, engineering, carriage building, shipbuilding, and brewing. The population of the census district in 1881 was 15,595.
The mouth of the Hunter river was discovered in 1797. The station, which for a long time was a convict depot, was formerly called Port Hunter. In 1821 it became a free settlement, and in 1859 it was erected into a municipality, since which time its progress has been very rapid.