Newcastle Walks

Walk the Walls

                                                                                  1736 Rev. Bourne's 'The History of Newcastle'
In 1095 the Towns ancient Roman walls were added to and extended. It (Newcastle) is surrounded by a stone wall, which at the time it was built, and for many ages after was undoubtedly of very great strength with several gates with round Towers.

       Walk is approx. 2 mls. 2 hours without stops.


Begin at St.Andrews Church Newgate Street.

St Andrews Church 1153 .

Church and Churchyard

St Andrew's Church .Grade 1 listed building. 12th Century Chancel Arch.Noteable features: the Lepers Squint, the choir stalls of Austrian oak, the Giordano painting and the mediaeval font cover, some of the finest in England. The last addition was the South porch in 1726, others were the Trinity Chapel, widened aisles, lengthened chancel and the addition of both trancepts.

Looking at the church to your right you will see traffic lights, here stood the mighty 'Newgate' one of the northern entrances to the Town. The church suffered severe damage at the Siege of Newcastle. It stands now, after centuries of alterations, the oldest church in Newcastle. Begin at the Church entrance on Newgate Street. Leave by walking through the Churchyard exit at the rear of the Church where stands a portion of the City wall. You are now on Gallowgate. Turn left and at the next corner you will see on your right St. James Park. Home of Newcastle United Football Club. On the left past the traffic light is The Sandman Hotel and the new University of Newcastle complex.

City Wall 1095.

Turn left (into St. Andrews Street) where you will see the gate into China Town, cross the road toward the pub. At this point in the wall during the 1644 siege of Newcastle, heavy Scottish cannon fire breached the wall. Before reaching the pub, on your right, you will see an alley. Look along the alley, you will see The Heber Tower and a well preserved section of the city wall running parallel with Stowell Street. Either walk along the alley or preferably walk back out into China Town.

China Town (Stowell Street)
China Town

Having viewed the wall come out of the alley turn right, walk past the pub. Now walk along Stowell Street into Newcastle's China Town. (Restaurants, food, super markets and a great atmosphere).

The whole area you are now in once formed part of the grounds of Blackfriars Monastery.

Blackfriars Monastery.1260 (open daily) Open daily. Grade 1 Listed building. Fully restored. (Facilities) Exhibits.
The Walls.

Walk along Stowell Street towards Bath Lane and near the end you will see a gap in the City Wall. On your left Monk Street there you will (about 100m down) see the entrance to Blackfrairs Monestry. A fraternity founded in 1215 were called Black Friars because they wore a black cloak and hood covering their white cassock.

Heber and Durham Towers.

Before you reach the junction with Bath Lane you will see where Stowell Street cuts through a perfectly preserved section of the City wall and the Heber Tower. The junction infront is with Bath At Bath Lane before turning left, look right around the outside of the wall stands the Old Fever Hospital. Turn left and walk alongside the wall, passing Durham Tower. Stop and rest at the grassed area in front of the wall. One of the many great photo spots.

Pink Lane (The West Gate)

Walk toward the junction with Westgate Road (the oldest 'named' street in Newcastle), you will see The Vesta Tilley Pub on the opposite corner. Here stood The West Gate until 1811. Turn left at the junction. CAUTION this is a very busy road...across the road. Is a very small lane called Pink Lane. Named after The Pink Tower the pink Tower some say the Pink Tower was named after the pink blooming flowers which were on the other side of the wall at this point.

Walking down Pink Lane you are walking the course of the wall. Continuing straight on...CAUTION this is a very busy road, across Clayton street you are at the place where The Pink Tower stood. Continuing down the cobbled lane a road opening on your right is exactly where 'Forth Gate' stood in the wall allowing access to the 'countryside' outside the wall. At the end of Pink Lane (with a Subway on your left) at the junction with Neville Street stood 'Gunner Tower'. You should now see the massive entrance or portico of The Central Railway Station in front of you. LOOKING DIRECTLY AT THE FRONT OF THE STATION PORTICO... At the right hand corner of the portico 'Stank Tower' once stood.

As the Station is under massive renovation entry is somewhat different and not easy to walk through SO...MISSING OUT ON A STATION VISIT LOOKING DIRECTLY AT THE FRONT OF THE STATION the route follows on by crossing the road (CAUTION this is a very busy road) to the station infront of you and and continuing from the LEFT hand side of the portico.                                                                                                                                                                                                             WALKING AWAY FROM THE STATION toward The Royal Station Hotel. See next paragraph** Pass the Hotel and cross the small road (there will be a railway bridge over a tunnel on your left) usually a mass with taxis

Central Railway Station 1845-50. Currently (March 2013) under renovation.
View from the West.

CURRENT RENOVATION MAKES DIRECT ENTRY INTO THE STAION SOMEWHAT NOT AS YOU WOULD EXPECT! Following the original text below it is still possible to enter the Station by the East entrance or looking directly at the station the left side.                                                                                                                                           Designed by local architect John Dobson. The Portico dates from 1863. extended c.1890.Opened 1850 by Queen Victoria.. The design is of the classical style with ornamental work of the Doric Order. The portico leads into into the Station's main entrance. Inside there are cafes and other public refreshment facilities. On entering the main concourse turn left and wander through the pedestrian area to the easterly exit. Coming out of the exit turn right. **With The Royal Station Hotel on the right.       You are now walking on the course of the Roman Wall.Pass the Hotel and cross the small road (there will be a railway bridge over a tunnel on your right) usually a mass with taxis The second building on the right is the Headquarters of Newcastle's Literary and Philosophical Society.

The Literary and Philosophy Building  1825. A grade II listed building. Open daily (not Sun.).
Guided tour (subject to staff availability)
0191 277 8011.Nearby is a plaque describing the course of The Roman Wall at that point.
Literary and Philosophical Society.

The Lit and Phil. is a modern subscription lending library, founded in 1793 with the aim of teaching and educating the population of Newcastle. It has a large collection of books, a children's library, an extensive fiction collection, current academic journals and popular magazines, as well as 19th century periodicals. Past Presidents include Robert Stephenson, Joseph Swan.

Out of The Lit & Phil: Turn left...WALK BACK. and on your right you will see on the other side of the road a monument dedicated to George Stephenson. You are now to cross the road to the monument and cross the road at the other side of the monument to get to St John's Church. Walk back toward the Station hotel. CAUTION this is a very busy road 'Cross over to the monument.'

Stephenson's Monument- 1862. Railway Pioneer.

Many comments have been made on the way the railway pioneer has his back to the Main Railway Station. At his feet are four occupations which endorse the success of the North East at that time. The railway engineer, the track-layer, the coal miner and the blacksmith.
Whilst on the traffic island (monument area) you will see in front of you on Westgate Road the Wetherspoons Pub and the left of the pub graveyard of St.John's Church. You need to be (safely) on the same side of the road as the Church. Cross over and visit the Church.

St. John's Church 15C  (added to in 1848)

See the excellent woodwork and stain glass windows--City Crest. Come out of the main entrance Church turn right. Cross Grainger Street. Some distance in front of you will see Cowen's Monument. Walk on toward the monument, follow the pavement as it bears right onto Fenkle Street. You will now be outside , Cowens Monument, The Old Assembly Rooms and Cross House.

Cowen's Monument. 1906. Cowen was a Popular MP for Newcastle 1873-1886 and owner of Newcastle Chronicle Newspaper, gave money for the Tyne Theatre and Opera House. First in the North to Show 'Talkies'.

Old Assembly Rooms built 1774-1776'A banqueting centre of unique elegance' Tel: (0191) 232 8695 & 232 4165                                                                                Still used for functions, has Georgian style ballrooms with ornate ceilings on the first floor with seven magnificent 'original' crystal chandeliers. Open daily.

Cross House.  1900 Opposite Old Assembly Rooms. First built 1775 as a mansion. In 1755 the First (second oldest provincial bank in UK) replaced the mansion. Demolished and rebuilt 1911with recent refurbishment showing fashionable Portland Stone. Tragic fire in 1911, 11 died.

Continue away from Cowens monument on Fenkle Street toward Clayton Street (the next junction).

Clayton Street (mid 19th C) Continue to the junction with Clayton Street and turn right. Continue along Clayton Street. Part of Grainger's new town. The tall neo-classical structures are at least twice the height of Grainger's previous buildings. Visit the shops. Many of which are charity related. Larger shops include Poundstretchers.                 At the end of Clayton Street turn left onto Newgate Street.

Newgate Street and 'The Gate'

Turning left continuing to the junction with Low Friar Street (bridge over road on the left). Here stood a Gallows and a large outdoor market.17c. The area was later, long after the markets demolition, marked with a large white cross believed to signify the centre of the old Town within the walls. On the opposite side of the road is the south entrance to the Eldon Shopping Mall.
At Low Friar Street is the 'The Gate' recently opened... a, sport, leisure, restaurant and shopping complex.

Newcastle Gate Information.

Walking further on, on Newgate Street on the same side as The Gate will pass a massive building currently unoccupied which was the HQ and department Store of The Newcastle Cooperative Society, The Co-op store... Co-op department store built 1931-32

Local Co-op History. (Facilities, café). Very dignified frontage with twin towers and simple lines.
Walk on a little and you are back at St. Andrew's Church. The walk is now complete.                                                                                                  


© 2004 –  2014