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Learning about Geordie History at Newcastle Castle

I’ve never understood why anyone would ever say ‘It’s grim up North’ but then I learnt about the ancient history of Newcastle at the newly re-opened Newcastle Castle and I think I may have stumbled across a few reasons…

castle exterior

As I explored the renovated rooms of the Black Gate and the Castle Keep (which have been brought together under the joint name of Newcastle Castle) I read about the outlaws and gang members that had been imprisoned in The Pit and the gruesome punishments they endured. I heard about the poor children who had suffocated while working as chimney sweeps. I also found myself squirming with disgust as I learnt of a time during the Middle Ages when the moat of the castle was used a ‘midden’, a place where people went before they had toilets! Eurgh!

Well you’ll be pleased to hear that despite the sites rather grim past and the fact the historical buildings were nearly demolished during the development of the city, Newcastle Castle is now a thriving visitor attraction!

Thanks to a £1.6 million revamp it can be enjoyed for many more years to come and facilities such as an audio-visual presentation, an external timber-clad lift plus toilet, buggy parking, shop and reception area mean it’s much more accessible too!

castle 2

The view from the roof is well worth the climb!

The only thing you might miss out on if you have mobility issues is the magnificent view from the roof of the Keep. It’s a snug spiral staircase with 99 steps to the top but it’s certainly worth the effort! I’ve highlighted some great vantage points of the city in previous posts, the view from fifth floor of Baltic, the rooftop of The Vermont and of course the top of Grey’s Monument being some of my favourites… but I think it’s safe to say that Newcastle Castle has the best cityscape views of all!

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I’ve been to Newcastle Castle twice since it re-opened in March, on one occasion it was bright and sunny and on the other it was grey and blustery but I can honestly say I enjoyed both visits thoroughly, I particularly loved the detailed ceiling in the chapel pictured above!

I’m sure I’ll be back for a third time soon as I’ve only scratched the surface with how much there is to uncover of Newcastle’s fascinating past and I just can’t get enough of that magnificent view from the roof!

By Rachel Kershaw
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Rachel Kershaw

I'm a proud ambassador for all that's great about Geordieland and love sharing the best of what NewcastleGateshead has to offer. I may not be a Geordie born and bred but I've lived here for a over a decade and am proud to call this fabulous region my home!

4 Comments

  1. We loved our trip – definitely on our list for top recommendations in the city! There was a lot to explore – almost a new surprise around every corner. I want to see your rooftop selfie! LOL

    • Ha ha you really don’t Samantha, on my first visit it was really sunny so I’m totally squinting and the second time it was quite windy so my hair was all over the shop! Maybe next time x

  2. This looks brilliant! I love old structures where you can go up high and get great views! 🙂

    http://www.gingerbreadsmiles.co.uk
    xox

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