There are two remaining parts of the “new” castle that gave the city its name, the Black Gate (in my main photo) and the Keep (photo 2).
The Castle was founded by Robert Curthose, the eldest son of William the Conqueror in 1080 and was like many Norman castles of the motte and bailey type. The original would have been made of wood, and it was rebuilt in stone during the reign of Henry II, between 1168 and 1178, with the addition of a keep. During the reign of Henry III between 1247 and 1250 the Black Gate was added. When the town wall was completed in the mid 14th century the castle became isolated within the new defences, and as early as 1589 was being described as old and ruinous.
The Black Gate is roughly oval in shape and measures 50 feet by 34 feet, and today is used by the Society of Antiquaries as a meeting place and library.
The Castle Keep is a Grade 1 listed building, a Scheduled Ancient monument, and is open to the public 361 days of the year as a heritage visitor attraction. It is considered one of the best examples of its type in the country.
The keep would have acted as both the principal fortification of the castle and the dwelling of the commander of the garrison. It housed, on the ground floor, a great vaulted storeroom and a fine late Norman chapel, and on the first and second floors two suites of accommodation. Each had a hall, or public room, a solar or private room and latrines. Access between floors was by the great spiral stairs in the eastern angles, and from outside by an external stair to the second floor. On the same floor was a well nearly 100 feet deep.
There is also a virtual tour in the Garrison Room for people with disabilities who won't unfortunately be able to visit the upper floors.
Opening Times: October – April 9.30am-4.30pm (last admission 4pm), April – October 9.30am-5.30pm (last admission 5pm)
Admission is £1.50 for adults, 50p for children (under 5`s go free but must be accompanied by an adult)
The castle is open to the public - admission is £1.50 for adults. We didn't go in but on view apparently are the keep's two Royal accommodation suites, a public hall, a private room, the garrison room, and a Norman chapel. The castle roof I imagine will provide a spectacular view of Newcastle and all those bridges yet again!
This was originally the enntrance to the castle which gave NewCASTLE its name. Henry III had it built (1247-1250) to provide extra fortification to the entrance.It has had several uses over the years - tenements in the 17th century when the two stories were aded and more recently a bagpipe museum (no longer here)
This has to be the most overlooked piece of history in the world. Some life-long residents of the local area do not even know that the castle that gives the city it’s name is still there. A bit hard to find and a very steep walk upwards, it is worth the visit.
Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror built a castle here on return from a raid into Scotland. He built his “New Castle” on the site of the Roman fort of Pons Aelius. The `original was built of earth and timber and held a towering defensive position over the River Tyne. In 1095 it was seized by Norman barons under Robert De Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, during an uprising against King William Rufus. The king sent an army to put down the rebellion and the castle of Newcastle was forced to surrender. In 1172 King Henry II commissioned Mauricius Caementarius to rebuild the castle in stone. Most of the present day castle dates from this reconstruction.
Nearest Metro: Central station
Location: From Central Station exit on to Neville Street, cross over and carry on down Collingwood Street turn right down St Nicholas Street, Castle Keep is behind the Cathedral.
Opening Times: 1st October - 31st March 9.30am-4.30pm Closed Good Friday, 25th-26th Dec & 1st Jan. Last entry on 31st Dec 12.30.
Prices: £1.50 Adults, 50p Children/Concessions
From a street just off the quayside we climbed up quite a few steep steps to reach the castle which gave Newcastle its name. Not quite so new now, it was founded in 1080 by Robert Curthose, son of William the Conqueror, on the site of a Roman fort.
Wish those vans hadn't been parked there and the sun was the wrong angle for this pic :-S.
Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror's eldest son, built a castle in Newcastle on return from a raid into Scotland. As it was new he gave it the very imaginative name "New Castle".
Instead of tearing it down as planned when the railway line was built in the 1800s they built the railway line right through it.
The keep at Newcastle Castle is one the best surviving castle keeps in England. It was a principle strongpoint on high ground above the River Tyne and was built on the order of Henry II between 1168 - 1173.
The castle was also the dwelling of the chief constable who commandered the garrison and was also the centre of justice administration for Northumberland.
The castle was occasionally beseiged although construction was interputed in 1173 and again in 1174 by invasions of William of Scotland and his men. There were no further incidents until 1644 when the town was surrounded by the Scottish army for several months.
Today the castle is well worth an hours visit - the cost is £4.00 -mid 2012) and the views alone make a visit worthwhile.
Many steps and not disabled friendly.
This was built in 1168-78 by Henry II on the site of the 'New Castle' which was built in 1080 by William the Conqueror's son. There is quite a lot to see in the keep, including a museum, a Garrison room, Chapel and Great hall. You can also visit the roof for views over the River Tyne, but unfortunately we could not go up to the roof on our visit due to renovations, which made entry, which is usually £1.50, free.
Newcastle got its name from the "new Castle" founded in 1080.
The present castle keep dates back to the 12 and 13th centuries. The keep dominates what is left of the castle, and there is still a fine Norman chapel to be seen.
Admission is only ?1.50 and worth it for the magnificent views from the battlements.
What remains of the town walls of Newcastle date back to the late 13th Century. They were built to supplement the defences of the castle. When completed the walls extended for over two miles around the town and were never less than 7 feet thick and up to 25 feet high.
The Newcastle town wall consisted of six main gateways called Sand Gate, West Gate, New Gate, Pandon Gate, Pilgrim Gate, and Close Gate along with seventeen towers and a number of smaller turrets built as lookout posts situated at intervals between the towers and gates.
Today the most impressive surviving section of the old town wall is to the west of the city centre in the the vicinity of Stowell street where the remains of four towers may also be seen
This is the New Castle from which Newcastle gets it's name. It's not so new now of course, but it was when built in the late 11th century by Robert, eldest son of William the Conqueror, replacing the Roman fort of Pons Aelius which had stood on the site since the 2nd century AD. During the reign of Henry II the castle was expanded and this included the building of the Keep which still stands today. The barbican (or Black Gate) was added by Henry III in the mid 13th century and part of this also still stands.
You can freely wander through the Black Gate as it forms part of the street scene of Newcastle today but it is rudely seperated from the castle keep by a railway bridge carrying trains into Newcastle's Central station.
You can visit the interior of the Castle Keep and adult admission is £4 (at March 2012). Open Monday to Saturday 10 to 5 and Sunday 12noon to 5.
Insided the Castle Keep there is a museum on the first floor but I think the best parts are the Ground floor Chapel and the Great Hall on the Second floor. Of course, the roof is well worth a visit for some good views across the city.
Castle Keep Google Map
Black Gate Google Map
Built around 1247, this building used to be the medieval gatehouse to the castle. For over one hundred years it has been the residence of the Society of Antiquaries for Newcastle. The upper two stories were built in the 17th century. External viewing only.
THe castle is a spectal to see and a pleasure to climb the stairs upto the top and see the great view of the city and view the cannons still preserved on the top.
Special discounts for elderly, children and students (50P).
Quiet, out of the way of the main city yet easy access and close to the central train station.
"- A bit of history
The origins of the castle go back to 1080, when the eldest son of William the Conqueror founded a city at the old site of the Roman fort of Pons Aelius - this new castle gave the city its name. This was a motte and bailey castle, consisting of a fortified enclosure (with a timber palisade and enclosure ditch) - the ditch between the gatehouse and railway are the only parts of this structure that can still be seen today. "
The Town Walls in Newcastle was once defended by solid walls which ringed the town and throughout the city you will still see surviving towers and stretches of the 700 year old walls. You can view the remaining section of the wall behind Stowell Street.
The 'New Castle' which is where the City took its name, was built in 1080 by Robert Curthose, the who was the bastard son of William the Conqueror.
The original Castle was made from wood was entirely rebuilt in stone between 1168 and 1178 by Henry II. The present Keep, one of the finest examples of this type of Norman military.