Art Holiday Travel and Vacation information for Tyne and Wear

"NEWCASTLE, or Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is situated among steep hills, on the Tyne, which is here a fine and deep river; so that ships of 3 or 4 hundred tons burden may safely come up to the town, though the large colliers are stationed at Shields. It is a very secure haven, and is defended by Clifford's Fort, which effectually commands all vessels that enter the river. The town may be considered as divided into two parts, of which Gateshead, on the Durham side, is one; and both are joined by a fine stone bridge consisting of 9 arches. The town rises on the north bank of the river, where the streets upon the ascent are exceedingly steep. Many of the houses are built of stone, but some of them are timber, and the rest of brick. The castle, which is old and ruinous, overlooks the whole town. The exchange, church-houses, and other public buildings, are elegant; and the quay for landing goods is long and large. Here is a hall for the surgeons, a large hospital, built by the contribution of the keel-men, for the maintenance of the poor of their fraternity; and several other charitable foundations. It is situated in the centre of the great collieries, which have for centuries supplied London, all the eastern, and some of the midland and southern parts of the kingdom with coal. This trade has been the source of great opulence to Newcastle; which, besides, exports large quantities of lead, salt, salmon, butter, tallow, and grindstones. Ships are sent hence to the Greenland fishery. It also possesses manufactories of steel, iron, and woollen cloth; and in the town and neighbourhood are several glass-houses. The streets in the old part of Newcastle are unsightly and narrow, but the newer parts are handsome and commodious. Newcastle is 270 miles from London. Markets, Tuesday and Saturday. Population, 49,860." [From Barclay's Complete and Universal English Dictionary, 1842]