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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 54°57′N 1°36′W / 54.95°N 1.60°W / 54.95; -1.60

Newcastle Quayside with bridges.jpg
Gateshead Waterfront
Gateshead is located in Tyne and Wear

 Gateshead shown within Tyne and Wear
Population 78,403 (2001 Census) [1]
OS grid reference NZ2460
Metropolitan borough Gateshead
Metropolitan county Tyne and Wear
Region North East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NE8-NE11
Dialling code 0191
Police Northumbria
Fire Tyne and Wear
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament Gateshead
List of places: UK • England • Tyne and Wear

Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear, England and is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead. It lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite Newcastle upon Tyne and together they form the urban core of Tyneside. Gateshead town centre and Newcastle City Centre are joined by seven different bridges across the Tyne, including the landmark Gateshead Millenium Bridge. The town is becoming increasingly well known for several examples of iconic architecture such as The Sage Gateshead, the Angel of the North and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.



There has been a settlement on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne, around the old river crossing where the Swing Bridge now stands, since Roman times.

Theories of the derivation of the name 'Gateshead' include 'head of the (Roman) road' or 'goat’s headland', as the River Tyne at this point was once roamed by goats.

The first recorded mention of Gateshead is in the writings of the Venerable Bede who referred to an Abbot of Gateshead called Utta in 623.

In 1068 William the Conqueror defeated the forces of Edgar the Atheling and Malcolm king of Scotland (Shakespeare's Malcolm) on Gateshead Fell (now Low Fell).

During medieval times Gateshead was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Durham. At this time the area was largely forest with some agricultural land. The forest was the subject of Gateshead's first charter, granted in the 12th Century by Hugh du Puiset, Bishop of Durham.

The earliest recorded coal mining in the Gateshead area is dated to 1344.[citation needed] As trade on the Tyne prospered there were several attempts by the burghers of Newcastle to annex Gateshead. In 1576 a small group of Newcastle merchants acquired the 'Grand Lease' of the manors of Gateshead and Whickham. In the hundred years from 1574 coal shipments from Newcastle increased elevenfold while the population of Gateshead doubled to approximately 5,500. However, the lease and the abundant coal supplies ended in 1680. The pits were shallow as problems of ventilation and flooding defeated attempts to mine coal from the deeper seams.

William Hawks, originally a blacksmith, started business in Gateshead in 1747, working with the iron brought to the Tyne as ballast by the Tyne colliers. Hawks and Co. eventually became one of the biggest iron businesses in the North, producing anchors, chains and so on to meet a growing demand. There was keen contemporary rivalry between 'Hawks' Blacks' and 'Crowley's Crew'. The famous 'Hawks' men' including Ned White, went on to be celebrated in Geordie song and story.

Throughout the industrial revolution the population of Gateshead expanded rapidly; between 1801 and 1901 the increase was over 100,000. This expansion resulted in the spread southwards of the town.

In 1854, a catastrophic explosion on the quayside destroyed most of Gateshead's mediaeval heritage, and caused widespread damage on the Newcastle side of the river.

Robert Stirling Newall took out a patent on the manufacture of wire ropes in 1840 and in partnership with Messrs. Liddell and Gordon, set up his headquarters at Gateshead. A worldwide industry of wire-drawing resulted. The submarine telegraph cable received its definitive form through Newall's initiative, involving the use of gutta percha surrounded by strong wires. The first successful Dover-Calais cable on 25 September 1851, was made in Newall's works. In 1853, he invented the brake-drum and cone for laying cable in deep seas. Half of the first Atlantic cable was manufactured in Gateshead. Newall was interested in astronomy, and his giant 25-inch (640 mm) telescope was set up in the garden at Ferndene, his Gateshead residence in 1871.

Gateshead family, circa 1925[2]

In 1831 a locomotive works was established by the Newcastle and Darlington Railway, later part of the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway. In 1854 the works moved to the Greenesfield site and became the manufacturing headquarters of North Eastern Railway. In 1909, locomotive construction was moved to Darlington and the rest of the works were closed in 1932.

Sir Joseph Swan lived at Underhills, Kells Lane from 1869–83, where his experiments led to the invention of the electric light-bulb. The house was the first in the world to be wired for domestic electric light.

In 1835, Gateshead was established as a Municipal Borough within the historic County Durham. By 1889 it had been made a County Borough, but in the same year one of the largest employers, Hawks, Crawshay and Company, closed down and unemployment has since been a burden. Up to the Second World War there were repeated newspaper reports of the unemployed sending deputations to the council to provide work. The depression years of the 1920s and 30's created even more joblessness and the Team Valley Trading Estate was built in the mid-1930s to alleviate the situation.

In 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972, the County Borough of Gateshead was merged with the Urban Districts of Felling, Whickham, Blaydon and Ryton and part of the Rural District of Chester-le-Street to create the much larger Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead.

In the past decade, Gateshead Council has begun developing plans to regenerate the town, with the long-term aim of making Gateshead a city.[3] The most extensive transformation thus far has occurred in the Quayside, with almost all the structures there being constructed or refurbished in this time.


The town of Gateshead is situated in the North East of England in the ceremonial county of Tyne and Wear and within the historical boundaries of County Durham. It is located on the southern bank of the River Tyne at a latitude of 54.57° N and a longitude of 1.35° W.

Gateshead experiences a temperate climate which is considerably warmer than some other locations at similar latitudes as a result of the warming influence of the Gulf Stream (via the North Atlantic drift). It is located in the rain shadow of the North Pennines and is therefore in one of the driest regions of the United Kingdom.

Red: Pre-1974 County Borough of Gateshead
Blue: ONS urban sub-division of Gateshead
Green: Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead

One of the most distinguishing features of Gateshead is its topography. The land rises 70 metres from Gateshead Quays to the town centre and continues rising to a height of 160 metres at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Sheriff Hill [4]. This is in contrast to the flat and low lying Team Valley located on the western edges of town. The high elevations allow for impressive views over the Tyne valley into Newcastle and across Tyneside to Sunderland and the North Sea from lookouts in Windmill Hills and Windy Nook respectively [5][6]

The Office for National Statistics defines the town as an urban sub-division which largely shares the same boundaries as the historic pre-1974 County Borough of Gateshead [7][8][9]. However, the administrative divisions of the larger Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead do not correspond to these borders, meaning the town is almost entirely indistinguishable from surrounding areas in regards to local governance[10].

Unofficially speaking, the town of Gateshead typically refers to the urban area directly to the south of Newcastle City Centre as well as various surrounding suburbs. Felling, Heworth, Pelaw and Bill Quay, in a separate ONS urban sub-division and not part of the historical County Borough, are sometimes considered to be within the town of Gateshead due to their proximity to the town centre and because they are in the same contiguous urban area.


Trinity Centre Car Park in Gateshead town centre

The town of Gateshead consists of the following neighbourhoods. Some of them were once separate settlements that were absorbed by encroaching urban sprawl, while others consist entirely of retail, industrial and housing estates. Many of these areas overlap each other and their boundaries are by no means official or fixed.


Gateshead is the home of the MetroCentre, the largest shopping centre in the European Union. The Team Valley Trading Estate, initially the largest and still one of the largest purpose built commercial estates in the United Kingdom is located in Gateshead.


JB Priestley, writing of Gateshead in his "An English Journey" (1934) said that "no true civilisation could have produced such a town", adding that it appeared to have been designed "by an enemy of the human race". This dismal impression, typical of the author's view of industrial towns, has proved influential in defining the popular image of Gateshead. Much, however, has changed since his time.

Saltwell Towers

William Wailes the celebrated stained-glass maker, lived at South Dene from 1853-60. In 1860, he designed Saltwell Towers as a fairy-tale palace for himself. It is an imposing Victorian mansion in its own park with a romantic skyline of turrets and battlements. It was originally furnished sumptuously by Gerrard Robinson. Wailes sold it to the corporation in 1876 for use as a public park, provided he could use the house for the rest of his life.

The brutalist Trinity Centre Car Park, which was designed by Owen Luder, dominates the town centre. A product of attempts to regenerate the area in the 1960s, the car park is largely derelict but has gained an iconic status due to its appearance in the 1971 film Get Carter, starring Michael Caine. An unsuccessful campaign to have the structure listed was backed by Sylvester Stallone, who played the main role in the 2000 remake of the film [11][12]. The car park was scheduled for demolition in 2009, but this has not yet occurred and is behind schedule as a result of a disagreement between Tesco (who plan to re-develop the site) and Gateshead Council [13]. The council has not been given firm assurances that Tesco will build the previously envisioned town centre development which includes a Tesco mega-store as well as shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, offices and student accommodation [14][15]. The council is effectively using the car park as a bargaining tool to ensure that the company adheres to the original proposals and is blocking it's demolition until they submit a suitable planning application [16]. The surrounding buildings have since been demolished, leaving the car park to await it's fate in the midst of an otherwise vacant lot.

The Derwent Tower, another well known example of Brutalist architecture, was also designed by Owen Luder and stands in the neighbourhood of Dunston. Like the Trinity Car Park it has been ear-marked for demolition and has also failed in its bid to become a listed building [17].

The council has recently sponsored the development of the Gateshead Quays cultural quarter. The development includes the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, erected in 2001 which won the James Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2002. The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art has been established in a converted flour mill. The Sage Gateshead, a Norman Foster-designed venue for music and the performing arts opened on 17 December 2004. Gateshead also hosted the Gateshead Garden Festival in 1990, rejuvenating 200 acres (0.81 km2) of derelict land (now mostly replaced with housing).

Gateshead is also home to a number of public art works, including the The Angel of the North, one of Britain's largest sculptures, measuring 20 metres high with a 54 metre wing span. Designed by Antony Gormley it was erected in 1998. It is visible from the A1 to the south of Gateshead, as well as from the East Coast Main Line.

Other public art include works by Richard Deacon, Colin Rose, Sally Matthews, Andy Goldsworthy and Gordon Young.


Gateshead International Stadium regularly holds international athletics meetings over the summer months. It is also host to rugby league fixtures, and the home ground of both Gateshead Thunder Rugby League Football Club and Gateshead Football Club. Both clubs have had their problems: Gateshead F.C. were controversially elected out of the Football League to make way for Peterborough United in the 1960s, whilst Gateshead Thunder lost their place in Super League as a result of a takeover (officially termed a merger) by Hull FC. Both Gateshead clubs continue to ply their trade at lower levels in their respective sports, thanks mainly to the efforts of their supporters. The Gateshead Senators American Football team also use the International Stadium, as well as this is was used in the 2006 Northern Conference champions in the British American Football League. Gateshead Miners are Gateshead's first and only Aussie Rules Football team and compete in the Aussie Rules UK National League.


Tyne and Wear Metro stations at Gateshead Interchange and Gateshead Stadium provide direct light-rail access to Newcastle Central Station, Newcastle International Airport, Sunderland, Tynemouth and South Shields.

Gateshead Interchange is the busiest bus station in Tyne and Wear and was used by 3.9 million bus passengers in 2008 [18].

National Rail services are provided by Northern Rail at Dunston and MetroCentre stations. The East Coast Main Line, which runs from London to Edinburgh, cuts directly through the town on its way between Newcastle Central and Chester-le-Street stations. There are presently no stations on this line within Gateshead, as Low Fell, Bensham and West Gateshead stations were closed in 1952, 1954 and 1965 respectively [19].

Several major road links pass through Gateshead, including the A1 which links London to Edinburgh and the A184 which connects the town to Sunderland.

Various bicycle trails traverse the town, most notably the recreational Keelmans Way (National Cycle Route 14), which is located on the south bank of the Tyne and takes riders along the entire Gateshead foreshore [20] [21]. Other prominent routes include the East Gateshead Cycleway, which connects to Felling, the West Gateshead Cycleway, which links the town centre to Dunston and the MetroCentre, and routes along both the old and new Durham roads, which take cyclists to Birtley, Wrekenton and The Angel of the North [22] [23] [24].


Christianity has been present in the town since at least the 7th century, when Bede mentioned a monastery in Gateshead. A church in the town was burned down in 1080 with the Bishop of Durham inside. St. Mary's Church was built near to the site of that building, and was the only church in the town until the 1820s. Undoubtedly the oldest building on the Quayside, St Mary's has now re-opened to the public as the town's first heritage centre, Gateshead Heritage @ St Mary's.

Many of the Anglican churches in the town date from the 19th century, when the population of the town grew dramatically and expanded into new areas.[25] The town presently has a number of notable and large churches of many denominations.[26]

The Bensham neighbourhood is home to a community of Haredi Jews consisting of a few hundred families and is referred to as Little Jerusalem by its non-Jewish residents. Within the community is the Gateshead Yeshiva, one of the most important Yeshiva Gedolas in Europe, and other Jewish educational institutions with international enrolments. These include Tiferes Yaacov (a feeder Yeshiva for Shiur Daled - the higher education of Tiferes Yaacov); Sunderland Yeshiva (formerly of Sunderland), and Be'er Hatorah. Tiferes Yaacov is one of the most important Yeshiva Ketanas in Europe, with boys enrolling from all over the world. In addition there are two large female-only seminaries. Following the holocaust, the area became home to the largest Orthodox Jewish education complex in postwar Europe and the most significant outside of the United States and Israel.

Islam is practiced by a small minority of people in Gateshead and there is a Kurdish Mosque located in the Bensham area.

In the 2001 Census, more than 10% of people residing in the wider Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead stated that they practiced No religion.

Famous residents


A article in the Daily Telegraph stated that a woman was denied entry into England at some time prior to 2007 for giving her reason for visiting as wanting to go to Gateshead. "British visa officials ruled this as "not credible".[27]

The research into Britain's confused immigration policies was taken up by Steve Boggan in The Guardian in a piece dated 23 January 2007, which expressed incredulity at the ignorance of London officials, echoed by Newcastle-Gateshead tourism heads.

See also


  1. ^ Census 2001 Neighbourhood Statistics
  2. ^ Myers Family, Gateshead, UK. about 1915
  3. ^ "First shots revealed of Gateshead's future". The Evening Chronicle. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  4. ^
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  18. ^ "Business Intelligence Annual Report 2009" (PDF). Nexus. p. 64. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Pictures of various churches in Gateshead
  26. ^
  27. ^ Telegraph Article (relevant information found in final paragraph of article). [1]

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear in the northeast of England, situated south of Newcastle upon Tyne on the banks of the river Tyne.

Get in

Gateshead can be accessed from the north on the Tyne and Wear Metro from Newcastle. The metro goes to the main bus and metro interchange in the town centre. Also from Newcastle there are regular buses, which often carry on to most pasrt of Gateshead. From all other directions, the bus is the best option.

You can get a train to the suburb of Heworth. Alternatively, there are stations in Dunston, MetroCentre and Blaydon.

Get around

By metro

The metro provides easy access to several places in Gateshead (namely Gateshead, Felling, Heworth and Pelaw) and continues into South Tyneside and Sunderland in one direction and Newcastle in the other.

By bus

Bus services are also frequent. The convenient Quaylink bus service links various popular places in Gateshead and Newcastle.

On foot

Walking - around the riverside area is pleasant - crossing over to Newcastle.

Gateshead and Newcastle walking directions can be planned online with the [1] walking route planner.

  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • BALTIC - a fantastic and free modern art gallery on the bank of the River Tyne. There's a cafe on the ground floor, a posh restaurant the top floor and a balcony with stunning views over Gateshead and Newcastle.
  • The Sage Gateshead - a modern music arena, with two large concert halls, bars, restaurant, reference library, ... The Sage hosts a wide variety of musical talent, especially classical and folk.
  • The Metro centre - a huge indoor shopping centre


Usually a pub crawl starts around the Quayside, crossing between Gateshead and Newcastle. Common places include Buffalo Joe's and Baja nightclub, but if you prefer something more traditionl and enjoy real ale try The Aletaster in Gateshead or Bridge Hotel, Bacchus, The Bodega or Crown Posada all in Newcastle city centre just over the river.

  • Marriott at the Metro Centre.
  • Swallow Gateshead, near the quayside, [2].
  • Hilton, located on the banks of the River Tyne.
  • Legacy Springfield, on Durham Road, Low Fell, [3].
  • Several smaller B&Bs sporadically placed.

Get out

North East of England (see Newcastle_upon_Tyne)

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. A town in the county of Tyne and Wear in north east England. Found upon the southern bank of the Tyne.


  • 1830, John Yelloly, Sequel to a Paper on the Tendency to Calculous Diseases, and on the Concretions to Which Such Diseases Give Rise, in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 120
    Of this number, 64 belonged to the above district, including Newcastle, with the addition of Gateshead, which lies on the opposite bank of the Tyne, in the county of Durnham; and these afforded 2.13 cases per annum, which, as the population was 213,000, gave one case for every 100,000 inhabitants.



Simple English


Gateshead shown within Tyne and Wear
Population 78,403 (2001 Census) [1]
OS grid reference NZ2460
Metropolitan borough Gateshead
Metropolitan county Tyne and Wear
Region North East
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NE8-NE11
Dialling code 0191-4
Police Northumbria
Fire Tyne and Wear
Ambulance North East
European Parliament North East England
List of places: UKEngland • Tyne and Wear
Coordinates: 54°57′N 1°36′W / 54.95°N 1.6°W / 54.95; -1.6

Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear, England. It lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne, opposite Newcastle upon Tyne. Gateshead town centre and Newcastle city centre are very close to one another, and together they form the urban core of Tyneside. Gateshead is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead.


  1. Census 2001 Neighbourhood Statistics


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