The New Castle, Keep & Black Gate -Newcastle upon Tyne - Northumberland

The New Castle,(Keep and Black Gate)

Newcastle upon Tyne

Location OS Landranger sheet 88 NZ 250638

How to get there Beside the High Level bridge

The Keep built between 1168-78 by Henry II, The Black Gate Built 1247-50

The Castle is in the custody of the Society of Antiquaries and administered by Newcastle City council

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The south postern and curtain wall
Click above image for wide view of the Black Gate

NZ 250638/Museum/Access

The Castle was founded in c1080 by Robert Curthose the eldest son of William I.

It was in the possession c1086 of Robert de Mowbray  who had been created Earl of Northumberland and it remained so until he rebelled in 1095 was defeated and the castle forfeited by William II. The Scots held it in Stephen’s reign and the defences were rebuilt by Henry II in the 1160s and 1170s. It was repaired again in 1270-1 when there was  danger of a Scottish attack. Robert Maudit the then Sheriff in 1334 advised Edward III that since Bannockburn the castle buildings had deteriorated  were in need of £300 of repairs. Following repairs in 1336-8 the sheriff was ordered to stop the townspeople from tipping rubbish into the castle ditch.

By 1589 the castle was described as “old and ruinous”. In 1618 Alexander Stephenson, page of the King’s bedchamber was given lease of the castle precincts. Houses were erected in the bailey and close by the walls.

The top of the now roofless keep were formed into a garden in the 18th century. It was re-roofed in 1819. Despite work c1847 by the Society of Antiquaries about £500,000. was spent by the local council on restoring the keep between 1967 and 1989. The keep a square tower of three floors composed of sandstone with ashlar dressings is now a museum.

At the North end of the Castle site is the "Black Gate" built by Henry III in 1247-50. This formed the main entrance to the court. It is named after Patrick and Barbara Black who owned it briefly on the 17th century.

In the Second century the Roman Wall certainly met the Tyne at this location and work continues to determine the line of the wall though this part of Newcastle.

{Castrum de Novo-Castro sup Tynam}
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