Gateshead shown within Tyne and Wear
|Population||78,403 (2001 Census) |
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||Tyne and Wear|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Tyne and Wear|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear, England and is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead. Historically, it was part of County Durham prior to the creation of Tyne and Wear in 1974. The large urban town lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite Newcastle upon Tyne and together they form the urban core of the Tyneside conurbation. Gateshead and Newcastle are joined by seven bridges across the Tyne, including the landmark Gateshead Millennium Bridge. The town is well known for its 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 Ætheling and Malcolm king of Scotland (Shakespeare's Malcolm) on Gateshead Fell (now Low Fell and Sheriff Hill).
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. An alternative spelling may be "Gatishevede", as seen in a legal record, dated 1430. 
The earliest recorded coal mining in the Gateshead area is dated to 1344. 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 medieval 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.
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 '30s 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. 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 historic 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.
One of the most distinguishing features of Gateshead is its topography. The land rises 230 feet from Gateshead Quays to the town centre and continues rising to a height of 525 feet at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Sheriff Hill. 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.
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. 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.
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 closeness to the town centre and because they are in the same contiguous urban area.
Given the proximity of Gateshead to Newcastle, just south of the River Tyne from the city centre, it is sometimes referred to as being a part of Newcastle. Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council teamed up in 2000 to create a unified marketing brand name, NewcastleGateshead, to better promote the Tyneside conurbation. A resident of Gateshead outside the North East of England would most likely say they are from Newcastle, as it is largest and most recognized city in the region. Within the North East however, they would usually state that they live in Gateshead or more specifically give their neighbourhood within the town, such as Deckham or Dunston.
The town of Gateshead consists of the following districts. 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 Quays
- Gateshead town centre
- Salt Meadows
- Sunderland Road
- Windmill Hills
- Mount Pleasant
- Carr Hill
- Sheriff Hill
- Beacon Lough
- Eighton Banks
- Low Fell
- Leam Lane
- Felling, Tyne and Wear
- Harlow Green
- Team Valley
- Lobley Hill
- Windy Nook
- Metro Centre
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.
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, dominated the town centre for many years until its demolition in 2010. A product of attempts to regenerate the area in the 1960s, the car park 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. The car park was scheduled for demolition in 2009, but this was delayed as a result of a disagreement between Tesco (who plan to re-develop the site) and Gateshead Council. The council had not been given firm assurances that Tesco would build the previously envisioned town centre development which was to include a Tesco mega-store as well as shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, offices and student accommodation. The council effectively used the car park as a bargaining tool to ensure that the company adhered to the original proposals and blocked its demolition until they submitted a suitable planning application. Demolition finally took place in July-August 2010.
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.
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 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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. The town presently has a number of notable and large churches of many denominations.
The Bensham district is home to a community of Orthodox Jews consisting of 259 families and is referred to as Little Jerusalem by its non-Jewish residents. Within the community is the Gateshead Yeshiva, the largest Yeshiva in Europe, and other Jewish educational institutions with international enrolments. 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.
- Eliezer Adler - Founder of Jewish Community.
- Marcus Bentley - Narrator of Big Brother
- William Booth - Founder of the Salvation Army
- Catherine Booth - William's daughter. Known as 'La Marechale' she founded the Salvation Army in continental Europe
- Mary Bowes - The Unhappy Countess author and celebrity
- Ian Branfoot - Football manager
- Andy Carroll - Footballer
- Frank Clark - Footballer and manager
- David Clelland - Labour politician and M.P.
- Joseph Cowen - Radical politician
- Steve Cram - Athlete Middle distance runner
- Emily Davies - Educational reformer and feminist. Founder of Girton College Cambridge
- Daniel Defoe - Writer and government agent
- Ruth Dodds - Prominent politician, writer and co-founder of the Little Theatre
- Jonathan Edwards - Athlete and television presenter
- George Elliot - Industrialist and M.P.
- Paul Gascoigne - Footballer
- Alex Glasgow - Singer/songwriter
- Avrohom Gurwicz - Rabbi, Dean of Gateshead Yeshiva.
- Leib Gurwicz - Rabbi, former Dean of Gateshead Yeshiva.
- Jill Halfpenny - Actress
- Chelsea Halfpenny - Actress (niece of Jill Halfpenny)
- David Hodgson Football manager.
- Sharon Hodgson - Member of Parliament
- Norman Hunter - Footballer. Member of 1966 World Cup winning England squad.
- Don Hutchison Footballer
- Brian Johnson - AC/DC frontman
- Tommy Johnson Footballer, ex Celtic.
- Howard Kendall - Footballer and manager
- John Thomas Looney - Shakespeare scholar
- Gary Madine - Sheffield Wednesday Footballer
- Justin McDonald - Actor
- Lawrie McMenemy - Soccer manager/pundit
- Robert Stirling Newall - Industrialist
- Bezalel Rakow - Communal rabbi
- John William Rayner - Flying ace and war hero
- James Renforth - Oarsman
- Sir Robert (Bobby) Robson - football player/manager, notably for England, across Europe, and Newcastle United
- William Shield - Master of the King's Musick
- Christina Stead - Australian novelist
- John Steel - Drummer, The Animals
- Steve Stone - Footballer
- Sir Joseph Swan - Inventor of the electric light bulb
- Chris Waddle - Footballer
- William Wailes - Stained glass maker
- Taylor Wane - Adult entertainer
- Robert Spence Watson - public benefactor
- Sylvia Waugh - Author of the 'Mennyms' series for children
- Chris Wilkie Born in Gateshead, plays guitar in the internationally successful band Dubstar.
- Peter Wilson Born in Gateshead, played for Gateshead F.C, captained Australia.
- Thomas Wilson - Poet/school founder
- (William) Robert Wood - (migrated to Australia 1963) - activist and senator
An 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". 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.
- Census 2001 Neighbourhood Statistics[dead link]
- Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; CP 40 / 677; National Archives; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no677/aCP40no677fronts/IMG_0752.htm; last entry on the image, the home of William Philypson, a tanner.
- "First shots revealed of Gateshead's future". The Evening Chronicle. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
- "Layout 1" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "Windy Nook Nature Park Local Nature Reserve". Gateshead.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- "FOI 106152 released information" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Collett, Christopher (2008-04-10). "Good Riddance to the Gateshead Multi-Storey Car Park". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "Historic car park finally closes". BBC News. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Adrian Pearson (2009-12-14). "News - Chronicle News - Council blocks Get Carter car park demolition". ChronicleLive. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- [dead link]
- "News - Chronicle News - Dunston Rocket will not be listed by English Heritage". ChronicleLive. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "Business Intelligence Annual Report 2009" (PDF). Nexus. p. 64. Retrieved 9 March 2010.[dead link]
- "2 Related Thesaurus Terms". Isee.gateshead.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "Cycle Gateshead - The Definitive Guide". Cycle-routes.org. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "Cycle Gateshead - Keelman's Way Introduction". Cycle-routes.org. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "Cycle Gateshead - East Gateshead Cycleway". Cycle-routes.org. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "Cycle Gateshead - West Gateshead Cycleway". Cycle-routes.org. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "Cycle Gateshead - Durham Roads". Cycle-routes.org. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- Pictures of various churches in Gateshead
- "gatesheadchurches.org.uk". gatesheadchurches.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- Bloxham, Andy (20 June 2008). "Celebrities refused entry to Britain". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
- Boggan, Steve (23 January 2007). "Come to lovely Gateshead - if you can get past immigration". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
- Gateshead Council Local government web site
- Gateshead Heritage @ St Mary's Heritage Centre website
- Images of Gateshead - 
- Friends of Red Kites - Details about the reintroduced kites in the Derwent Valley, Gateshead
- Saltwell Park Community Portal Gateshead News and events from Saltwell Park