Newcastle-Lpon-Tyne (anc. Pons Aelii, afterward Monkchester), a municipal and parliamentary borough and river port of England, the chief town of Northumberland, on the left bank of the Tyne, 8 m. from its mouth in the North sea. and 250 m. N. N. W. of London: lat. 54° 58' N., lon. 1° 35' W.; pop. in 1871 128,443. It is built on three steep hills, and extends about 2 m. along the river, com-raunicating with Gateshead on the opposite bank by a handsome stone bridge. A few remains of its ancient fortifications are yet stand-ing. The streets are generally spacious, well paved, and lighted with gas, and many of the buildings are elegant. The old quarters have been largely rebuilt within a few years, and now present some of the finest streets and squares in the kingdom. A handsome edifice was erected in 1859 for public baths and wash houses. The "high level bridge" across the Tyne, built by Robert Stephenson, is supported by six massive piers 124 ft. apart, and has a carriageway 90 ft. above the river, and over that a railway viaduct at a height of 118 ft. from the water. There are many hospitals, asylums for the deaf and dumb and. the blind, learned and scientific societies, and a fine-art institution.
The museum of the antiquarian society has the largest collection in England of Roman lapidary inscriptions and sculptures. The old castle, built in 1080 by Robert, eldest son of William the Conqueror, has been recently restored in many parts, and is one of the finest specimens of castellated Norman architecture in the kingdom. A theatre, a music hall, and assembly rooms are the principal places of amusement. There are three daily and five weekly newspapers. The manufactures, which are extensive, are glass of all kinds, iron ware, locomotives, railway and other carriages, paper, copperas, coal pitch, spirits of tar, varnish, soda, whiting, glue, vinegar, and soap. The Elswick iron works, erected in 1859 for the manufacture of the Armstrong gun, iron bridges, and armor for iron-clad ships, cover an area of 11 acres. Connected with them are shot, shell, and fuze factories, and a mechanics' literary institution for the benefit of the workmen. Ship build-ing is prosecuted on a large scale, and the construction of iron steamships is a prominent branch of industry. The harbor has been much improved by dredgimr, and there is a tine quay 1,550 ft. long. The traffic is principally in coals (bituminous), for which Newcastleis the greatest mart in the world.
The coal trade seems to have been important from the wry earliest period of the town; the burgesses obtained from Henry III. in 1239 a license to dig the coals within the borough, and by the time of Edward I. the business bad grown to such consequence that Newcastle was able to pay a revenue of £200. In 1615 the trade employed 400 ships, and extended to France and the Netherlands. The exportation of coke is also important, amounting to more than 200,000 tons annually. Lead is shipped in large quantities; it is brought from Cumberland and the hills of western Northumberland and Durham, and is exported both in pigs and manufactured. This traffic is still more ancient than that in coals. The imports are chiefly agricultural products, wine, spirits, colonial produce, tallow, hides, tar, pitch, limestone, bones, bristles, rags, oil, and timber. The following statement shows the movement of shipping in the foreign trade for the year ending Jan. 1, 1874:
Besides the above there is a large number of vessels engaged in the coastwise trade. The total value of foreign and colonial imports in that year was £5,018,926; the exports of the produce of the United Kingdom amounted to £6,803,819. - Newcastle derived its ancient name of Pons Aelii from a bridge over the Tyne attributed to the emperor Hadrian, and its subsequent one of Monkchester from its monastic establishments. The holy well of Jesus Mound (now called Jesmond), about a mile from the town, was a favorite resort for pilgrims. During the reign of Charles I. the city was taken by the Scottish army under Lesley in 1640, and again in 1644. The borough is governed by a mayor, 14 aldermen, and 45 councillors.