Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a city and county, on the north bank of the Tyne, 275 miles from London, 117 from Edinburgh, and 10 from the German Ocean. It is the seat of a bishopric founded in 1882, and it returns two members to parliament. Pop. (1801) 28,294 ; (1841) 71,850; (1881) 145,359; (1901) 215,328. The city, built for the most part on steep slopes and gently rising ground, abounds in contrasts, such as the grim old keep and the High Level Bridge; the modern Grey Street and the ancient Side; the stately stone buildings erected by Grainger and the half-timbered Elizabethan houses with projecting stories and latticed casements; the Elswick Works, a mile in extent, and Jesmond Dene, one of the loveliest ravines in the country ; the closely-packed hillsides and the rolling expanse of common called the Town Moor. The church of St Nicholas, now the cathedral, said to have been founded in 1091, was destroyed by fire in 1216. The present building belongs to the Decorated and Perpendicular periods; the nave and transepts dating from 1359, the chancel from 1368, and the tower with its beautiful architectural crown from about 1435. The reredos was erected in 1888. There is also a Roman Catholic cathedral (1844), from designs by Pugin.
The central part of Newcastle with its stately and ornate buildings is a monument to the genius of Richard Grainger (1798-1861). Grey Street and Grainger Street, built in 1834-38, are the finest thoroughfares in the city. Monuments have been erected to Earl Grey (1838) and George Stephenson (1862). With the town-hall (1863) are associated the corporation offices and the corn-market. Other public buildings are the guildhall (1658) and exchange on the Sandhill, the Moot Hall (1810), the general post-office (1876), the central police-courts (1874), the jail (1823-28), the Wood Memorial Hall (1870), the Trinity House (chapel, c. 1651; hall, 1721 ; almshouse, etc, 1782-95), the Central Exchange News-room and Art Gallery (1838), the Assembly Rooms (1774-76), the (branch) Bank of England (1834), the Royal Arcade (1831-32), the Butchers' Market (1835), and the barracks (1806). There are two theatres. The museum of the Natural History Society (1883-84, costing £42,000), contains collections of British birds, fossils from the coal-measures, and a unique series of Bewick's drawings. The Literary and Philosophical Society (1793) has a library of about 40,000 volumes. The public library (1881) contains over 70,000 volumes. The College of Medicine (1851) and the College of Science (1871) are both affiliated to the university of Durham : the College buildings were opened in 1888, and have since been greatly extended. The Royal Free Grammar-school, founded in 1525, has since 1870 occupied new premises. Among benevolent institutions are the Royal Infirmary (1751), the Jesus Hospital (1681), the Keelmen's Hospital (1701), the Trinity Almshouses (incorporated 1492), the Northern Counties Institution for the Deaf and Dumb (1861), the Fleming Memorial Hospital (1887), and the Northern Counties Orphan Institution (1876). The Central Station in Neville Street (1850: remodelled 1893-94) is a great railway terminus. The public pleasure-grounds of Newcastle are the Town Moor (987 acres), Castle Leazes, and Nuns Moor, the Leazes, Elswick, Brandling, Heaton, and Armstrong Parks, the Cruddas recreation-ground, and Jesmond Dene. For the Armstrong Park and Jesmond Dene, Newcastle is indebted to Lord Armstrong.
Newcastle is connected with Gateshead by three bridges: (1) the High Level Bridge, erected in 1846-49 from the plans of Robert Stephenson and T. E. Harrison, at a cost of £491,153; it is 1337 feet long, and consists of six cast-iron arches, which, springing from piers of solid masonry, support a railway at a height of 112 feet and a roadway at a height of 83 feet above high-water. (2) The Swing Bridge, erected 1868-76, at a cost of £233,000, on the site of the Roman, mediaeval, and 18th-century bridges; the movable portion, which weighs 1450 tons and is 281 feet long, is worked by hydraulic machinery. (3) The Red-heugh Suspension Bridge, erected 1868-71, at a cost of £35,000, is 1453 feet in length. The port of Newcastle is a very ancient and important one. Since 1840 some 100 million tons of stuff have been dredged from the bed of the river, which is now navigable by large vessels to Elswick. The quay is about 1540 yards in length. Since the 13th century the chief trade of Newcastle has been in coal. In shipbuilding, the river Tyne is second to the Clyde. The principal manufactures of Newcastle are locomotive and marine engines, machinery, heavy ordnance, carriages and harness, white and red lead, sheet and pipe lead, glass of various kinds, earthenware, chemical manures, alkali, cement, bricks, tiles, fireclay goods, colours, shovels, grindstones, wire rope, nails, sails, etc. The works of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell, & Co., founded in 1847, comprise blast-furnaces, engine-shops, foundries, and steel-works. Since the amalgamation of the original firm with that of C. Mitchell & Co., in 1882, several war-ships have been completed at Elswick, the largest the ill-fated Victoria. Newcastle is the birthplace of Lords Eldon and Col-lingwood, Mark Akenside, Hutton the mathematician, and Lord Armstrong. Under the Romans the high ground overlooking the river near the castle was the site of the military station of Pons Aelii. At the time of the Conquest it was a monastic settlement, known as Monk-chester. Robert Curthose in 1080 constructed a fortress here ; but the present Norman keep was built between 1172 and 1177 at a cost of £911, 10s. 9d. In 1644 Newcastle, which had declared for the king, was besieged for ten months by the Scots under General Leslie. Tragic events were the visitations of the Asiatic cholera in 1831 and 1853, and the great fire of 1854. See works by Gray (1649), Bourne (1736), Mackenzie (1827), Welford (3 vols. 1884-87), Charleton (1885), and Boyle (1890).