Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Village' in the City Has So Much Going for It; Historic, Characterful and Bags of Charm Are Just Some of the Words That Could Be Used to Describe Spital Tongues. Aranda Garrard Finds out More

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Village' in the City Has So Much Going for It; Historic, Characterful and Bags of Charm Are Just Some of the Words That Could Be Used to Describe Spital Tongues. Aranda Garrard Finds out More

Article excerpt

Byline: Aranda Garrard

ANYONE looking for a substantial family home within easy access of the city centre, Royal Victoria Infirmary and Newcastle University, would do well to view some of the period townhouses available for sale in Spital Tongues. Spital Tongues offers a more tranquil side to city life, and is also a more affordable option compared to the main 'it' areas such as Newcastle's city centre and Jesmond.

There is an array of unusual and characterful period properties within Spital Tongues, including The Windmill, in Claremont Road, designed by John Smeaton and built in 1782. The Grade II listed building is a reminder of the time when grain for Newcastle's bread was ground locally.

Today it is the city's only surviving mill. The mill has featured in fashion shoots, pop videos and TV programmes, as well as playing host to a plethora of London fashionistas such as Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood. The Clothes Show filmed a menswear feature there, scenes from Channel 4's Firm Friends were shot there and it's been the backdrop for a Jimmy Nail pop video. The windshaft and cap were removed in 1951 and the building has been extensively restored since 1975.

Spital Tongues is also home to the listed Victoria Tunnel which opened in 1842 to transport coal from the colliery to the Tyne. It runs for more than two miles under the city's streets and highways.

The tunnel entrance in Ouse Street, behind the Hotel du Vin, has survived because it was on private land in the garden of a now demolished house.

During the Second World War it served as an air raid shelter for up to 9,000 people.

It was forgotten at the end of the war, but now a 700-metre stretch of the tunnel, between Ouse Street, in the Lower Ouseburn Valley, and the Tanners Arms, at the top of Stepney Bank, is being reopened for several tours a week led by heritage volunteers.

Because the tunnel is a confined space, tours are limited to 10 visitors and booking is essential. …

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