Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle Castle: 10 Historic Facts; the Castle Keep and Black Gate Were Recently Re-Branded as Newcastle Castle. Here Are 10 Fun Facts on the Historic City Site

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle Castle: 10 Historic Facts; the Castle Keep and Black Gate Were Recently Re-Branded as Newcastle Castle. Here Are 10 Fun Facts on the Historic City Site

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE'S most historic buildings, the Castle Keep and its 13th century gatehouse the Black Gate, were once part of a much larger fortress.

Given its tumultuous history, it is miraculous that so much of Newcastle's castle has survived intact.

Open to the public on a daily basis, the two have been reunited as Newcastle Castle and offer a fascinating insight into the city's beginnings.

Here are 10 things you never knew - or maybe you did know - about Newcastle's Keep and Black Gate.

| 1. The site has been used for defensive purposes since Roman times. The name of the original fort, Pons Aelius, referred to the Roman name for bridge (pons) and the Emperor Hadrian whose family name was Aelius. Today, the buildings are marked by a replica altar outside the Keep.

| 2. The 'New Castle' (which gave the town its name) was founded in 1080 by the eldest son of William the Conqueror, Robert Curthose, and built using earth and timber. Between 1168 and 1178 the castle as we know it today was rebuilt in stone.

| 3. Iron sculptures of medieval archers guard the Castle Keep, as did English armies in the wars against Scotland. On Boxing Day, 1292 John Balliol, King of Scots, visited and reportedly paid homage to King Edward I, the 'Hammer of the Scots', in the great hall of the fortress.

| 4. The Black Gate reopened in March following a Heritage Lottery funded regeneration. Its name comes from 17th century leaseholder Patrick Black, who was one of the first to let the building out as tenements.

| 5. The castle was the last line of defence when the town was besieged during the English Civil War, eventually falling to Scottish forces allied with Parliament in October 1644. Graffiti from during this stand-off can still be found inside the Keep.

| 6. In 1733, a showman attempted to make a donkey 'fly' from the roof of the Keep. …

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