newcastle heritage architecture

Lesser known but Interesting buildings in Newcastle

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Time goes by but many magnificent buildings are still standing tall in Newcastle. These wonderful buildings are not meant to be replaced by some boring idea of modern. We are going to travel around Newcastle and show you some magnificent buildings that have served the public so well for a long time.

blackfriars newcastle

Blackfriars

This incredible building dates back to 1239. Originally, it was home to the Black Friars. The building was donated by three sisters and funded by Sir Peter Scott, the first mayor of Newcastle.

The gardens around the building support plant life and were cared for by the friars. It offered shelter for the friars and even housed King Henry III as the town did not have an inn. Payments for his housing came in the form of white cloth which covered his stay and any damage caused by his entourage.

In turn, the white cloth was used to make tunics for the friars to wear with black cloaks. Rumor has it that the black and white clothing inspired the future football strip of Newcastle United Football Club, an English professional football club.

The building eventually fell into ruin as a result of King Henry VIII’s decree that all monasteries were to be closed. The friars lost everything and the church was demolished. The only buildings that remain of the cloisters are non-religious. The friary’s former dining hall did survive and today is a restaurant that seats 80 people. This is the oldest dining room in the UK.

The Toffee Factory - newcastle architecture

The Toffee Factory

What you probably don’t know, this building started off as a cattle sanatorium. The original buildings were built in 1877 and its U-shaped building, now known as the Toffee Factory, was built in 1878 after the completion of the other buildings.

The reason for this building is unclear but it’s believed by many that it was a place to slaughter diseased animals or possibly for increased storage.

In 1893, there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, ergo it was a slaughterhouse. At one time it served as a refrigerated transport facility. Eventually, the sanatorium was no longer used. At one point, it was used as a timber yard and saw-mill business. The sanatorium buildings were eventually used by R. Steenberg & Son from 1903 onward for warehousing and storage of goods such as lard and canned food. Even though the business operated for a number of years, they eventually moved out in the early 1990s.

While many of the buildings were torn down, the U-shaped building would eventually become the Toffee Factory. Maynard’s Ltd leased the building in 1906, for a variety of sweets including: Acid Drops – boiled sweets that are very sharp in taste. Black Bullets – peppermint-flavoured boiled sweets. Cloves – red and white striped candy. Pear Drops – pink and yellow sweets with a pear and banana flavour. Humbugs – black & white striped with a peppermint taste. Aniseed Balls – hard candies with aniseed oil for a strong flavour. Rock – hard candy sticks are usually sold in coastal areas.

After a major fire in 1993, the factory building was seriously damaged and abandoned for many years until it was refurbished in 2011. Now, it’s an office space that is home to many creative industries from advertising to design and heritage architects.

sallyport tower newcastle heritage architecture

Sallyport Tower

The tower was built around 1265 and 1307 and used to defend the city walls of Newcastle. The top of the tower was destroyed by the Scottish siege in 1644 then restored in 1716 and used as a meeting place for the Shipwright’s and Carpenter’s Guild.

Even though the tower has been standing for centuries, it has been ignored by the people of Newcastle. In 2015, photographer Kevin Radcliff acquired the building he named The Secret Tower. It’s been used as a space for his gallery and offers an area for photoshoots in-between bookings, including weddings.

To date, the Tower is open to the public twice a year for Heritage Open Days.

newcastles Royal Station Hotel

The Royal Station Hotel

The Royal Station Hotel is considered one of the most famous buildings in the area. The hotel welcomed many famous guests including Laurence Olivier, Laurel and Hardy, and Muhammad Ali. On top of that, probably the most famous guest was Queen Victoria who opened the premises in 1850. This magnificent building is nestled in Newcastle and is a top choice for weddings. due to its ornate structures, making it the perfect romantic spot. Adding to its traditional exterior, this A-One listing has many modern facilities including an indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a sauna, a hot tub, and free Wi-Fi.

The next time you want to visit a place you have never been before or have not for a long time, Newcastle should be on your list of must-see places.


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