Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland

Five Essential Stops in the North East UK for Architecture Lovers

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The North East is home to some very remarkable structures and historical sites, and their architecture serves as a powerful symbol of the region’s rich history. It should come as no surprise that we, as North East architects, appreciate fine buildings. We are fortunate to be in a part of a region that has so many magnificent structures.

We can all be proud that the North East of England is home to some truly outstanding examples of architectural design.Read on for our recommendations for the top five places to go in the North East if you enjoy seeing and learning about impressive structures:

grey street north east uk

Grey Street

Grey Street, sometimes called “the nicest street in the country,” is an architectural lover’s paradise. Grey Street, in the centre of Newcastle, is lined with beautiful specimens of Georgian architecture and should be visited by any tourist in the area.

Grey Street isn’t the only attraction in the neighbourhood, either; Grainger Market, the Theatre Royal, Grainger Street, and Clayton Street are all worth checking out as well. Approximately 40 percent of the buildings in the region have been designated as having architectural or historical significance, making it a haven for architecture buffs.

Built in 1838 to honour the Reform Act of 1832, Grey’s Monument serves as the street’s centerpiece. Many unique bars, cafes, restaurants, galleries, and stores can be found along the well-known thoroughfare.

durham north east uk

Durham

For those interested in architecture, a visit to Durham is highly recommended. Durham is home to a wide variety of impressive structures, each with its own story to tell through its design. Durham Cathedral, the city’s most recognisable landmark, played a pivotal role in a religious architecture revolution that spread throughout Europe.

The construction of Durham Cathedral featured a number of groundbreaking architectural techniques that ultimately altered the appearance of all future Christian cathedrals. The cathedral’s nave vault is the most notable part of its design since it is the earliest stone vault of its size to survive anywhere in the world. Due to the inadequacy of semicircular arches, which had been utilised in all prior projects, the pointed arch was first successfully used as a structural feature in Durham Cathedral.

Durham Cathedral isn’t the only place in town with a stunning panorama to offer architecture buffs, though. Durham Castle, a magnificent example of Norman construction, was constructed beginning in 1072 and continuing for four years. The Palace Green Library is an outstanding 15th-century complex of buildings that is well worth seeing if you want to learn more about Durham’s rich past and unique character.

Trinity College, one of the University of Durham’s many buildings, was originally founded as a college for Benedictine monks in 995 and is now one of the top universities in England. Trinity College students dine in “The Great Hall,” a large, oak-paneled room decorated with portraits of the famous scholars of Trinity’s past.

Other attractions include Bede’s World and the Beamish Museum, both of which are great for learning about Durhams history. If you’d like to learn more about Durhams rich past and unique character, I recommend a visit to the Palace Green Library.

kielder north east uk

Kielder

Tourists go to Northumberland’s Kielder, site of Europe’s largest artificial lake, for the region’s spectacular water sports and other attractions. In addition to its beautiful landscape and several hiking trails, Kielder Water & Forest Park is also home to the Kielder Observatory. Kielder has the clearest night sky in England, so it would be a great place for an observatory.

Those interested in both astronomy and architecture will find a paradise at Kielder Observatory. The building itself is made entirely of timber, and it is the first observatory to employ a land-pier design. The innovative observatory uses only renewable energy sources like wind and sun to run, winning design accolades along the way.

tynemouth

Tynemouth

Tynemouth Castle and Priory is one of the most important historical buildings in England.

Set out into the North Sea, the headland of Tynemouth provides natural defences to the north, east, and south. Several ancient structures, including a monastery built between the sixth and seventh centuries AD, have called this coastal area home. Tynemouth Castle and Priory is a beautiful piece of architecture made up of many different buildings, some of which date back to the Iron Age.

After the priory was dissolved, the area around Tynemouth Castle and Priory was fortified with defensive walls and eventually turned into a royal castle. Because of the multiple changes made to the building over the years, it is an unusual example of architecture.

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle is one of Northumberland’s most recognisable landmarks.Bamburgh, Northumberland’s most famous town, is a must-see for everyone with an appreciation for beautiful buildings. Although the current Bamburgh Castle is a relatively new construction, there have been human settlements on the site since prehistoric times, and the castle was originally home to the rulers of ancient Northumbria.

In the late 1800s, the current Bamburgh Castle was built by the first Lord Armstrong. He not only amassed considerable wealth but also constructed the magnificent Cragside Mansion, grounds, and estates.

Over 2,000 pieces of porcelain, furniture, weaponry, armor, and artwork fill the castle’s 14 public rooms. In the midst of the Wars of the Roses, artillery finally ended Richard Neville’s nine-month siege of this impressive Grade I-listed building.

When you can find time from your family vacation, visit Bamburgh Castle in England’s far northeast.


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