Newburn is a semi rural parish, electoral ward and former urban district in western Newcastle upon Tyne. Situated on the North bank of the River Tyne, it is built rising up the valley from the river. It is situated approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from the city centre and 14 miles (23 km) east of Hexham. In the 2001 census, the population was given as 9,301, increasing to 9,536 at the 2011 Census.

Historically, the area was larger than Newcastle upon Tyne as it was the most eastern fordable point of the River Tyne. The area has Roman remains, and a Norman church dating from 1070 AD. In 1640, the Battle of Newburn took place. The area grew with the Industrial Revolution with the discovery of coal, and in 1822 Spencer's Steelworks was opened, which grew to a size which led the area to be known colloquially as New Sheffield, after the town famed for its steel making prowess. The town's steelworks fell into decline after the First World War, and the area is now home to a country park and various leisure facilities.


Though some claim the area's name comes from the Old English for "New Fort or Castle" (burh or burg being the Old English for fort or castle), the name is more commonly thought to have come from the Dewley or New Burn, which runs through the area. This is somewhat substantiated by the fact that the settlement was recorded as Neuburna in 1121, rather than Neuburh.

Newburn was originally considered to have pre-eminence over Newcastle, as Newburn was the first point up from the mouth of the river that was fordable. The Romans marked this ford with a framework of stones, and may have built a fort to command the crossing. The area has other Roman connections, with the route of Hadrian's Wall cutting across its northern half, before running toward Throckley. From the eighth century, Newburn was a royal vill or town, and Newcastle didn't become a more important settlement until Plantagenet times.
Between 1332 and 1974 the Percy family were associated with Newburn, and Hugh Percy was the last to inherit Newburn Manor House, which was built in the 16th century. Also in the area at this time was Newburn Hall, which was built in the 15th century.

On 28 August 1640, the Battle of Newburn took place. The Scottish Covenanters, led by Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven, planted guns at Newburn to protect them while fording the river, after which they defeated the English on the south side of the river at Stellahaugh, and subsequently occupied Newcastle upon Tyne. The Scottish claim this occupation to have been the prologue to the English Civil War. The name of Scotswood, one of the manufacturing areas between Newburn and the city centre, commemorates one of their positions.

Newburn and nearby Lemington had always been considered among the greenest areas of Newcastle, and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the majority of vegetables supplied to local markets came from Newburn and Hexham. Prior to the early 19th century, the majority of employment in the Newburn area was for fishermen, keelmen and miners.

The district has many associations with the early development of the railway. The famous engineer George Stephenson, who was born in Wylam a few miles to the west of Newburn, was twice married in Newburn Church, though he is buried in Chesterfield in Derbyshire, and worked in the Water Row pit in Newburn. The area is also the birthplace of an earlier steam pioneer William Hedley, whose first locomotive Puffing Billy was built in 1812, two years prior to his rival's first locomotive Blücher. A gravestone in Newburn churchyard marks his burial in 1843. The future railway engineers Joseph and George Armstrong both lived in the village from 1824, and found their first employment at nearby Walbottle Colliery.

In 1855, William Whellan's History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland described the banks of the Tyne at this point having extensive iron works, coal staithes, brickyards, chemical works and other manufactories.

In 1822 John Spencer established Newburn Steelworks in a small mill for grinding files, on the Dewley Burn in the north of Newburn. Over the course of next hundred or so years his mill grew to take over much of Newburn as the demand for steel boomed with the growth of railways and other industries. By the late 19th century, the works had spread to the east of the area along the banks of the Tyne to such an extent Newburn Hall was "embedded" in them. In 1916 the mill had a weekly output of 1,500 tons. Steel plates for the liner Mauretania were made by Spencers. However the industry was hit hard by the depression after the First World War and the steel works closed between 1924 and 1926, despite a large effort to raise £75,000 needed to save the works. The works' large number of 130-foot (40 m) high chimneys were demolished in 1933. A number of buildings connected with the works still stand today, although with new uses, including two large sheds which are now owned by H. Pringle, used as a large indoor scrapyard, and offices which are now used by the Multi-Lab company.

In the 1850s, the Newburn Brickworks was built as part of the North Wallbottle and Blucher Colliery Company. The works were situated near Spencer's early mill in the north of Newburn. It was connected to the colliery at Blucher by a small railway, which continued onto the staithes at Lemington. Newburn bricks were mainly used for industrial buildings such as sewers, tunnels and arches. The works closed in 1965 and demolished in 1979 to make way for a council-run recycling centre. Its sister plant, Throckley Brick Works, still operates.

In the early twentieth century, around 4,000 people lived in the area. A working men's club was built, comprising a library, reading rooms and lecture rooms for community meetings. By 1925 the building was used as a dole office, and in 1990 adapted for use as a residential care home.

In 1922, Newburn U.D.C. High Street Fire Station was built. The building still stands today, but the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service moved to West Denton in December 1980.

Description courtesy of Wikipedia.

26th December 2018

The River Tyne at Newburn.

All of these photographs were taken from the other side of the Tyne.

20th October 2018

The River Tyne at Newburn.

22nd January 2015

Water Row, The Boathouse Public House.

Public house. Circa 1830. Coursed squared sandstone with pecked ashlar dressings and quoins; Welsh slate roof with stone gable copings,and ashlar plinths to ashlar left and yellow brick right end chimneys. 2 storeys, 3 windows.

Central joined boarded door: in stop-chamfered alternate-block surround; chamfered surrounds also to paired ground-floor sashes and to first-floor sash windows, the right boarded up, one with glazing bars. Ground floor string. Roof has triangular-section gable coping resting on moulded kneelers. Left chimney corniced.

Right quoins incised with flood level marks 1856, 1830, 1815 and 1771. Tyne and Wear County Council plaque at left commemorates association of George Stephenson with Water Row pit, where from 1798 to 1801 he was in charge of Robert Hawthorn's new pumping engine and his father, Robert, was fireman.

Historical note: The 1771 flood reached unprecedented heights and destroyed Newcastle bridge.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Station Road.

A horse on land which was once Newburn Station.

16th August 2013

The Old Neolith Building.

The River Tyne at Newburn.

Newburn Bridge.

Newburn Bridge (Toll) was a simple girder bridge consisting of four 100 feet spans in lattice steel, with rivetted trusses supported on pairs of cylindrical wrought iron piers filled with concrete.

The bridge was designed by Messrs J W Sandeman and J M Moncrieff of Newcastle for the Newburn Bridge Company, and built in 1893 by Head Wrightson of Thornaby on Tees. The road deck stood 21 feet (6.4 metres) above high water. It incorporated a 22 inch (0.56 cm) water main on either side and was originally a toll bridge. It is noteworthy for the depth of the foundations. Each pier consists of a pair of 5 feet diameter cylinders of wrought iron plating filled with concrete. The maximum depth to which they are sunk is 71 feet below high water or 97 feet below roadway level where rock was reached.

Source: Sitelines.

2nd February 2012

Water Row, The Boathouse Public House.

11th March 2011

Almshouses, High Street.

This group of 12 almshouses was built in 1870 by R J Johnson at the expense of Hugh Taylor for 6 inhabitants of Newburn, 3 of Earsdon and 3 of Shilbottle. They are of brick with ashlar-coped plinth, bands and dressings. They have a graduated Lakeland slate roof with ornamental ridge tiles and stone gable copings.

They comprise one storey and attics; there are 3 bays to each house. There is an enamel street name at the left side.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Newburn Institute.

This Working Men's Institute had a reading room, library and meeting rooms. The large clock was a benefit to railway passengers at the nearby station. The clock mechanism stopped working when the institute was hit by lighting {Rippeth 1993}.

Built by Thomas Spencer in 1884 as an institute for the workers of Spencer and Sons' Steelworks, which was operational from 1810 to 1929. The building was later used as a club, snooker hall, dole office then a residential care home. The institute provided baths, lavatories and washing facilities in the basement.

On the ground floor there were meeting and games rooms and a library. There was a large lecture hall on the first floor. Recorded in 2006 due to proposed demolition - brick building of eight bays in Flemish bond. Decorated with terracotta bands and decorative raised brick courses on its east and south faces. The north and west sides, which were away from the public gaze, are plainer.

The building is rectangular, with an ornamental east front flanked by two pyramidal-roofed towers. The central door has a sandstone surround under a carved brick inscription with the monogram TS for Thomas Spencer and the date AD 1884. The stone staircase that led to this door has been replaced by a modern conservatory. In the south wall there is a second inscription on a foundation stone which reads 'THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY MRS WILBERFORCE OF BENWELL TOWER ON THE 1ST MARCH 1884'. Mrs Wilberforce was the wife of Dr Ernest Roland Wilberforce, the first Bishop of Newcastle upon Tyne.

On the south wall the ground and first floors are separated by terracotta panels, decorated with a stylized mistletoe motif, between moulded brick string courses, the lower with a dentil course. The ground floor windows have sandstone sills and lintels. Apart from a pair of segmental-arched windows in the westernmost bays, the basement openings are small. The lower part of the wall has been cemnet rendered. The first floor windows have stone sills and shallow segmental arches of tapered stretchers in soft fine red bricks. In the jambs, these bricks form mouldings that run round the arches. Between the second and third and the fourth and fifth bays from the east end, there are shallow projecting flue-backs. These rise from moulded brackets near the top of the ground floor windows and are decorated with projecting vertical ribs of brick headers. The chimneys have been removed.

A clear straight joint in the north wall suggests that the western bay is an addition to the building. The joint coincides with an usually thick internal wall. There are signs of a blocked up ground floor window in the fourth bay.

The east face is the principal façade. Square towers at either side are lit by single windows. There are recessed lancets above. Between the towers there are two rows of three arched windows, set between pilasters. The upper row might have lit a gallery at the back of the main hall.

There is a Potts clock in a brick and sandstone oculus at the centre of the gable. The mechanism is still in place. It is driven by a weight consisting of a galvanized can for water or sand, suspended from the top of the first truss in the roof space. Above the clock is a stepped cornice of moulded brick. The terracotta decoration runs across the face of the building above the front door, where the motif is a stylized poppy-head. The faces of the tower are decorated with projecting bands of soft red brick.

Inside the original staircase survives, with an open string with simple decoration on the ends of each step. Some original balusters survive. The banister has gone but the newel knob is set on a new post. There is a cornice in the ground floor lobby. From the lobby, a central passage ran west to a large room and to either side of the passage there were smaller rooms with fireplaces. Upastairs the landing gave access to a large hall. The very thick wall at the west end of this room has doors in its north and south ends, implying a central stage.

Source: Sitelines.

Newburn Library.

Newburn Road.

Newburn Community Centre.

Alnwick Street.

Newburn Motor Museum.

31st July 2010

High Street, The Duke of Northumberland's House.

This house, dated 1822 on a panel over the door, was built for the Duke of Northumberland during the bailiffship of Hugh Taylor.

It is of coursed squared sandstone with pecked quoins; the first bay is set back, raised to 2 storeys in brick on the stone ground floor. It has a pantiled roof with flat stone gable copings to the main house, Welsh slate to the wing, and quoined rubble chimneys. It is of 2 storeys with 3 bays, and a set-back left wing of two storeys and one bay. Above the door is a moulded surround around a raised crescent inscription (the Northumberland family emblem). Two foot scrapers, one cast iron and one wrought iron, flank the door.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

12th September 2009

Newburn Bridge.

The River Tyne at Newburn.

26th May 2008

Newburn Bridge.

25th May 2008

Newburn Manor Primary School.

26th March 2007

Station Road.

Almshouses on the High Street.

Station Road, Newburn Hotel.

The Newburn Hotel was built in 1894 and stood close to the former Newburn Station and may have been intended to accommodate business visitors to the former Spencer's Works.

It is built in a free broadly Jacobean style, of orange brick with ashlar dressings, and a green Lakeland slate roof, with stepped-and-corniced stacks, two to the west wing; one to the east and one at the east end of the central block. The building is of an irregular H plan; the two wings barely project towards the south and both return outwards at their north ends.

On the north of the main building is a yard, with a former coach house range on the north, with a further yard enclosed by single-storied stables to the west; the west side of the building overlooks a garden.

The building has overall been altered little externally but has been considerably remodelled internally, although the prinicpal staircase remains an attractive feature. The hotel also has a range of outbuildings including a former coach house and lower building to the east.

The buildings were recorded in 2012 by The Archaeological Practice Ltd. ahead the redevelopment of the hotel and the construction of houses in the hotel garden.

Source: Sitelines.

Newburn Road, War Memorial.

War memorial circa 1916. Rock-faced painted stone plinth on sandstone steps; bronze plaques; painted stone statue.

Soldier trailing rifle, mortar and reel of cable behind left leg; wreaths on 2 plaques, bearing names of dead of Newburn and District in World War One. Plaque on steps THEIR NAMES SHALL LIVE FOREVER. Rectangular stone pillar in Portland Stone, surmounted by a figure of a soldier in WW1 battle dress. There are bronze commemorative plaques set into recesses on 3 sides of the pillar. A fourth plaque was either removed or never fixed (there are fixings in place).

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Percy Terrace.

Newburn Road.

7th August 2006

Newburn Bridge.

Old Neolith Building Roof.

River Tyne at Newburn.

More Information:
See my other photos around Newburn:


Unknown said...

Excellent photographs, just needed one of Mayfield Avenue, as my grandparents lived there! Thank you though. Best regards Cosette

TeeJayBlog said...

I would love to see some photos of Millfield, where I grew up. It was right next to Spencer’s works

TeeJayBlog said...

I would love to see some photos of Millfield where I grew up. The Spencer’s works was at the bottom of our street.

Newcastle Photos said...

I'm not sure when I will next get to Newburn next but if you give me a street name I will add it to my list as I can't find Millfield on a map.