Castle Keep, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

 Image of the Castle Keep at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in N.E. England

This evening, I am focusing on Castle Keep in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The City of Newcastle (in N.E. England) name emanates from this structure which was the second such medieval structure on the site, hence the ‘new castle’.

The site has experienced a succession of occupation and use for about 1900 years, viz:

  • Roman fort known as Pons Aelius ( 2nd-5th centuries AD)
  • Anglo-Saxon cemetery.
  • Site of original motte and bailey castle built by Robert Curthouse in 11th century.
  • Principal tower of existing Castle Keep built by Henry II 1168-78 and enlarged in 13th century.
  • Became isolated and redundant for military purposes in mid 13th century when city wall was completed and thereafter went into decline.
  • Used by Royalist forces during English Civil War in 17th century. 
  • Restored 19th century onwards.

The purpose of the structure was twofold: to provide a principal fortification strong point and residence for the garrison commander.

Today, the Castle Keep is a visitor attraction providing access over three floors including:

  • Chapel
  • Garrison Room.
  • Great Hall.
  • King’s Chamber
  • Well Room.

Location is central and close to the waterfront.


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