Fraggle Report~ Saltwell Towers & Park~April 2017~part 1

The History Bit

Saltwell Park is a Victorian park in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England. Opened in 1876, the park was designed by Edward Kemp and incorporates the mansion and associated grounds of the Saltwellgate estate owner, William Wailes, who sold his estate to Gateshead Council for £35,000. Upon opening, it became known as “The People’s Park”. The park was expanded in 1920 when the council purchased the adjacent gardens to the Saltwell Grove estate and added these to the park. This extended the park’s total size to 55 acres. Towards the end of the 20th century, the park had fallen into disrepair, but between 1999 and 2005, it was subject to a £9.6 million restoration project, funded collaboratively by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Gateshead Council and is now host to around 2 million visitors per year.

The park is split broadly into three sections. Saltwell Grove, the southern section, is an area of grassed open space with a bandstand to the western corner. The central area contains the centrepiece of the park – Wailes’s former home, the Grade II listed Saltwell Towers and its surrounding belvedere walls. These have been fully restored and are now a visitor centre. There are also three war memorials, a yew-tree maze, a dene and an area containing several species of caged animals known as Pet’s Corner. The largest section of the park is the Northern Fields section which contains a four-acre boating lake with a wooded island at its centre, as well as three bowling greens and two pavilions.

Sophie and I have visited Saltwell before though I haven’t done a report on it before that I can find, so I am combining photo’s from the two outings, but Sophie and I went this weekend specifically to photograph the wonderful path of cherry blossom trees that appears at this time of year. But other stuff first!

Saltwell Towers

Saltwell Towers, former home of William Wailes and later to lawyer Joseph Shipley (founder of the nearby Shipley Art Gallery), was the seat of the former Saltwellgate estate and has been described by a BBC report as a “fairytale mansion”. The building is a dark red and yellow brick construction with asymmetrical towers, tall chimney stacks and corner turrets. It has been used for a number of purposes, including as a hospital during the First World War and as a museum from 1933 to 1969, but was then abandoned and fell into considerable disrepair. However,after a £3 million,five-year refurbishment programme the restoration was completed in 2004.

There is a Boer War memorial in the central section of the park around 100 metres south of Saltwell Towers. This consists of a bronze angel perched on a granite plinth and is dated 1905.

The Charlton Memorial Drinking Fountain, a stone and granite fountain inscribed in memory of George Charlton, the mayor of Gateshead between 1874–75.

The ‘Salte Well’ at the west entrance to the central section of the park is dated 1872 and is a sandstone construction with a basin in the central alcove.

There have been animals kept in Saltwell Park since June 1877 – initially, these included monkeys, deer and a raccoon. Caged animals are still kept in the north-east of the park in an area called “Pets Corner”, where there are a peacock and peahen, pheasants, rabbits and guinea pigs kept in a pair of aviaries built in 1880 and paid for by John Elliot, then chief constable of Gateshead. The aviaries are stone and wrought iron, octagonal constructions which were listed at Grade II by English Heritage in 1973.

I don’t like to see caged birds in such a small enclosure. Plus the spaces between the bars make for impossible photography!

The principal feature of the northern section of the park is a boating lake. This has been in situ since a tender to install a 4 acres lake with an island in the centre was accepted in August 1880.

More to come, so stay tooned!

 

Bridges over the River Tyne~ finale

Part 1 HERE. Part 2 HERE. Part 3 HERE & 4 HERE 

Some more pictures of the Market on the quayside by the Bridges

Flower stall

Hearts of gold

coming or going

beads

Loved the mirrors this guy was making

lovely little details

Biker boys

View of 5 of the bridges taken on the millennium bridge

So that’s the lot, new report next time 🙂

stay tooned!

Bridges Over the River Tyne~ Part 4

Part 1 HERE. Part 2 HERE. Part 3 HERE

After crossing back to the Newcastle side of the swing bridge, we walked down to the millennium bridge.  A Sunday Market is held on the quayside every week we were of course distracted by all the wares and people, so took our time and took some photo’s.

I think Gypsy Rose Lee had a very large family 😉

I have no idea where the horse was!

Theres always a busker~this chap had a really nice voice

Some interesting food stalls

Some traditional Geordie bangers

Pease pudding is a thing up here

Lunch queue

No queue, but he looked happy enough

HUGE cheese sandwich

Roast Pork burgers

Wiga Wagaa chilli stall

Next time we’ll look at the arts and crafts and get to the Millennium bridge.

 

 

Bridges Over the River Tyne ~ Part 3

Part 1 HERE.   Part 2 HERE

After we got to the end of the High Level Bridge it was time to go to lunch, and we found a fab little cafe called Long Play Cafe, as well as serving great food and coffee, they have a record deck and loads of music on vinyl which you can play if your sitting next to the deck

After lunch we walked to the Swing Bridge and went across it and back again.

The hydraulic power still used to move the bridge is today derived from electrically driven pumps. These feed a hydraulic accumulator sunk into a 60 foot (18 m) shaft below the bridge; the water is then released under pressure which runs the machinery to turn the bridge. The mechanism used for this is still the same machinery originally installed by Armstrong. It has an 281 feet (85.6 m) cantilevered span with a central axis of rotation able to move through 360° to allow vessels to pass on either side of it.The previous bridge on the site was demolished in 1868 to enable larger ships to move upstream to William Armstrong’s works. The hydraulic Swing Bridge was designed and paid for by Armstrong, with work beginning in 1873. It was first used for road traffic on 15 June 1876 and opened for river traffic on 17 July 1876. At the time of construction it was the largest swing bridge ever built. The construction costs were £240,000.The Swing Bridge stands on the site of the Old Tyne Bridges of 1270 and 1781, and probably of the Roman Pons Aelius. It is a Grade II* listed structure.

On the way over

View from the Swing bridge, of the Tyne Bridge and Millennium Bridge

Looking the other way, the Queen Elizabeth 2nd bridge and King Edward V11 bridge beyond it.

On the way back

View of the Castle at the end of the bridge

After we left the bridge we had a wander around the quayside and saw the old Fish Market building

The Fish Market in Victorian times (post 1880 when it was built) on the Quayside near the Guildhall. As the commercial heart of Newcastle moved away from the Quayside so did the traders and the Fish Market moved, during the twentieth century until 1976 it was on Clayton Street, From 1876 the Fish Market moved to the Green Market, part of the new Eldon Square.

Today it is difficult to know where the fish market is.Neptune looks across the Tyne from the top of the old Fish Market, erected in 1880. Also note the larger than usual sea-horses supporting the city arms above the door. This building had been unused for over a decade, but it now rejoins the commercial activity of the area, this time as a high class ale house for the booze sodden partygoers that make the nightly pilgrimage to this centre of revelry.

The upper storey of this building used to house the Town Court, and the Mayor’s Chamber. It is decorated with heraldic devices and scenes from Newcastle’s history, topped by a hammer beam roof.

Then we went on to walk down to the millennium bridge, but as it was Sunday there was a market on and we got distracted by it 🙂 so that will be the next part of our visit to the bridges.

Stay tooned!

(info re Fish Market from http://www.seenewcastle.com)

Bridges Over the River Tyne~part 2

Part 1 HERE

After crossing to the Gateshead side of the Tyne Bridge we walked down to get on to the High Level Bridge, along the way stopping to take some photo’s of ‘the sights’ 🙂

The Central is a four-storey, wedge-shaped, mid-Victorian building, designed in 1856 by local architect M Thompson. It was built as commercial premises for Alderman Potts, a wine merchant; it became a hotel around 1890 then was refitted in the early 1900s. Various alterations were made to the pub in the 1950s and again in the 1980s, mostly of an unsympathetic and almost crude nature, but since the Hexham-based Head of Steam group took it over in October 2009 it has been slowly and carefully restored, replaced and refitted many of the original features in the Grade II-listed structure. I’ll have to pop in for a glass of something some day!

The Central

 

one of it’s windows

 

The High Level Bridge is a road and railway bridge spanning the River Tyne between Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead in North East England. It is considered the most notable historical engineering work in the city. It was built by the Hawks family from 5050 tons of iron. George Hawks, Mayor of Gateshead, drove in the last key of the structure on 7 June 1849 and the bridge was opened by Queen Victoria later that year.It was designed by Robert Stephenson to form a rail link towards Scotland for the developing English railway network; a carriageway for road vehicles and pedestrians was incorporated to generate additional revenue. The main structural elements are tied cast iron arches.Notwithstanding the considerable increase in the weight of railway vehicles since it was designed, it continues to carry rail traffic, although the King Edward bridge nearby was opened in 1906 to ease congestion. The roadway is also still in use, although with a weight restriction. It is a grade I listed structure.

as we walked through the bridge we came across sections with ‘love-locks’ attached

nearly at the Newcastle side of the bridge

at the end of the bridge the view  back to the Tyne Bridge

Then it was lunchtime and on to the Swing Bridge, that’s for next time,

Stay tooned! 🙂

 

 

Fraggle Report~ Bridges over the River Tyne~ February 2017~part 1

Sophie and I have started going out again for photo shoots now that winter is (supposedly) behind us, and in February Sophie wanted to ‘do’ the bridges over the Tyne. The weather was cool but with blue skies so off we went.

History Bit

The Tyne Bridge is a through arch bridge over the River Tyne in North East England, linking Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead. It was designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson, comparably to their Sydney Harbour Bridge version.These bridges derived their design from the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City. The bridge was completed on 25 February 1928, and officially opened on 10 October by King George V and Queen Mary, who were the first to use the roadway, travelling in their Ascot landau. The opening ceremony was attended by 20,000 schoolchildren who had been given the day off. Movietone news recorded the speech given by the King.
The Tyne Bridge’s towers were built of Cornish granite and were designed by local architect Robert Burns Dick as warehouses with five storeys. But the inner floors of the warehouses in the bridge’s towers were not completed and, as a result, the storage areas were never used. Lifts for passengers and goods were built in the towers to provide access to the Quayside; they are no longer in use.

This was the first bridge we walked over, taking pictures of the views across the rooftops and of the other bridges.

As you walk up to the bridge, the Cale Cross building looms above you. An environmentally friendly (hmm) office building housing loss adjusters, insurance consultants and accountant types, great views from the top I should think.

On to the bridge and you can see the Sage concert hall through it to the left.

Looking over the rooftops

chim-chim-cheree

Roof garden 🙂

Looking back towards Dean Street

Nice stone work

View of the Swing Bridge, The High Level Bridge and the blue Queen Elizabeth 2 metro bridge behind it.

Sailors

The top end of the Cathedral can be seen poking above the roof tops, you can see pictures and read about the cathedral HERE

The Moot Hall is a Georgian building dating from 1812, with the courtrooms restored to Victorian design from 1875. Described on completion as the most perfect specimen of Doric architecture in the North of England, the Moot Hall has a columned portico to the front, whilst the design of the rear is based on the Parthenon in the Athens. You can see Newcastle Castle behind it and see & read about it HERE

and finally looking back from the end of the bridge to Newcastle.

Next we move on to the High Level Bridge, but that’s Part 2 for another day 🙂

Stay tooned!

Tynemouth Murder Mystery Tour~ Part 3

Part 1 HERE Part 2 HERE

On our way back to Tynemouth metro station I took some more incidental shots, and shots for our clues,

 

Percy Argyle was the answer to one of our clues 🙂

just flowers

and a fence of course

TLC needed!

On the way back to the station..

Tynemouth Metro station is a station on the Tyne and Wear Metro network. It was designed by William Bell and is a Grade II* listed building. As well as serving the Tyne and Wear Metro, it hosts a number of permanent businesses, and a weekly market.  One of the oldest stations on the Tyne and Wear network, Tynemouth Station was opened by the North Eastern Railway in 1882.

Lots of interesting stalls and people

and that’s the end of this report!

We found our murderer 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tynemouth Murder Mystery Tour ~Part 2

Part 1 HERE

Tynemouth Boating lake was made in Victorian times, you can row around it and it’s home to swans and ducks and other watery birds, and as one of our clues was found there I took a few shots , there was a dramatic sky that day!

These chaps run the boat hiring.

Police box 16 which has been up for sale since 2015 and as far as I know is still available!

 

Part of our quest involved a long walk along the coast, in the picture below you can see South Shields and Herd Groyne lighthouse

a panorama of the same view, these are taken from the Collingwood statue

This chap was a member of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and is taken outside of their museum, he kindly pointed to the clue for us 🙂

Commanding the attention of all shipping on the Tyne is the giant memorial to Lord Collingwood, Nelson’s second-in-command at Trafalgar, who completed the victory after Nelson was killed. Erected in 1845, the monument was designed by John Dobson and the statue was sculpted by John Graham Lough. The figure is some 23 feet (7.0 m) tall and stands on a massive base incorporating a flight of steps flanked by four cannons from The Royal Sovereign – Collingwood’s ship at Trafalgar. That’s Sophie on the steps.

 

That’s part 2 done, more yet to come, stay tooned 🙂