Back in January Sophie and I decided to visit a couple of the art galleries in Newcastle, The Biscuit Factory – the biggest commercial art, craft and design gallery in the UK, and The Laing, home to an internationally important collection of art, focusing on British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver, and glassware.
But before we get to the galleries, we must get off the metro at Central station and walk to Ouseburn, there’s plenty of photo ops along the way. We get to the crossing over the central motorway, and before the crossing, we see The Oxford.
The Oxford Galleries dance hall on Newcastle’s New Bridge Street opened in 1925 and was one of the most popular venues of its time. Over the years it went through many reincarnations and was known to generations of dancers and partygoers as Tiffany’s, Ikon, Ritzy’s and Liquid Envy. In 2017, the building was converted into student accommodation with only its listed frontage remaining. There’s progress for you.
Looking back when crossing the motorway we see
am not sure but think this used to be a Premier Inn.
Over the motorway crossing, we can see the reason for so much student accommodation,
City Campus East, designed by Atkins, opened in September 2007, winning awards from The Journal newspaper and the Low Carbon New Build Project of the Year accolade. It t is home to the Schools of Law, Design and the Newcastle Business School.
There’s a saying in England- “It’s grim up North”…
As we walked past the college we realised there was a football match imminent.
There are a fair few historic buildings in this area of the Toon (as Newcastle is called by natives)
The Dispensary was established in April 1777 and funded through subscriptions, gifts and legacies. Its first site was in The Side but in 1782 or 1783 it moved to Pilgrim Street where it remained until 1790. For the next fifty years, the Trustees leased a building in Low Friar Chare. At the expiry of the lease, the Dispensary moved to 14 Nelson Street, where it remained until 1928. Its final move was to 115 New Bridge Street which was still its home when it finally closed in 1976. Now a Chinese store.
This former municipal washhouse and baths are located on the corner of Gibson Street and New Bridge Street in Newcastle. It was built in 1907 and designed by F H Halford. The baths had separate men’s and women’s entrances and are notable for its ornate tiles. The baths were closed in 1965 after which the pool was boarded over, and sometimes used as a badminton court. During the Second World War, the pool was used by the Fire Service as a reservoir, for water used to put out fires caused by air raids. The former baths are a Grade II listed building. I would love to go in as I’ve seen pictures of the inside, the tiles are gorgeous, but the council is trying to sell it off so it’s unobtainable for now.
next to it is St.Dominic’s Priory.
A Roman Catholic church, by Dunn and Hansom, it has a foundation stone dated 1887 and is a Grade II listed building.
Back over the road where there is more rather gaudy student accommodation
we saw a student at the window 🙂
and finally, we get to the Biscuit Factory
The gallery’s home is a former Victorian warehouse, constructed in 1870. Prior to 2002, the Building was used in the manufacturing of biscuits. Surprise surprise!
But that’s enough for today, stay tooned for next time when we will go and see the beautiful artworks and craftworks the gallery holds.