Thursday, 12 January 2012

Interesting little bits of history in my area: The Black Gate

The Black Gate in 1880
This and all of the old photographs in this post from this set on Tyne and Wear Archive's Flickr

A little while ago I posted some old photos of myself and some featuring some of the people I used to hang out with when I was in my mid-teens (it still feels like just yesterday, so hard to believe some of it was five or more years ago!) as part of the Goth meme.
One of my friends from then's dream was to be a model, and so we often spent our weekends together taking artsy shots of each other in the crumbly old bits of Newcastle Keep and the surrounding bits of the castle.

One of the places we often used is called "Black Gate", it's supposedly haunted by a man who lived there who used to throw people in the oubliette to rot (although the people who told me that aren't the most reliable of sources, so I should really do some research to find out if it's true. I do know some people that have had seriously nasty feelings around the place though).

Haunted or not, it made a very pretty backdrop to our photographs. Today I discovered quite by accident that our local Historians (Tyne and Wear Museums) are now on Flickr and have been uploading old photographs of Newcastle, among them are some old photos of The Black Gate taken in 1880.

So in 1880 there were shops in The Black Gate, my mam says when she was little there was a Museum there, although both are long gone now.
Sadly the shop front where that lady is standing in the old photograph seems to have been bricked up, it's been done quite well though as whoever did it used the same stone as was used to build Black Gate itself, I wasn't even aware there had been a shop front when we took this photo standing in approximately the same place as she stood in 1880.

This part of the Gate seems to be more or less the same as in 1880 though :)

Another place TAWM have a photo from 1880 of is the street up to Castle Keep (the most complete remaining part left standing of Newcastle's castle).
Those buildings on the right were apparently clog makers shops, both have now sadly fallen into ruin, even sadder still the remains appear to have been made from the same stone as the castle itself and are distinctly medieval  in structure (although from the picture they seem to have had some more "modern" adaptations to the shop fronts), they stood there from the time the castle was built and still looked fine in 1880 (which in the scheme of things really isn't that long ago), and yet now they are crumbling ruins.

I'm pretty sure looking at the old photograph it was taken under this archway looking up.

This is pretty much all that remains of the building closest to the camera.

See what I mean about the medieval walls? Such a shame, although nice to see that there are benches there now, and I know it is sometimes used as a picnic spot by babybats and slightly odd arty people :)

There is even less left of the building next door, just the wall that joins it to the other shop, this half a crumbling wall and a well (which is also supposedly haunted).

The Well.

Anyhow the old photos really interested me and I'm thinking of taking photos that are closer to where they were taken (and without me in way to much make-up) the next time I'm in town to compare properly.

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