…and windmills aplenty.
It doesn’t sound like Newcastle city centre, does it? Yet a beautiful map from 1827 which was brought to the studio for treatment tells a very different and fascinating story of the city. Many of the now-renowned streets such as the famous Grey Street weren’t yet built but instead, fields were in their place. Small industries were dotted all over the town, giving it an energetic and industrious feel. Most incredibly, a river with gardens and wooded areas where Victorians would stroll and ‘take the clean air’ ran along the route of what is now the central motorway – populated only by speeding cars and derelict concrete buildings.
After receiving the map, I walked the streets of Newcastle with new eyes. The street names made a ‘new’ sense, I saw what wasn’t there and, although admittedly the modern achievements were great feats of engineering, I wish we could learn lessons from such destruction of our heritage.
The Ouseburn area is one of the few areas of Newcastle which has retained and repurposed many of its old buildings and is definitely a jewel in Newcastle’s crown. Well worth a visit.