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Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland (England)

English City

Last modified: 2020-12-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: newcastle-upon-tyne | northumberland |
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Introduction: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

In AD 120 the Romans built the first bridge to cross the River Tyne at where Newcastle is located today. In AD 150 they built a stone-walled fort named Pons Aelius to protect the river crossing on the site which today is known as Castle Keep. Hadrian's Wall ran through present-day Newcastle. Because of its location some sort of fortification has been located there near the river crossing ever since Roman times. The Anglo-Saxons arrived in the area about AD 500 and during the "Golden Age of Northumbria" in the 7th Century a small village existed around the fornications and bridge.
After the arrival of Normans in 1066 all of England fell to William the Conqueror. However the Northumbrians resisted Norman rule, and in 1069 the newly appointed Norman Earl of Northumbria, Robert de Comines and 700 of his men were killed by the local population at Durham. The Northumbrians then marched on York, but William was eventually able to suppress the uprising. In 1080, William sent his eldest son, Robert Curthose, north to defend the kingdom against both the local population and the Scots. Curthose began construction of a "New Castle". It was this castle that gave Newcastle its name. The protection it offered attracted merchants to the safety it provided. Trade expand for the town. Newcastle became England's northern fortress, especially during the long border war with Scotland.
During the Middle Ages Newcastle became a major source of wool for England and through its busy port passed a large amount of timber, coal, fish, salt, hides and dairy products. In 1175, Henry II gave a town a charter, and in 1216 King John allowed Newcastle a mayor and allowed the formation of twelve guilds (Mysteries) for the different trades. In 1265, the town was granted permission to impose a "Wall Tax" to pay for the construction of a fortified wall to protect it from Scottish invaders. Eventual they built two miles of 25 foot tall walls, with supporting towers and numerous portcullised gates.
The Scottish border wars continued through much of the 16th century, and Newcastle and its fortifications remained an important stronghold against the northern invaders. During the English Civil War, which began in 1642, King Charles realized the value of the Tyne coal trade and therefore garrisoned Newcastle. In gratitude for the city's help defending the north, Charles gave Newcastle the motto Fortiter Defendit Triumphans (Triumphing by brave defence) added to its coat of arms.
In the 18th Century, and the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, Newcastle grew to become one of England's largest printing centers, and by the 19th Century a leader in shipbuilding, heavy engineering, and coal production.
Pete Loeser, 29 November 2020

Flags in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

This week I saw two flags in Newcastle which we don't appear to have on the website yet. Firstly, flying above the Hancock Museum at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, a banner of arms of the university. The flag is blue with a white cross of St Cuthbert with a red lion on a white chief. The blazon is: argent in chief a lion passant guardant gules, on a field azure a Saint Cuthbert cross argent. Secondly, the flag of Newcastle City Council - a logo on a bed sheet. On a white background, the word "Newcastle" above the words "City Council" "right justified" in smaller letters. To the right of the writing is a stylized picture of a castle. I couldn't make out reverse of the flag. You can see an example of the logo, including the correct font for the words at the Newcastle Website.
Jonathan Dixon, 2 April 2005

[Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England] Newcastle University    [Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council, England] Newcastle Council (speculative)
images from Pete Loeser, 5 September 2020

The only two flags I could find that match those described by Jonathan are these. The Newcastle University flag that now flies above the Hancock Museum and other campus buildings is not blue, but white. I wasn't able to confirm the design of Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council flag and so it is speculative in nature based only on verbal description. Hopefully somebody else will be able to confirm it, if it still exists.
Pete Loeser, 5 September 2020

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Council
Coat of Arms

[Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England] image from Pete Loeser, 5 September 2020

In 1961 the Royal College of Arms in London granted the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Council what is now the official seal and coat of arms of the City. It is displayed on the wall of the Council chambers in City Hall. The motto in Latin is Fortiter Defendit Triumphans meaning "Triumphing by brave defence".
The heraldic blazon description is:

  • ARMS: Gules three Castles triple towered Argent.
  • CREST: On a Wreath of the Colours a Castle as in the Arms issuant therefrom a demi Lion guardant supporting a Flagstaff Or flying therefrom a forked Pennon of the Arms of Saint George.
  • SUPPORTERS: On either side a Sea Horse proper crined and finned Or.
Pete Loeser, 5 September 2020

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Arms

[Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England] image from Pete Loeser, 28 November 2020

The traditional arms have three castles on a red shield with "heavily masoned portcullised gateways and maculated battlements behind which rise three lofty towers." The castle motif goes back to the Norman invasion when the town took its name from the "new Castle" being built by Robert Curthose, the eldest son of William the Conqueror. A castle was depicted on the twelfth century common seal of the city, and the earliest example of the three castles on a red shield date back to 1400 when they were used on a window on the north side of the Chancel on St. John's church.
Pete Loeser, 29 November 2020

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Council Flag
Commercial Flag

[Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England] image from Pete Loeser, 28 November 2020
Image based on this photo.

This commercial flag is being sold by a flag manufacturer but is not been officially adopted by the Council. It has been used at Maggie games however.
Pete Loeser, 29 November 2020

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Council
Speculative Flag and Logo

[Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England]     [Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England]
images from Pete Loeser, 28 November 2020

This image of the Newcastle Council flag remains speculative since I have not been able to find an image of it and have based the drawing on a written description. The logo comes from their website.
Pete Loeser, 29 November 2020

Diocese of Newcastle
Flag, Arms and Logo

[Diocese of Newcastle, England]    [Diocese of Newcastle, England]    [Diocese of Newcastle, England]
images from Pete Loeser, 28 November 2020

The Diocese of Newcastle is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is the Church of England diocese that has authority for the historic county of Northumberland, including the part of Tyne and Wear north of the River Tyne and the area of Alston Moor in Cumbria (historic Cumberland).
Pete Loeser, 29 November 2020

Commercial Flag

[Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, commercial] image from Pete Loeser, 28 November 2020

This commercial flag is manufactured for both visitors, residents and Maggie fans. It seems to me that it would work well at NUFU matches.
Pete Loeser, 29 November 2020

Flag Proposal

[Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, proposed] image by Rory-The-Lion - located by Pete Loeser, 28 November 2020

This proposal for a flag for Newcastle was suggested by an amateur vexillologist named Nicholas, aka "Rory-The-Lion." He says "It's basically the former flag of the Kingdom of Northumbria, with the escutcheon of the city of Newcastle in the centre. In some ways, this flag is very similar to some of the flags of several regions in Spain."
Pete Loeser, 29 November 2020

Theatre Royal Flags

[Theatre Royal flag, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England]     [Theatre Royal flag, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England] images by Tomislav Todorovic, 3 December 2020
based on this photo and this photo located by Olivier Touzeau, 29 November 2020.

Flags can be seen high above the Theatre Royal in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. They are the flags of the Theatre Royal troupe with the words "Theatre" and "Royal" in large white letters centered on either a blue or red field. (source #1) and (source #1).
Olivier Touzeau, 29 November 2020

The "Theatre Royal" is a historic theatre located on Grey Street in Newcastle upon Tyne. The theatre is the work of architects John and Benjamin Green and their grand design for a world class civic centre for Newcastle. It opened in February of 1837 staging "The Merchant of Venice." The new theatre building replaced an earlier one at the same location dating back to 1788. Today the theatre stages a wide range of entertainment including drama, musicals, opera, ballet, and contemporary dance.
Pete Loeser, 29 November 2020