Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland

St. John's Church, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland

The parish church of Newcastle dates in stone to 1130 and seems likely to have been erected in wood not long after the first Castle, which is considered to have been built by Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror’s second son, around 1080.

The structure from 1130 has largely been lost, but it would have reflected the width of the chancel – the north wall contains the only surviving part of this church, a window. The tower was added to the church quite early, around 1270, reflecting the early rapid growth of Newcastle. The North Aisle was erected in 1350 entirely funded by a local coal merchant, William Hutton.

The south aisle followed soon and then in 1400 a second north aisle. Around 1450 another local merchant, Robert Rodes, paid to have the roof raised to its current level. At this point the church was more or less as we see it today.

After the Cathedral was constructed nearby St. John’s became less pivotal in the religious life of Newcastle and thus it managed to escape much of the Victorianisation that many active churches received, leaving us with a superb late medieval church in the very centre of one of the UK’s biggest metropolitan areas.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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