Newcastle City of Glass

Newcastle has lots of beautiful glass, some in buildings others as standalone art works by artists such as Cate Watkinson. Some Glass is easy to see, some of it is only visible to those with sharp eyes, who happen to walk along a certain street at a certain time, when the sun is setting. Such as this work which is on Market Street East, high up in an old law building.

Market Street East

Newcastle City Of Glass

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CastleGate Building

The Manors Power Station was built between 1901 and 1904 to generate electricity for the Newcastle Electric Trams system and the new electrically driven cranes on Newcastle’s Quayside.  Electricity generation for the trolly-bus system stopped in 1966, after which the building was used as a maintenance centre. Later it was used as an indoor car park. During the construction of the Metro system in the 70’s a full size mockup station was constructed in the Turbine Hall for training purposes.

The best time to see this building is in September when it normally is accessible for the Heritage Open Day Weekend. Guided Tours are provided on this weekend and are quite enthralling.

Stagecoach owned the building until 1996, after which it was bought by City Church. The building was renamed CastleGate and the Turbine Hall is used as a Conference Centre. The Turbine Hall still houses a giant 50 ton crane, once used to lift new turbines into place.

Home - CastleGate

Home – CastleGate historic conference and events venue in the heart of Newcastle


FIRST TRAMS GOSFORTH PARK , NEWCASTLE – YouTube DVD NOW PMP FILMS the world’s largest collection of transport hobby films, see website for shop, lists, links, blog etc

Bridge Hotel

The Bridge Hotel, at the Newcastle end of the High Level Bridge, next to the Castle Keep, has an amazing array of stained glass.   It is worth the price of a cup of coffee just to go inside and look at the windows.  There is an open air beer garden to the rear overlooking the majestic river and bridges.
Location:The Bridge Hotel Castle Square, NE1 1RQ. Some people say it is the best vantage point of the River Tyne to be had any where, all we know is its called ‘The Bridge”


Bridge Hotel Doorwell Mosaic
Bridge Hotel Doorwell Mosaic
Bridge Hotel Doorwell Mosaic
Bridge Hotel Doorwell Mosaic


Beach and Shipyards – Mike Davies

These two stained glass works at Monkseaton Metro are incorporated into each end of the original glazed canopy protecting passengers on the platform from the vagaries of the weather.  ‘Beach’, executed in a bold and colourful style, was designed from a schools competition won by Rosalind Hurst.  ‘Shipyards’ is more abstract in its treatment of the business of the river.

Newcastle Public Art on the App Store

St Mary’s R.C. Cathedral

Clayton St W, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5HH
St Marys Cathedral Clayton St W, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5HH

The Cathedral is situated in the heart of Newcastle’s Grainger Town, opposite Newcastle Central Station. There is a garden facing the station dedicated to Basil Hume, former Archbishop of Westminster. Basil Hume was born in Newcastle. The Cathedral is normally open and it has some stunning stained glass. There is a cafe.

St Mary’s Architect was Augustus Pugin, sometimes known as God’s Architect, he was responsible for the interior redesign of the Palace of Westminster after a fire in 1832.

Statue of Basil Hume, in the Basil Hume Garden.



St Mary's Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral Mass Monday to Friday 8.00 am and 12.05 pm Saturday and Public Holidays 10.00 am Sunday 8.00 am (spoken), 10.00 am (cantor), 11.30 am (choir), 6.30 pm (music group)
Cathedral of St Mary on Vimeo

Cathedral of St Mary on Vimeo
St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,_Newcastle_upon_TyneThe Cathedral Church of St Mary is a Catholic cathedral in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, the mother church of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and seat of the Bishop of Hexham…

Total Policing – Cate Watkinson

“The words ‘Total Policing’ used as a strap line by the Northumbria Force and suggested the idea of a circular piece encompassing all. The piece is made from polished stainless steel and curved glass. The inner ring has a series of words cut into the steel through which light shines and enabling the words to be reflected in the highly polished stainless steel sphere. These words selected from the 2020 Vision document include the following: Attentive, Responsive, Reliable and Skilled.”  Watkinson Glass Associates

“Large scale public art commission to design and fabricate glass, stainless steel and light work to be sited in front of the new state of the art building housing the Northumbria Area Command Head Quarters. Technically, this work has been developed from and is based on research carried out through the Technology Strategy Board funded solar cell seating project, where knowledge gained from the previous work into LED lighting has informed the development of this innovative public art piece.”   Sunderland University Website

Or to quote the Daily Mail :-

Raoul Moat police force spend £50k on ‘steel ball in a hula hoop …
Daily Mail-5 Feb 2011

Northumberland Police HQ Wallsend
Northumberland Police HQ Wallsend


Hartley Pit Disaster Memorial Window

“There is a great deal written and recorded from the time and since the pit disaster at New Hartley in 1862 and this wealth of information became the basis of the research for the window. It was felt that making an illustrative panel depicting the scenes of that fateful January day would not be appropriate. Instead, it was decided that the idea of making a more abstracted design telling the story in a less literal way would be a better approach. As there are two windows it was decided to take the theme of ‘death’ for the left hand window and ‘resurrection’ for the right hand window. The darkness and the light.” Watkinson Glass Associates

New Hartley Pit Disaster Memorial Window, St Alban’s Church, Earsdon
New Hartley Pit Disaster Memorial Window, St Alban’s Church, Earsdon

This means in practise that anyone standing at the alter can simultaneously see both sides of life, the darkness and the light, death and resurrection, particularly striking when the sun is at a certain point in the sky, the windows can look like they are on fire.

Hartley Memorial Heritage Panel
Hartley Memorial Heritage Panel
Hartley Memorial, St Albans
Hartley Memorial, St Albans Church, Earsdon

Time to… Cate Watkinson 2006

Made from stainless steel and glass, commissioned by Metier, Newcastle City Council & The Sponsors Club. This land mark piece, reflects the energy and immediacy of the city in sparkling stainless steel, glass and light, acting as a link between the city, the Eastern Quayside and east end, bringing the two sides of the Ouseburn valley closer together. With its frosted glass surface and its curved stainless steel facing towards the river in a rising open V shape, the piece makes reference to the V shape of the Ouseburn Valley.

The asymmetrical top reflects the triangular shapes made by the silhouette of the Byker Wall against the skyline, making a link between one side of the valley and the other.

Time to… Cate Watkinson 2006
Time to… Cate Watkinson 2006

Canopy Cate Watkinson 2000

Made from etched glass and commissioned by the Art on the Riverside Weather Vanes Project, this work is an etched glass canopy located over the entrance to the Sailors Bethel. The artist developed the ideas included in the work with the children of Byker Primary School.

Canopy Newcastle Quayside Art
Canopy Cate Wilkinson

L. S. Lowry painted the Sailors Bethel in a painting called ‘Old Chapel”

Sailors Bethel Quayside
Sailors Bethel Quayside


Etched Glass – John Hutton

Stephensons Rocket
Stephensons Rocket

Worth a look are the glass etchings near the main entrance to Newcastle Civic Centre. John Hutton from New Zealand did etching for the Civic Centre, also did a lot of work on Coventry Cathedral, at the Civic Centre his etchings include; Swans lightbulb, Parsons Turbine, Stephensons Rocket, unfortunately the Armstrong window was damaged and has yet to be replaced. Show the main four engineers for the region.

John Hutton (artist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Hutton (artist) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia the Civic Centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, he created a glass screen representing some of the great inventions of the city and also figures from local mythology with his…

Nine Things to Do on a Bench – Cate Watkinson & Julia Darling 2001

GTP employed Insite Environment to produce a unique suite of street furniture. Nine of the benches were double aspect, which created an opportunity for the artists to create a design depicting what can happen on benches. Etched into the glass forming the back of each bench, the designs make a witty and attractive addition to the streetscape. The glass is illuminated by LEDs.

Rise and Fall – Lulu Quinn (2007)

Entitled Rise and Fall, the artwork takes the form of a 6m high glass and stainless steel arch. It is designed to create a new focus, meeting point and dynamic viewing platform onto the Riverside.

A sophisticated programme of over 10,000 small LED lights randomly rise and fall within the arch. It can also remain quiet at times and not illuminate at all. The arch itself appears to wobble, fall down and rebuild itself regularly; creating a visual effect that can be seen from both sides of the river.

Artist Lulu Quinn has been working closely with her production team including lighting engineers Global Design Solutions, glass specialists, Fineline aluminum and glass and steel fabricator, Mayflower Engineering.

Waymarker Lower Ouseburn Valley

Waymarkers – Lewis Robinson 2002

Before descending into the lower Ouseburn Valley, there is a ‘Waymarker’, one of a series of signposts, artworks which recur throughout the Lower Ouseburn, all have a distinct appearance and color.

Made from Steel and Glass, commissioned by – The Ouseburn Partnership. The project comprises a series of Waymarkers designed to highlight the main routes through the valley, to encourage more walkers and cyclists to use the area.

The Waymarkers draw on local history and culture for their inspiration and are interconnected by a trail of bottles marking the route through the valley. Lewis Robinson worked closely with the partnership and community to develop the project.


Teesside University - School of Arts & Media - School staff

Teesside University – School of Arts & Media – School staff Robinson Senior Lecturer, School of Arts & Media T: 01642 738061E: Research institute: Institute of Design, Culture and the Arts
Photographs Of Newcastle: Ouseburn

Photographs Of Newcastle: Ouseburn lower Ouseburn Valley through which Ouseburn river flows is home to a number of pubs (Free Trade – right at the confluence with the Tyne with good view of the bridges looking…