Grade I listed monument to Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, built in 1838, stands at the head of Grey Street. It was erected to acclaim Earl Grey for the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832. Consists of a statue of Lord Grey standing atop a 130-foot-high (40 m) column. The column was designed by local architects John and Benjamin Green, and the statue was created by the sculptor Edward Hodges Baily the creator of Nelson’s statue in Trafalgar Square.
When it comes to grandiose, Earl Grey – former Northumberland MP and Prime Minister – casts his gaze down the street which he gave his name to, Grey Street (voted the most beautiful in the country by listeners of Radio 4 and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment CABE)
Grey’s Monument itself is regarded by many as the centre of modern Newcastle and was erected in 1838 to commemorate Earl Grey’s achievements in passing the Great Reform Bill of 1832. The monument has stairs inside, it is possible, during ‘Heritage Days’, to climb to the top. The Monument is also sometimes open to visitors on some Saturdays, for a small fee you can climb up to the top. Pre booking is necessary, see Newcastle City Guides.
The Earl Grey blend, or “Earl Grey’s Mixture”, is assumed to be named after Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s. He reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic perquisite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil.