On the corner, where Dean Street meets Mosley Street, be sure and look up! Once upon a time this was a proud looking bank building, like so many on Mosley Street, now it’s a place to eat and drink. The giant caption emblazoned on both Dean Street and Mosley Street, “The National Provincial Bank of England”, In 1970 the bank became part of NatWest.
Milburn House was built in 1903. The Newcastle Chronicle recorded its size as 300ft on The Side, 160ft on Dean Street and 200ft in St Nicholas churchyard. And it is tall 6 storeys plus a basement or at least a ground floor on the corner of Dean St and The Side which turns into a basement higher up the hill. Its footprint is vast as well roughly triangular with major facades on three widely separated streets.
There are different entrances on different levels, each level in the building is indicated with a different letter, designed like an ocean-going liner, with floors labelled deck-style with A at the top and G on the ground floor.
The internal public spaces in Milburn House are beautiful, they include mosaics, painted picture panels and stained glass. It is a fairy-tale interior tiled in ochre yellow and deep green in a grand sweep of Art Nouveau.
Designed to resemble the bow of a ship pointing towards the River Tyne, communal areas are identified with deck letters rather than numbers and the spacious atria and halls surprise the visitor at each turn.
After exploring this area face the Cathedral and take the steep hill (known as the Side) down past Agora bar. Notice the bust above the door of Milburn House. This is Admiral Lord Collingwood who was born in 1748 in a house above this site. During the Battle of Trafalgar, it was Collingwood who took over command of the fleet after Lord Nelson was killed.
Milburn House is not open to the public, still some parts of it are visible and accessible to casual passers by on Dean Street.
On Dean Street if you poke your head through the front door two paintings/sculpures meet your eye in the doorway-hallway.
The first “King Charles 1st entry to Newcastle”.
“Earl Percy setting out for Otterburn”.
Milburn House was built to be like a ship or a liner ready to launch into the Tyne. Each floor is named with a letter rather than having a number. With floor A at the bottom and floor F at the top, or is it the other way around. Read More – PDF
There is more to Dean Street than first meets the eye. Originally, before the railways came to Newcastle and Central Station was built, Dean Street rather than Grainger Street was the main entrance way to the Town. Visitors mostly arrived via the Quayside and would reach the city centre via Dean Street.