Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

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New book charting the story of Newcastle and Tyneside 'Newcastle upon Tyne: Mapping the City' published co-authored by Emeritus Professor Tony Champion and published by Birlinn

Charting the fascinating history of Newcastle and Tyneside from 1250 to 2021, with original maps and plans from national archives and libraries. The book was launched at Newcastle's Lit & Phil on 12th November 2021.

A new book charting the story of Newcastle and Tyneside through more than 150 maps and plans was launched at Newcastle’s Lit & Phil on November 12th. The unique collection of maps in the book provides a fascinating insight into how the city and surrounding region has developed from Roman times to the present day. Newcastle upon Tyne: Mapping the City is the work of three leading academics - Michael Barke, Brian Robson and CURDS’ Tony Champion.

The maps in the book do not simply describe locations but, along with the accompanying text, analyse and explain the rich and varied history of Newcastle. Among the themes explored are the role of Newcastle as a frontier fortress, its domination of the coal trade from medieval times, its defence of the Royalist cause in the English Civil Wars, and the role of its striking topography in creating a unique and enduring visual townscape.

Victorian entrepreneurship and inventions in industry and transport continue the story, along with an account of Newcastle’s matchless central area development scheme, led by Richard Grainger. The area’s distinctive social and cultural scene is demonstrated by maps of the growth of the music hall tradition, along with events such as the annual ‘hoppings’ and Great North Run plus, inevitably, football.

The story of economic decline and attempted revitalisation in the 20th century is charted, along with the growth of 'planning' as an attempted means of solving problems, leading to iconic developments such as the Byker Wall, Eldon Square and the Metro system. Key dimensions of the contemporary city and region are examined in the latter part of the book, with analysis of contrasting regeneration schemes, the role of leisure and entertainment, and the significance of the two universities in the city’s economy, townscape and social character.

Newcastle upon Tyne: Mapping the City

published on: 26 November 2021