14 Things You Should Know If You Live In Gateshead

The proud location of the famous Angel of the North and the home of Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, the inventor of the light bulb.

Gateshead has a rich history and offerings that, aside from the world famous attractions, may not be known to those outside of the area.

Here is just a quick collection of things you should know if you live in or are from Gateshead:

Read more: Newcastle named one of the “best second cities” in the world

1. The wise

The Sage, a music and performing arts venue designed by Norman Foster, opened on December 17, 2004. The design and construction process cost over £ 70 million.

Inside there are three performance rooms, each technically an independent building. There is a 1,700-seat hall, a 450-seat hall, and the Northern Rock Foundation Hall, which is a smaller rehearsal and performance space.

2. Trinity Square

The new Trinity Center was built on the site of a former parking garage and shopping center of the same name, which originally opened in 1967. The parking garage was demolished in 2010 and the new shopping center opened in 2013.

The Trinity Center parking lot gained iconic status through its appearance in the 1971 film Get Carter, starring Michael Caine.

3. Halo sculpture

Halo is a gravity-defying sculpture by local artist Steve Newby.

It is the world’s largest inflated stainless steel structure, constructed using the artist’s unique method of inflating and blowing steel to create curves in the reflective surface.

4. Gateshead Interchange Artwork

Gateshead Interchange has grown into a one-of-a-kind art gallery since it opened in 1983.

Opening line by artist Danny Lane. The sculpture, consisting of 19 elements made of steel and glass, extends over 90 meters and reaches a height of over 5 meters.

Peacock at the Jackson Street entrance is from Lisa Johnson, who was at Gateshead College when she won a competition for a new assignment.

The five-meter-high peacock, whose feathers are a welcome greeting in dozens of world languages, was inspired by the many nationalities who come to Gateshead as students, visitors or settlers.

Space Invaders, which can be found in various locations, was created by urban artist Invader and commissioned as part of the Baltic Spank The Monkey Show.

The works, which were meant to be temporary, were never dismantled and remain scattered across the interchange.

5th Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead

In 1854 a catastrophic explosion on the quayside destroyed most of Gateshead’s medieval heritage and caused widespread damage on the Newcastle side of the river.

There is only one building left on Newcastle Quayside that stood before the fire.

6. Angels of the north

The sculpture was designed by the internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley. It is considered to be the largest angel sculpture in the world.

Its wingspan of 54 meters (175 feet) is larger than that of a Boeing 757 jet.

It is 20 meters (65 feet) tall – the height of a five-story building and weighs 200 tons.

7. Old ironworks on the south coast

There is currently an asphalt company on Gateshead South Shore, but that was once Hawks and Co, one of the largest iron companies in the north.

Originally a blacksmith, William Hawks started a business in Gateshead in 1747, working with the iron brought into the Tyne. His firm, Hawks and Co. eventually became one of the largest iron companies in the north, producing anchors, chains, and other products to meet growing demand.

8. The Baltic Sea

Originally designed in the 1930s, The Baltic was opened by Rank Hovis as a functioning flour mill in 1950. The building still contains grain bunkers that are individually numbered and extend almost the entire height of the building.

9. Millennium Bridge

In 1996 the Gateshead Council launched a competition to build the seventh bridge over the Tyne. The winning design for the Millennium Bridge that we all know comes from Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Gifford and Partners.

10. Sculpture “Sports Day”

Sports Day by artist Mike Winston was the first work created specifically for the public arts program. The 4 meter high concrete statue was made on site from 1985 to 1986.

11. Metro center

Metrocentre has over 300 high street stores spread across five different malls, spanning an impressive 2,000,000 feet.

12. World’s first online home shopper

The world’s first registered online home shopper was Mrs. Jane Snowball of Gateshead in May 1984. The 72-year-old used the Gateshead Council’s (then) groundbreaking new shopping and information service (SiS) to buy her groceries at Tesco.

The SiS service is believed to have paved the way for the now multi-billion pound online shopping phenomenon.

13. Saltwell Park

Saltwell Park is a Victorian park designed by Edward Kemp and opened in 1876.

In 2018, the park was named “The People’s Choice” for the second time in a row.

The Keep Britain Tidy award follows a public vote and places Saltwell Park in the top 10 in the country, the only park in the north.

14. Salt well towers

Saltwell Towers was built in 1862 by William Wailes, the renowned manufacturer of stained glass.

The magnificent Gothic mansion and surrounding gardens are a lush spot for afternoon tea.

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