THE CASTLE KEEP
The Castle Keep is one of our oldest locations with not only the building that has hundreds of years of history but the land it stands on has its own story to tell.
A settlement has stood on the land since Roman times when a fort known as Pons Aelius stood defending a bridge across the River Tyne and was part of The Roman Wall. It is also known that The Castle stands on an Anglo-Saxon burial ground thought to have served a local settlement known as Monkchester. In 1080 the first castle was built by Robert Cuthose, son of William I, as a defence against The Scots, this was the new castle that was to give The City it's name.
Building work began on The Castle that stands today in 1172 by Henry II and took 5 years to complete. Later, during the reign of Henry III The Black Gate and further outside walls were added outside of The Castle. The Castle became somewhere of safety for the local townsfolk during attacks from the invading Scots.
Unfortunately over the following 300 years the castle fell into disrepair and during Queen Elizabeth I reign it was described as being “ruinous”. It wasn’t until 1643 was The Castle brought back to a former glory.
In 1643 during The English Civil War, Sir John Marley started repairing The Castle as The Scots started to advance further south. However in 1644, 40,000 Scottish soldiers besieged the area. The brave garrison of 1,500 men managed to fend off The Scots for 3 months before they were forced to surrender.
Up until the late 18th Century The Castle was then used as a prison. Housing some of the most violent and notorious criminals in what would of been horrendous conditions. Men, women and children would have all been literally thrown into the cells and left to rot in squalor. Some criminals were left chained to the walls for weeks on end while the public could pay 6d to view them for their own entertainment. The Castle became infamous for its horrific conditions whilst its neighbour The Black Gate was the centre for public executions.
The building was bought by The Newcastle Corporation in 1809 and repaired its tired walls and roofs. Over the following 200 years The Castle has had several repair programmes and is currently a Grade I listed building. The fantastic work undertaken by The Newcastle City Council and The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne have kept this building as one of the most outstanding examples of our local history.
There has been numerous reports of activity in and around this location. Every room has a story and a sighting. Hundreds of photographs have been published in both books and online of sightings from dark shadows, orbs and grey mists. People have reported being physical attacked, pushed and scratched.
Voices of soldiers , women and children are often heard. Most notably the chanting of Monks!
The amount of activity reported in this location led TVs “Most Haunted” to record an episode of their hit show with some of their team actually leaving the set.
Join GHOSTnortheast in their hometown as we investigate over 2000 years of history at at one of the country’s most notorious locations.... The Castle Keep, Newcastle.