Newcastle: the city
Situated on the north bank of the River Tyne, the city developed from a Roman settlement called Pons Aelius, though it owes its name to the castle built in 1080, by Robert II, the eldest son of William the Conqueror. The city grew as an important centre for the wool trade and it later became a major coal mining area. The port developed in the 16th century and, along with the shipyards lower down the river, was amongst the world's largest shipbuilding and ship-repairing centres. These basic industries have now gone and the city is largely an administrative and cultural centre. Among its main icons are Newcastle Brown Ale, a leading brand of beer, Newcastle United F.C., a Premier League football team, and the Tyne Bridge. It has hosted the world's most popular half marathon, the Great North Run since 1981.
Newcastle: the University
The University has its origins in the School of Medicine and Surgery which was established in Newcastle upon Tyne in October 1834, providing basic lectures and practical demonstrations to around 26 students.
Attempts to realise a place for the teaching of sciences in the city were finally met with the foundation of the College of Physical Science in 1871. The college offered instruction in mathematics, physics, chemistry and geology to meet the growing needs of the mining industry, becoming the Durham College of Physical Science in 1883 and then renamed after William George Armstrong as Armstrong College in 1904. Both these separate and independent institutions later became part of the University of Durham, whose 1908 Act formally recognised that the University consisted of two Divisions, Durham and Newcastle, on two different sites. By 1908, the Newcastle Division was teaching a full range of subjects in the Faculties of Medicine, Arts, and Science, which also included agriculture and engineering.
Famous Newcastle Alumni
Kate Adie - Journalist
•Rowan Atkinson - Comedian/Actor
•Constance Briscoe - One of the first black women to sit as a judge in the UK. Author of the best-selling autobiography Ugly
•Ed Coode - G.B. Olympic gold medallist
•Michael Jopling, Baron Jopling - Member of the House of Lords and the Conservative Party
•William Ramsay - founder of the Affordable Art Fair
•Robert Westall - Children's writer, twice winner of Carnegie Medal