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 University has its origins in the School of Medicine and Surgery which was established in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1834. The College of Physical Science was founded in 1871 and 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 as Armstrong College in 1904. Both of these institutions later became part of the University of Durham, consisting of two Divisions, Durham and Newcastle, on two different sites.
Northumbria University has its origins in three regional colleges: Rutherford College of Technology, which was established by Dr John Hunter Rutherford in 1880 and opened formally by HRH The Duke of York in 1894, the College of Art & Industrial Design and the Municipal College of Commerce. Northumbria describes itself as a comprehensive university, it specialises in business, arts and design, computing, environmental science, built environment, applied healthcare, sports science and psychology, and teacher education.
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
- Ed Coode - G.B. Olympic gold medallist
- Robert Westall - Children's writer, twice winner of Carnegie Medal
- Jonathan Ive - Industrial designer, lead designer of the iMac and iPod
- Victoria Pendleton - Olympic cyclist
- Bibiana Aído Almagro - Spanish politician