NZ2462 : 'Phoenix', Old Redheugh Bridge abutment

near to Gateshead, Great Britain

'Phoenix', Old Redheugh Bridge abutment
'Phoenix', Old Redheugh Bridge abutment
'Phoenix' is a mosaic art work created from coloured pebbles by Maggy Howarth LinkExternal link and installed in 1994. Pebble mosaics of this type are found throughout the ancient world, particularly in Greece and parts of the Roman empire. A phoenix, rising from the flames, symbolises Gateshead's regeneration after a period of industrial decline LinkExternal link
The installation is on part of the Old Redheugh Bridge, near the former Toll House, and is now a lookout point high on the south side of the River Tyne NZ2462 : Former Toll House, Old Redheugh Bridge. This was the abutment of the second road bridge NZ2463 : The second Redheugh Road Bridge built between 1897 and 1901 LinkExternal link
The modern bridge can be seen to the right, slightly down river.
Gateshead Riverside Park :: NZ2463
Pipewellgate, which runs through Riverside Park, was named after the ‘pipe well’ from which wooden pipes carried Gateshead’s water supply. It was once part of a thriving trading community which looked to the river for its transport, and benefited from access to the south by the main London to Newcastle road and to the north by the Tyne Bridge. The first evidence of industrial activity was in 1408 when staiths were built. Pipewellgate ran parallel to the river and was developed with small factories, workshops and tenements. It was generally regarded as one of the worst residential areas in Gateshead. During the second half of the C19th, those who could afford to do so moved to more pleasant areas and by the 1930s slum clearance programmes began.

Emerging developments in rail, tram and road transport all bypassed the steep slopes of the riverside area and instead used Askew Road. In 1839 a railway linking Gateshead, South Shields and Monkwearmouth was opened. In 1844 a station was constructed at Greenesfield as well as the ‘high-level’ bridge across the Tyne. The station was closed in August 1850 when the Central Station in Newcastle was opened. The area was then converted into railway workshops and a hotel. Greenesfield Works became Gateshead’s largest single employer, with 3,300 employees in 1909. However, by 1910 the site had reached the physical limits of expansion, and locomotive construction was transferred to Darlington. The site continued to be used as a railway maintenance facility into the 1980s, and the buildings have now been converted into luxury apartments as part of the Ochre Yards housing development.

Industry remained on Pipewellgate until the recent closure of Brett Oils and Grease company, established in 1877 on the site of Joseph Price’s glass works. Pipewellgate is now used as the route for the high-speed Centrelink bus service linking Gateshead town centre and the Metrocentre.

Riverside Park was landscaped during 1960-1970. During the late 1980’s and in the early 1990’s a number of sculptures were introduced within the park. The development of the park as an ‘art venue’ and a valuable open space for local people continues to this day.

The Riverside Park provides a vital refuge for wildlife in the urban area and supports a wide range of habitats including areas of woodland, scrubland and grassland. In spring the scrub and wooded areas are filled with the rich sound of birdsong. Listen out for the distinctive calls of species such as the blackbird, robin and wren. Hedgehogs, grey squirrels and foxes have also made the park their home and at night the shadowy silhouette of pipistrelle bats can sometimes be seen hunting for insects among the tree tops.

Gateshead Riverside Park (pdf) LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2011
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NZ2462, 82 images   (more nearby)
Photographer
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Image classification?
Geograph
Date Taken
Thursday, 15 December, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Friday, 16 December, 2011
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Public buildings and spaces  Suburb, Urban fringe  Roads, Road transport 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 2457 6294 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:57.6296N 1:37.0694W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 2458 6293
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Public Artwork  Road Bridge  Mosaic 

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