Gateshead Riverside Park :: Shared Description

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
by Andrew Curtis
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11 images use this description:

NZ2462 : 'Foliate Forms' by Gilbert Ward (2010), Gateshead Riverside Park by Andrew Curtis
NZ2462 : Ornamental seat off Rose Street, Gateshead Riverside Park by Andrew Curtis
NZ2462 : 'Phoenix', Old Redheugh Bridge abutment by Andrew Curtis
NZ2462 : 'Once Upon a Time' by Richard Deacon, Gateshead Riverside Park by Andrew Curtis
NZ2563 : 'Rolling Moon', Gateshead Riverside Park by Andrew Curtis
NZ2463 : 'Riverside Rivets', Gateshead Riverside Park by Andrew Curtis
NZ2563 : 'Rise and Fall' artwork above Pipewellgate, Gateshead by Andrew Curtis
NZ2463 : Gateshead Riverside Park from the Redheugh Bridge by Andrew Curtis
NZ2563 : 'Rolling Moon', Gateshead Riverside Park by Andrew Curtis
NZ2462 : Entrance archway, Gateshead Riverside Park by Andrew Curtis
NZ2463 : 'Goats', Gateshead Riverside Park by Andrew Curtis


These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Fri, 17 Feb 2012, Updated: Fri, 11 Apr 2014

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2012 Andrew Curtis, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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