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Photo-a-day 192: Newcastle’s town wall

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Warning: This post was published more than 5 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

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This is a bit of Newcastle’s ancient town wall – specifically, the Durham Tower bit. The wall was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, and was once 2 miles long, 2m thick, and over 7m high. There were 17 towers like this one, all within shooting distance of each other to repel attackers. The construction of the wall was funded through a special tax – a murage – which was levied for a hundred years.

The wall kept the town reasonably well protected from invaders, seeing off attacks from David II of Scotland and the Earl of Douglas among others. By the 18th century, the wall had fallen into disrepair, and Scottish armies were able to invade Newcastle a couple of times. By the late 18th century bits of it started to be knocked down, because it started to get in the way.

These days, it’s a scheduled ancient monument which is also the home to a notable literary landmark: Morden Tower, where many great 20th century poets came – and still come – to read their work. Allen Ginsberg, Ted Hughes, Basil Bunting, and Seamus Heaney are just four of the hundreds of previous poetic visitors! It’s also the place where the band Whitehouse once gave a performance in which the entire audience walked out. I don’t think that’s ever happened to any of the poets!

This 1,718th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , .






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 10th July 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 2nd June 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 7th May 2017)

“Butter” Part Two (published 17th November 2003)

The dog spanks the man (published 4th April 2005)

Scrubs (published 5th August 2006)

Photo-a-day 91: St Leonard’s Hall (published 31st March 2012)


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