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Photo-a-day 202: Newcastle’s Town Moor


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 5 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how 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:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 5 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...


This is Newcastle’s Town Moor at dusk.

The Town Moor is very close to the city centre: certainly no more than a ten minute walk away. It’s one of the largest urban green spaces in the UK: it’s bigger than London’s Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath combined.

The Freemen of the city regularly exercise their right to graze cattle on the moor, making it surely one of the closest pieces of working farmland to a city centre in the UK. This leads to all sorts of student tales of cows being lead to unlikely places within the city, which one has to hope are apocryphal!

As it happens, the grazing rights of the Freemen also extend to St James’ Park. This could cause LOCOG and the IOC one or two headaches should the Freemen choose to exercise their legal right during the upcoming Olympics – I suspect it could prove somewhat disruptive to football matches!

The usage of the Town Moor is governed by its very own Act of Parliament: the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Town Moor Act 1774, given royal assent by King George III. This is perhaps the only thing that Newcastle owes to a Tory government!

The Act was most recently updated in 1988 – also, of course, under a Tory government (or at least its modern equivalent) – though curiously the city loses the hyphens in its name in the title of the Newcastle upon Tyne Town Moor Act 1988. This legislation mandates that “the Town Moor shall be maintained as an open space in the interests of the inhabitants of the city … to afford air and exercise for the enjoyment of the public” – which is nice to know!

This 1,734th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, .

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th March 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th February 2018)

TV I’ve been watching lately (published 9th January 2018)

Photo-a-day 128: Nine cakes (published 7th May 2012)

New York’s hidden subway station (published 29th March 2013)

HP Support Blog: One week on (published 23rd August 2006)

Blair’s apology (published 22nd June 2005)

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