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

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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!

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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 August 2017)

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

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

Photo-a-day 85: The Pennine Tower (published 25th March 2012)

Bad schools given only a year to improve (published 6th September 2005)

Voting underway in French elections (published 5th May 2007)

Photo-a-day 283: White swans (published 9th October 2012)


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