Battery Stairs
Stairs Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

Battery Stairs

Stairs In Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear

A staircase leading up to where the battery would have been in Newcastle.

Working in Newcastle I often wander around and look for streets I've not visited before. The medieval battery stairs near the Quayside in Newcastle is one such place. Although no battery exists here now, it's evident the raised area here would have been a good position for one giving an elevated view over the river.

Unfortunately these days the stairs lead to a locked gate but this narrow stairway packs in a lot of history and character.

The battery was called the Half Moon Battery and its use is recorded during the English Civil War in 1644. It was recorded that the site was used to secure the river and quayside against the Scots who attempted to attack from the Gateshead side of the river. After 8 months of defence, Newcastle would surrender to the Scots and the Parliamentarians.

Records show that the battery was improved and remodelled after 1750. Access to it was called the Half Moon Entry.

It then appears sometime after the siege tenement housing was built on the site. An historical account of Newcastle in 1827 recorded that "the old Moot hall on the east side of the yard has been pulled down and the Half Moon Battery, demolished. The latter place was divided into tenements and contained a great number of families".

The only remaining piece of the old Moot hall can be found inside Newcastle Castle for those curious!

The Rev William Turner wrote that the area at the end of the 18th century "was now loaded with an unsightly mess of miserable tenements, five stories high, which seems to threaten destruction to the houses and streets below". A glowing endorsement indeed!

When the modern Moot Hall was built what was left of the battery was removed. It was recorded that the mound "was about 32 feet in height and 100 feet in length, and a great breath." It must have been some sight above the river!

A more modern feature now is the winch and hook high above the stairs.

Kerry Lowes from Side Gallery gave us more information about the winch and said: "The winch is a remnant of the days when the buildings were used as a storage warehouse (long before Side Gallery)."

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How To Find Battery Stairs

Where Is Battery Stairs?

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54.969181, -1.608113

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Where To Park For Battery Stairs?

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54.967807, 54.967807

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Closest place to park is probably the Riverside.

Contributed by Sean Linley

A keen walker and wildlife enthusiast and dog dad originally from Leeds but a Newcastle resident for 10 years with a passion for history and heritage. Always curious about my local area and always on the lookout for something new. You’ll often find me studying the OS map for new places to explore!

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Sean Linley

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