Chinatown, Newcastle

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Coordinates: 54°58′20″N 1°37′13″W / 54.97231°N 1.62023°W / 54.97231; -1.62023

a narrow, straight street with cars parked on both sides, lined with Chinese style buildings
Looking along Stowell Street.

The Chinatown in Newcastle is a district of Newcastle upon Tyne, located to the west of the city on the edge of the shopping and commercial centre, mostly along Stowell Street. It is one of only five Chinatowns in England, with the other four being in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Location[edit]

A street sign, painted green, bearing the name Stowell Street and three Chinese characters
A street sign.

The Chinatown lies within the historic heart of Newcastle, Grainger Town, on land that was once part of Blackfriars monastery.[1][2] The main street of the Chinatown is Stowell Street, with 唐人街 ("Chinatown") written on street signs to indicate this. Stowell Street and one of the few still extant stretches of Newcastle town wall mark the northeast boundary of the district. At the north end of Stowell Street on St Andrew's Street is the Chinese arch, facing St James' Park. South and west of Stowell Street, on the streets and passages around Blackfriars and The Gate including Charlotte Square and Low Friar Street, are a number of other businesses including restaurants, food shops and cafés.[3][4][5]

History[edit]

The first Chinese restaurant in Newcastle, the Marlborough Café, opened on Scotswood Road in 1949. Another fourteen restaurants opened up to 1962, but none on Stowell Street. The first business to open there was a Chinese supermarket, now the Wing Hong store, which moved to Stowell Street in 1978, to be followed by many other businesses. In 1988 businesses along Stowell Street were allowed to have signs in Chinese as well as English.[6][7] 22 Chinese style lanterns were installed in Stowell Street to replaced the existing street lights in 2008.[8][9]

Chinese arch[edit]

A wooden arch elaborately decorated in red and gold, over a street
The arch at Chinatown.

A Chinese arch, built in 2004 by Shanghai craftsmen, stands 11m tall on St. Andrews Street, at the northernmost extent of the Chinatown, flanked by two Chinese guardian lions and facing St James' Park football stadium.[10][11]

Events[edit]

Chinese New Year is celebrated in and around Chinatown every year, usually on a day in late January or early February. In 2012 this took place on 29 January.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Walk the Walls". Newcastle Walks. 
  2. ^ John Collingwood Bruce (1863). A hand-book to Newcastle-on-Tyne. p. 47. 
  3. ^ "Grainger Town at the pulsating heart of Newcastle". North Easy Life. 
  4. ^ "Grainger Town and the city centre". Visitnewcastle.com. 
  5. ^ "Blackfriars and the Surrounding Areas". Newcastle City Council. 
  6. ^ "Chinese diaspora in Britain". The British Museum. 
  7. ^ "Celebrating the Chinese way". The Evening Chronicle. 
  8. ^ "New lighting system to illuminate Newcastle's Chinatown district". 24dash.com. 
  9. ^ "Let it Shine on Stowell Street". Aspers Group. 
  10. ^ "Chinese arch construction begins". BBC. 2004-11-04. 
  11. ^ "Chinese arch officially unveiled". BBC. 2005-02-21. 
  12. ^ "Chinese New Year". NewcastleGateshead Initiative. 

External links[edit]