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Jesmond Dene ca. 1900
Jesmond Dene shown within Tyne and Wear
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Jesmond Dene, a public park in the east end of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, occupies the narrow steep-sided valley of a small stream known as the Ouseburn: in North-east England, such valleys are commonly known as denes.
William George Armstrong and his wife, of Jesmond Dene House, first laid out the park during the 1860s. The design is intended to reflect a rural setting, with woodland, crags, waterfalls and pools. It is now owned by Newcastle City Council.
The (now closed to road traffic) iron constructed Armstrong Bridge spans the Dene and hosts an arts and crafts fair most Sunday mornings, weather permitting. Some of the stands have moved to the permanent Sunday market on the Newcastle Quayside. The building of a replacement road and tunnel, The Cradlewell By-pass, was the subject of a road protest camp around 1993, due to the destruction of many 200 year old trees. See also See also, 'Cradlewell'.
Jesmond Dene also contains a free entry petting zoo known as "Pets' Corner", which has been a popular family attraction since the 1960s. Attractions within Jesmond Dene include a coffee shop, a conference centre and a restaurant.
As of 2011, the field area and pets corner have been re-developed. The redevelopment includes a new road and a bridge over the Ouseburn river.
Jesmond Dene is also the home of Newcastle's oldest religious building, St. Mary's Chapel. The chapel, now in ruins, was once a site of much significance, attracting a great number of visitors. Pilgrim Street, in the centre of Newcastle, is named after the many pilgrims passing through on their way to visit the chapel.
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