||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (January 2008)|
Rowlands Gill shown within Tyne and Wear
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||Tyne and Wear|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||ROWLANDS GILL|
|Fire||Tyne and Wear|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Rowlands Gill is a town situated along the A694, between Winlaton Mill and Hamsterley Mill, on the north bank of the River Derwent, Tyne and Wear, England. With the coming of the Derwent Valley Railway in 1867, Rowlands Gill became an economically viable coal mining village, and later a semi-rural dormitory suburb of commercial & industrial Tyneside. An independent village within Blaydon Urban District Council, in County Durham, it became incorporated into Tyne and Wear in 1974 and then the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead in 1986. Due to a sizeable expansion in both geography and population numbers, Rowlands Gill has not been deemed a village for some years. Many locals, particularly the older generation, persist on referring to it as "the village", partly due to its status decades ago and partly due to out of date materials referring to it as such.
In local government Rowlands Gill is located mainly within the ward of 'Chopwell and Rowlands Gill'. It is served by three councillors, all of whom are Labour councillors, except for the north end at Lockhaugh, which falls within the ward of Winlaton and High Spen, which is served by 2 Liberal Democrat councillors. Gateshead council is Labour controlled.
Retail and facilities
A much stated 'feature' of the town is the absence of licensed premises, although it is arguably not true. When the landowners (the Church of England) sold off their land for house-building at the end of the 19th century, they stipulated that no public houses were to be built upon 'their' land. The original Towneley Arms Public House pre-dated the town, being built in 1835, to serve travellers and their horses on the turnpike road (now the A694) coming along the valley. In 1961 the Newcastle Breweries replaced the original with one of their better & quite well liked but sadly not well enough loved buildings. It was demolished in 2002 to make way for dwellings. The adjoining hamlet of Winlaton Mill has 1 pub; nearby Winlaton has 10 pubs; over the river at Burnopfield are 6 pubs. However, in the town, there is the Vale of Derwent CIU Social Club. The town is served by 2 estate agents, 1 florists. Together with a 4 doctor GP surgery, 1 dentist, 2 hairdressers, 2 barbers, 1 Bank. Other shops include a newsagent and post office, a chemist, a pet shop, a picture framer, a washing machine repair shop, a pre-loved car sales establishment, a gym, and Tesco Metro. For dining, there is Joe's Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant/take-away, a tea-shop, and Maguires fish and chip shop. The Library and two small churches are situated near the town centre. These are Strathmore Road Methodist Church and St. Barnabas Church of England.
Recreation and education
There is a small summer season Caravan Park located on the municipal Derwent Park site.
The Derwent Park provides access to the river where permit holders can fish as well as tennis courts, putting, recreational fields and playground facilities. The Derwent Country Walk runs through the town along the route of the old rail tracks.
The town's 'In Bloom Committee' is very active and has entered the Britain in Bloom competition over the past 3 or 4 years in the 'Large Village' category. The participation is noted on road-signs. This is however subject to occasional dispute, due to the Rowlands Gill now actually being a town.
There is an over busy road running through the town. There are frequent bus services (Services 45/46 and 47 provided by Go North East) to Newcastle City Centre, the MetroCentre and, in the other direction, Blackhall Mill or Consett wia Ebchester and Shotley Bridge. Other minor bus routes also operate such as the local circle buses serving areas such as Sherburn Towers, and the UCall bus service.
Rowlands Gill has a Primary & Junior school, recently re-built. The schools are feeders to Charles Thorpe Comprehensive School.
Rowlands Gill, and the surrounding Derwent Valley, was chosen by the Northern Kites Project as the location for the re-introduction of Red Kites in semi-rural areas. This scheme has proven to be a big success, with birds being spotted across the west of the borough, from Crawcrook through Rowlands Gill, to Burnopfield and Whickham.
The following notable people were either born in Rowlands Gill or lived there for a significant period:
- Kirsty Wade..athlete, is a former resident of the old station-masters house.
- Chris Ryan..famous SAS soldier and author
- Frank Clark... European Cup-winning football player and manager (retired)
- Si King.. TV Personality and Hairy Biker, resides in Rowlands Gill
- Ben Satterly..wrestler currently under contract to the WWE. Was once billed as being from Rowlands Gill when wrestling in the North East.
- Richard Cobbing..athlete, Olympian, former World Games Trampoline champion and World Championship Silver Medallist at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rowlands Gill.|
- Friends of Red Kites - Details about the reintroduced kites in the Derwent Valley, Gateshead
- Who was Rowland?