Newport-on-Tay shown within Fife
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||North East Fife|
|Scottish Parliament||North East Fife|
Newport-on-Tay is a small town in the north-east of Fife in Scotland, acting as a commuter suburb for Dundee. The Fife Coastal Path passes through Newport-on-Tay. The area itself is surrounded by views of the two bridges that cross the River Tay and distant views of the Scottish Highlands.
The town was established near the endpoint of one part of a ferry route that itself was started in the 12th century.
In 1715 a new pier and inn were built, the work being funded by the Guilds of Dundee which resulted in the settlement being called "New Dundee". Thomas Telford built a new harbour in the 1820s, and the town expanded and grew into a commuter suburb of Dundee as the prosperous jute manufacturers, industrialists and the middle and upper working class of Dundee established fashionable residences in Newport.
Newport-on-Tay formerly had two railway stations - the East and West stations on what was the Newport Railway. Both stations (and the Tayport-Dundee branch line) closed in 1969, having lost much of their business following the opening of the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. In fact, trains had ceased to run beyond Newport-on-Tay East station to Tayport on 22 May 1966 so that the railway line could be breached to build the bridge's southern approach road. The Dundee - Newport ferry also closed promptly later in 1966 on the opening of the Tay Road Bridge. However, the ferry terminal buildings and slipways still survive at the foot of Boat Hill as a boat repair yard.
An excavation carried out by Headland Archaeology in the farm of North Straiton near Newport-on-Tay uncovered part of a Bronze Age cremation cemetery and a line of postholes. Five human cremations were found in a group of scattered disposal pits. Around 25m away was a line of postholes, one of which was also associated with cremated human bone. Radiocarbon dates from the features indicated that they had been created in the Bronze Age, from around 1700 to 2000 BC.
The line of posts was substantial and may have been associated with the cremations rather than a building or fence. It is possible that the posts may have been memorials or markers close to the pyre used to burn the dead. Part of a quern stone and some burnt animal bone suggested that the cremation ceremony also involved preparing food. A collection of pottery was found with the cremations. This included a complete accessory vessel and fragments from a larger decorated pot that covered it.
Newport currently has a population of about eight thousand, mostly residing in stone houses built before World War II. The town centre comprises two main streets where may be found a small variety of shops and two public houses. The town has one primary school, Newport Primary, with older pupils attending secondary school in St Andrews, in Cupar, or at the nearest independent school, the High School of Dundee.
Newport is twinned with Zolotarevo, Ukraine.
Amenities on and around the High Street include the following:
- Food & Drink - Brig o Tay, Kitschnbake, Manna, Silvery Tay, The Newport
- Health & Beauty - Provost Vet (animal health), Step In (foot care), Sutherlands Hair and Beauty, Ferrier & McKinnon Optician, DentalPlus, The Newport Chiropractor, Yoga-on-Tay
- Services - Busy Bees Childcare, Vital Hike Online Marketing, The Natural Energy Co, Fantoosh Flooring, Duncraig Joiners & Builders, David Anderson Marine Ltd Boating Repair
- Shops/Retail - Minick of St Andrews Butcher, Little Charmers Children's Lifestyle, Amy Annand Flowers, Cheeky Chairs Furniture, Days Gone Bye Jams, Dot Simm Jewellery, Step In Socks
- Various - The Thrift Shop Community outlet with Rio Centre, Tatha Art Gallery, Waterstone Crook Sports Centre
There are five churches:
- Church of Scotland
- Episcopal Church of Scotland (St Mary's)
- United Free Church of Scotland
- Roman Catholic
- Church of Scientology
Newport-on-Tay and the Arts
The arts have played a major role in the shaping of Newport and its neighbourhood. In 1905 the Tayport Artist Circle Art Union was formed, made up of such painters as Alec Grieve, Stewart Carmichael and the so-called "Painters painter" David Foggie. Led by Frank Laing, their aim was to have an influence through art on the industrial environment; this is explained in a letter from Laing to the famous town planner/architect Patrick Geddes.
Many teachers of fine art in the University of Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design have migrated towards Newport-on-Tay and its north-west facing position for the incredible quality of light. Such heavy-weights in the Scottish art scene as John Byrne, Will Maclean and Marian Leven are associated with the area. A local community arts centre, The Forgan Arts, provides numerous courses in many disciplines of arts and crafts.
Recently the opening of a major art gallery by the established artist Helen Glassford has continued the aims of the Tayport circle by having the simple ethos that art should improve people's environments and so their health. Another Newport artist, the autistic savant Richard Wawro, showed with his works in crayon how art can be a bridge in health issues. This new hub, The Tatha Gallery, has already established a circle of Royal Scottish Academy members who have befriended it including Alan Robb, Joyce W Cairns, Doug Cocker, Alastair Ross, Grant Clifford, Francis Walker and Ronnie Forbes
- Stronach, S., Sheridan, A. and D. Henderson (2006), Tayside and Fife Archaeological Journal, 12, pp. 1-13.
- Visit Newport-on-Tay, Newport-on-Tay Traders Association
- The National Archives; BT58/12/Cos/1288A
- David Foggie: The Painter's Painter, A University Museum Services Exhibition
- Univ of Strathclyde archives
- Forgan Arts Centre - John Johnstone painting class in Newport-on-Tay
- Compass Gallery - Will Maclean and Marian Leven
- Creative Dundee - Tatha Gallery Opens in Newport-on-Tay
- London Times 8 May 2014 page 21
- The Scotsman - Jolomo Lloyds TSB Scotland Award 2007
- Helen Glassford
- Helen Glassford CV - List of Exhibitions
- Richard Wawro
- The Tatha Gallery, Newport-on-Tay
- Royal Scottish Academy - Member List