The History of Gallowgate

Written by tom streissguth
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The History of Gallowgate
Gallowgate is a street with memorable historical and athletic associations in the city of Newcastle. (Newcastle quayside image by Gail Johnson from Fotolia.com)

A busy thoroughfare in the city of Newcastle in northern England, the Gallowgate is rich in history and local legend. In the modern era, the street is associated with top-tier English football and with the local squad, Newcastle United. Gallowgate leads to St. James' Park, the biggest stadium in this stretch of England.

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Features

Gallowgate runs East and West between Percy Street and Blenheim Road, which joines Gallowgate from the South. Across the street to the north is Strawberry Place, the St. James metro station and the looming St. James' Park football stadium, which features the largest cantilevered stand roof in the world.

History

Gallowgate led from the city's prison, known as New Gate Gaol, to the gallows site where convicted criminals from the city of Newcastle underwent execution. Convicted of the murder of his wife, Mark Sherwood became the last person to be executed at this gallows in 1844. Gallowgate is also the name of the principal road to the execution site in other British cities, including Glasgow, Scotland.

Renovation

The street underwent new construction in the early years of the 21st century. At the Gallowgate end of St. James, a new bar was raised and named after Alan Shearer, a legendary Newcastle footballer. The Time Central Building, a seven-story office tower, was also raised along Gallowgate, which features a mix of restaurants, pubs, shopping centres and offices that makes the street one of the liveliest in the city.

St. James' Park

What is now St. James' Park, at the corner of Strawberry Place and Barrack Road, has been a football pitch since the late 19th century. The stadium is about one-third of a mile north of Newcastle's main railway station. The uncovered spectator stand at the south end of the stadium is nicknamed Gallowgate End, although its formal appellation is the Newcastle Brown Ale Stand.

Lore of Gallowgate End

The Gallowgate end was renowned for its unruly and invariably intoxicated football fans, with supporters of visiting teams undergoing all manner of humiliation and derision at the hands of the locals. A famous confrontation between Newcastle and Nottingham Forest fans took place in 1974, leading to the postponement of a Football Association cup match. By the 1980s, visiting team spectators were banned from Gallowgate, which became a Newcastle United stronghold. The stand has been the scene of many a confrontation between local United die-hards and the city's hard-pressed constabulary.

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