Welcome to the centre of Newcastle - the tour begins right inside Newcastle's Central Station, at the bottom left of the map. You can either roam around the map or read the illustrated tour details below. On the map, anywhere the cursor becomes a hand, just click and you will see a photograph of the site - try it out on the station! Use your browser's back button to return to the map and explore more of the city's ceramic sites and sights.

Read more about tiles in Newcastle

Here are some details about the sites shown on the map:

wpe67489.gif (55424 bytes) The first class refreshment room of the Central Station, Neville Street, was created by North Eastern Railway architect William Bell around 1892. It has been disused since the 1970s but renovation began in 1999. It is decorated almost from floor to ceiling with faience from Burmantofts of Leeds; the main colours are browns, yellows and greens, with columns of circular and square cross section near either end of the room. The view shows its west end, beyond the point where the semi-circular ceramic bar (now removed) was sited.
wpe02998.gif (62757 bytes) Head east along Neville Street and then Collingwood Street, cutting through the cathedral precinct to emerge on Dean Street beside Milburn House. This huge office block - then the largest in Europe - was built in 1902-5 on a sloping corner site by Oliver, Leeson and Wood. The ground floor public areas and many other stairs and corridors are tiled in Art Nouveau style throughout, with colours mainly green and yellow. The tiles are an early example of the work of H. & R. Johnson, who restored their own tiles in 1990-1, not without some difficulties arising from variations in the size and colour of the originals!
wpe78749.gif (65885 bytes) Continuing uphill to the corner of Dean Street and Mosley Street, on the south-east corner is the former Prudential Assurance Building, now a café. It was built in 1891 by Alfred Waterhouse and - like many of his insurance company offices - the ground floor interior has a sparkling Burmantofts tile scheme including arches, with colours mainly pale green and yellow.
wpe15542.gif (104374 bytes) Turn left along Mosley Street then right into Cloth Market, where the Bee Hive Pub appears at the junction with High Bridge. It was rebuilt by local architects Joseph Oswald & Son in 1902 for the Newcastle Breweries. Its ground floor facade is decorated with green and yellow faience in a floral pattern with bees and beehives hidden in the leaves - definitely a design created especially for this particular pub. The manufacturer is likely to be Burmantofts, as the Oswalds regularly used this firm.
wpe27849.gif (63604 bytes) Continue along High Bridge, crossing the elegant curve of Grey Street, then turn left into Pilgrim Street and walk north to Northumberland Street. On the left is Fenwick’s department store, seen here with Father Christmas riding high above a facade made lurid green by Christmas lights; normally it appears a glistening white. The Classical faience facade of the store was built around 1910-13, and restored in 1996 by faience manufacturers Shaws of Darwen.
wpe59953.gif (26508 bytes) Continuing northward, turn right into Northumberland Road to find the Sutherland Building, now part of the University of Northumbria but built as the Durham University Medical School - note the initials ’DUMS’ in striking terracotta! The building, with its unusual parapet of bright red terracotta, ornamented with an entire herd of toothy gargoyles, was put up in 1887 by Dunn, Hansom & Dunn.
wpe72664.gif (54187 bytes) Return along Northumberland Street, turning right after Monument Mall to reach Grey’s Monument. Just to the west in Blackett is Parson’s Polygon, an artwork of brick and terracotta cladding hiding a ventilator shaft for the Metro system beneath. This rustic, rugged red hexagonal work was created in 1985 by the sculptor David Hamilton; the terracotta cladding was made from the same clay as nearby Eldon Square’s bricks.
wpe12175.gif (65703 bytes) Immediately south of Grey’s Monument is the Central Arcade, created by architects Joseph and Harold Oswald after the interior of Exchange Buildings was burnt out around 1904. The two-storey shopping arcade was faced entirely in Burmantofts faience in shades of brown and yellow, clearly marked with the date of completion, 1906. Only an unfortunate replacement mosaic floor mars the delightful picture.
wpe18130.gif (142725 bytes) Continue south down Grainger Street, turning right into Westgate Road; cross the road to see the Newcastle Arts Centre, wherein may be found probably the largest handmade tile project of the twentieth century. The building has very attractive gas-fired geometric terracotta floor tiles and wall mosaics throughout a vast site. All the ceramics were designed and made during 1982-8 by changing teams of community programme workers funded by Manpower Services; some tiles were even made from clay dug on the site. The photo shows some of the brilliantly coloured mosaics.
wpe02341.gif (56546 bytes) Turn left into Clayton Street West to find the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Mary. The church was designed by A. W. N. Pugin in 1842-4 and became a cathedral in 1850. The spire was added in 1872 by local architects Dunn & Hansom. There is a range of encaustic floor tiles by Minton’s, probably dating from the original period of construction, and a tiled frieze which runs at window-sill level around the body of the cathedral. The frieze, mainly in mauve, green and white, was probably added in 1901-2, when the baptistry (now the entrance porch) was built by Edward Goldie. It was probably designed and made by one of the local stained glass producers. Lettering on the frieze includes the names of Northumbrian saints, on the south side, and names of English martyrs on the north side. To complete the tour, return to the Station via Bewick Street, along the north side of the Cathedral.