The New Castle
The `New Castle’ of Robert Curthose was built of earth and timber and was situated on a defended plateau overlooking the River Tyne. It seems to have performed its defensive role well until 1095 when it was seized by Norman barons under Robert De Mowbray Earl of Northumberland, during a rebellion against King William Rufus. The king sent north an army to quash this rebellion and the castle of Newcastle was forced to surrender.
In 1172 during the reign of King Henry II the castle at Newcastle was rebuilt in stone by Mauricius Caementarius and most of the stonework of the present keep still dates from this period. Later in about 1250 a barbican was added to the castle called the Black Gate which can still be seen today. The Blackgate was converted into a house in 1618 by the addition of a roof and windows which can be seen in the accompanying drawing. In Victorian times the building was cut off from the castle keep by the construction of a railway which runs between the two.