Windmill Hills and Gateshead Quays

During a previous bout of walking to work – long before this site existed – I used to walk across Windmill Hills. This was a large area of open land, used by dog walkers and not many other people. Then the council sold much of the land[1], and houses were built there. After that I changed my route.

But a small area was redeveloped into a new park, which for some reason or other, I’ve only visited briefly in the past. Probably one of those “not getting round to it” things. It’s a nice little park, with a viewing area that overlooks the Tyne – and it’s an impressive view. But the key feature is yet another of our public artworks – Wind Vane, which quite apart from being tall and moving in the wind, it intended to relate to the windmills that once stood on Windmill Hills[2]. I’d never really looked at it before, and I have to say that I rather like it. At first glance, it looks like someone has left graffiti on the legs, but it’s actually part of the design – the four cardinal directions are cut into the legs in stylised lettering. It’s a nice effect.

It’s a lovely spot, and a great place to take pictures of the Newcastle skyline – I’ll have to go back in different light conditions to get a variety of images. I may even try to do an actual panoramic thingy at some point.

Anyway, see below for pictures of Wind Vane, the view from Windmill Hills and more.

[1] I seem to recall there was a bit of a protest about this, on the grounds that they weren’t supposed to do that…
[2] Hence the name :laugh:

2 thoughts on “Windmill Hills and Gateshead Quays

  1. pete johnson

    Apparently, in the 1700’s, somewhere on Windmill Hills there was an area called “Stoney Flatt”. Unsurprisingly, it was a stoney, flat area at the top of the hills. This was the site of the Stoney Flatt Colliery which is recorded as suffering the first mining disaster. 30 people, one of whom was a woman, were killed in an explosion. The names of the dead are recorded but I can’t find any records of the dates or exact position of the pit. If you’ve heard anything about this i’d be grateful if you could pass it on.

    Thanks

    pete

  2. Jan

    Came across your blog while searching for information about the signs at the entrance to Windmill Hills Park.

    There are two signs either side of the entrance depicting men on horses wielding sticks to beat poor unfortunates on the ground. Always wondered what they were about. Any idea?

    Enjoyed reading.

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