#6 & 43 The Keep at Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Northumberland, England
This is NOT an official Lego site

In 1080 William the Conqueror sent his eldest son, Robert Curthose, to Northumberland to defend his English kingdom against the Scots.  Robert soon settled in Monkchester ['place where the monks live'] where he began building a New Castle, a timber motte and bailey structure of which nothing now remains.  In 1095 the Earl of Northumberland, on behalf of Robert, rose up against King William II, who attained the English throne when William I died in 1087.  William II aka Rufus ['the Red'] was the Conqueror's third son, and one wonders why Robert was not crowned king instead of William.  In any case William II's army was successful, and Newcastle became a crown property.  In 1168 Henry II commissioned Maurice the Builder, renowned for his castle at Dover, to design and build a stone castle at Newcastle.  Construction of the 62 x 56 foor Great Tower began in 1172 and took six years.  The project also included a many-sided timber curtain with rectangular towers, and additional buildings along the curtain. Often attacked because of its location in the northern counties of England, the imposing tower is the major remnant of the castle.
Newcastle's great outer gateway, called the "Black Gate", was built from 1247 to 1250 by Henry III, and later in the 13th century stone walls replaced the timber curtain.  Protection of the town became a priority over repair of the keep, and in 1589, during the reign of Elizabeth I, the tower was described as ruinous.  The castle was repaired by the Royalist mayor of Newcastle during the Civil War, but in 1644 Newcastle was besieged for three months by a Scottish army in support of the Parliamentarians.  The successful siege severely damaged the town walls.  The keep was used as a prison through the 18th century.  Several restoration projects in the first half of the 19th century were overshadowed by the arrival of the railroad and a viaduct crossing between the keep and the Black Gate!  Additional repairs to the keep in the 1960s and 1980s have resulted in the Great Tower being a popular tourist attraction.  All the pictures are from my 2015 visit, long after my constructions of 1986 and 1992.
Drawing of castle about 1350 Photo of Black Gate & Keep Black Gate Entrance Courtyard side of Black Gate
Castle Plan Keep Plan Keep Cross-section
Photos of the Lego Model
Built December 1992
First try -
October 1986
Southeast View
Southwest View
Northwest View
Northeast View
Entrance View

Build Your Own
Lego Plan (Gnd floor)
Lego Plan (1st floor)
Lego Plan (2nd floor)
Lego Plan (3rd floor)
East Elevation
South Elevation
West Elevation
North Elevation

Other Newcastle pages:

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main castle page.

Castles created by
Robert Carney
Page created & maintained by
Robert Carney