|Newcastle Castle Keep|
Unfortunately by the 16th century the castle had become ruinous and from the early 17th century the construction of shops and houses on much of the site had started. The keep was repaired in 1643 and was used as a prison from the 16th to the 18th century. During the 19th century the keep was restored and a roof and battlements were added. It was again restored in the 1960's and 1980's.
The Black Gate was the castle's gatehouse consisting of two towers and a drawbridge. In the early 17th century it was substantially altered and the upper floors were rebuilt. Eventually houses were built along both sides of the passageway and by the early 19th century the Black Gate had become a slum tenement, housing up to sixty people. Between 1883 and 1885 the gate was extensively restored with a top floor and pitched roof added.
|The Black Gate|
In the mid 19th century a railway viaduct was constructed to the north of the keep and crossing the site of the castle. Subsequently the keep and Black Gate are all that remain of this once great fortress.