Photographer's Note

Newcastle upon Tyne is a town big enough to be mentioned in guidebooks to England but usually information is scarce. On one hand it is quite difficult to navigate to find interesting sights without any help, on another hand it is so much off the beaten track that it feels sometimes like discovering a new, unexplored by tourists, area. I have already presented several photos from Newcastle and I thought I had it explored from the touristic point of view but I was wrong. Searching for attractions for my little daughter (Museum of Natural History) I found myself crossing the campus of Newcastle University which has several beautiful buildings. Near the campus in the area called Haymarket I spotted this interesting church. I have seen it before of course but never really had a chance to come closer. The tower design resembles the tower of Newcastle Cathedral which I have showed here already, it is also a bit similar (just the tower) to the Edinburgh Cathedral. May be it was in fashion in the north at certain point?

Church of St Thomas the Martyr is one of the most prominent Newcastle landmarks, located close to both universities, the city hall and main shopping district in the Haymarket. It is a 19th-century Anglican re-foundation of a medieval chapel, traditionally said to have been created by one of the assassins of Thomas Becket. The church is dedicated to St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered in 1170 by a group of four English knights acting – so they mistakenly believed – on the orders of Henry II. Since Becket had defended the privileges of the Church against Henry, he was regarded as a martyr and canonized in 1173. The four murderers were instructed, in order to atone for their sins, to serve a period as confreres (associate brothers) of the Knights Templar, but it is believed that one of them, Hugh de Morville, also elected to found a chapel dedicated to the saint as a private penance. It was this chapel which would eventually become the Church of St Thomas the Martyr. The precise foundation date is uncertain, but probably in the 1170s, and certainly by the early 13th century.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3962 W: 91 N: 10287] (42437)
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