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Newcastle upon Tyne, typically called simply “Newcastle,” is a city and metropolitan borough in Tyne and Wear. It is situated on the northern bank of the River Tyne.

Initially developed around the Roman settlement of Pons Aelius, the settlement was changed to that of the castle which William the Conqueror’s first son, Robert Curthose. That castle, as well as the name of the settlement, was Newcastle.

In 1077, Newcastle, was under the rule of William the Conqueror, the first Norman king of England. His eldest son, Robert, who would become Robert II, was the target of a prank played on him by his brothers William Rufus and Henry. The young siblings dumped a full chamber pot over Robert’s head, which resulted in an altercation which his father ended. This resulted in bruised pride by Robert which was inflamed to the point of seething anger at William after the King allowed the younger siblings to go unpunished.

The very next day, Robert and his followers tried unsuccessfully to seize the Castle of Rouen in France. King William ordered the arrest of Robert and his brothers in arms. This added to the conflict between the father and son. The youths stayed ahead of those who were trying to arrest them. They arrived to the court of his uncle, Robert I, Count of Flanders and then invaded the county of Vexin in northwestern France, causing so much havoc that King William allied with France’s King Philip I to stop Robert.

The relationship between father and son was deteriorating quickly, and things only got worse when the king found out this his wife, Queen Matilda, had been sending their son money. It was the next year that Queen Matilda got the father and son to reconcile, at least temporarily, and they reconciled. During that time, Robert and William I built a wooden castle in 1080, and upon the castle’s completion, the town was officially named Newcastle.

The term “carry coals to Newcastle” refers to this particular area. The term is used to describe doing something superfluous or pointless. Newcastle upon Tyne was renowned as the United Kingdom’s first coal exporting port.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Newcastle experienced a consistent trend about of unemployment, and coal mining was hit hard. The last of Newcastle’s coal mine closed in 1956. In 2013, a temporary mine opened, produced about 40,000 tonnes of coal using modern mining methods. The shipyards died a slow death between the 1970s and 1990s. And during World War II, the city was bombed by the Luftwaffe. It took decades to grow into the bustling ports.

It is the most populous city in North East England. Today, Newcastle’s Central Business District is important to the region’s commercial district. Further, it is home to the Centre for Life, which is the country’s first biotechnology village. Scientists working here were the second group in Europe to get a license for human embryo stem cell research, allowing the group to find treatments like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes, and in 2005, they were the first scientists to clone a human embryo.



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