Newcastle upon Tyne has a rich history dating back almost 2,000 years. In that time it has been controlled by the Romans, the Saxons and the Danes, to name a few. Hadrian’s Wall runs through the city of Newcastle with stretches of the wall and some turrets also visible along the West Road and at the temple of Benwell. The Romans named the area Pons Aelius, and the Anglo-Saxons called it Monkchester, but it became Newcastle after the Norman Conquest, when the Normans built a new wooden castle there as a defensive measure against the rebellious Northumbrians.
The 19th century and the Industrial Revolution ushered in a period of great prosperity for Newcastle, founded on the shipbuilding and heavy engineering industries. Newcastle’s famous ‘five bridges’ across the Tyne, are a testament to the engineering skills that flourished in the area in the 19th and early 20th century. Perhaps the best known, the imposing arched Tyne Bridge, opened in 1928 and was built by local firm Dorman Long of Middlesbrough, also responsible for the Sydney Harbour Bridge four years later.
The affluent suburb of Heaton where the Corner House Hotel is located has a history dating back to the 12th century, when it was part of the Barony of Ellingham , and nearby Heaton Park contains the ruins often referred to as King John’s Palace or Adam’s House, which dates back to the early 13th century.
The development of Heaton and neighbouring Jesmond as prosperous suburbs for the growing Newcastle middle classes reached its peak during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with many of Heaton’s best-loved buildings, such as the Heaton Park Pavilion, Beavans Drapers and the former Ringtons Tea company offices, dating from this period.
The Corner House Hotel was built and opened in 1936, at the same time as the Lyric Cinema next door (now the People’s Theatre). A Shirley Temple film was top billing in the Lyric’s opening week, and both buildings, designed by Marshall and Tweedy, have Art Deco detailing.