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Jesmond Dene, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Jesmond Dene, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Jesmond Dene is a public park in a small, steep-sided wooded valley in Newcastle upon Tyne. The industrialist William George Armstrong (later Lord Armstrong) and his wife, Margaret, first created a private park in the valley in the mid-19th century. The northern boundary of the park has been gradually extended since to the north, and now covers an area of around 18 hectares.

Jesmond Dene, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandJesmond Dene, Newcastle upon Tyne, England The park's features include the remains of an early 12th century chapel, a 13th century mill, the 19th century waterfall, Banqueting Hall, and Armstrong Bridge.

Margaret and William Armstrong began to create the park in the 1850s, after purchasing land to extend the grounds of their house. The natural woodland in the valley had native species such as oak and holly. The Armstrongs added lots of introduced species of trees and shrubs, creating denser woodland. William Armstrong commissioned the architect John Dobson to design the Banqueting Hall, which was built in the 1860s. He also commissioned the building of a girder bridge to carry the road across the valley. He gave the bridge to the people of Newcastle in 1878, and it was named Armstrong Bridge in his honour. The bridge is nearly 20 metres (65 feet) high over the deepest part of the valley

Lord Armstrong allowed the public into his park twice a week, charging an entrance fee that was donated to charity. He gave Jesmond Dene to the people of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1883, almost a decade after moving to Cragside in Northumberland.