History

Manors Power Station

Designed by architect Benjamin Simpson for Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Tramways, the station was built between 1901 and 1904 to generate electricity for the trolleybus system and the new electrically driven cranes on Newcastle Quayside.

It’s thought that at one point the electrically operated lifts used on the Tyne Bridge were powered by Manors Power Station.

This image, courtesy of Ernie’s Railway Archive, shows the power station in operation in 1929.

Old Turbines

The Turbine Hall originally housed three marine type steam engines.

Two of the engines had a rating of 1,000 horsepower, while the third had a rating of 2,000 horsepower. Each engine was directly connected to a DC dynamo, which produced electricity at 500 Volts. From here electricity was provided for the Newcastle Corporation Tramways system via a large switch board at the station. The same switchboard also fed power to the arc lighting in the city.

This image of the Turbine Hall is pre-1908.

Crane

The Turbine Hall Crane sits over us as a permanent and gigantic reminder of the industrial revolution.

It was used mainly to lift all of the turbines into place and was built at the Crown Iron Works in Manchester by Messrs L. Higginbottom and T. Mannock. Large items were brought in by removing the whole of the corrugated iron wall at the east end of the building.

This image of the crane is from 2013.

New Turbines

The technology being used at the power station was considered to be obsolete at the time of opening and the original generators were replaced in 1908. This picture shows the difference made to the Turbine Hall with the installation of the new turbines.

The plinths that the turbines stood on are still in place today although they are now under the floor where there is also an underground tunnel that carried the cables into the city centre, and an air raid shelter that was used during World War II.

This image of the Turbine Hall is post-1908 but pre-1929.

CastleGate

In October 1966, after electricity generation had stopped, the building is said to have been used as a maintenance centre, then stripped and used as an indoor car park. During construction of the Metro system in the 1970’s, a full size mock up station was constructed in the Turbine Hall for training purposes.

Stagecoach owned the building and used it as their regional headquarters until 1996 when it was bought and refurbished by City Church Newcastle, who have services here every Sunday. It was renamed The CastleGate, and provides high value business conference services to NewcastleGateshead and the region.

Showing Marconi House with roof antenna to the right, this aerial view is from the late 20th century.

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