Jesmond Dene

Jesmond Dene, a public park in the east end of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, occupies the narrow steep-sided valley of a small river known as the Ouseburn, flowing south to join the River Tyne: in north-east England, such valleys are commonly known as denes: the name 'Jesmond' meaning 'mouth of the Ouseburn'.[1]

Jesmond Dene
Jesmond Dene ca. 1900
Jesmond Dene is located in Tyne and Wear
Jesmond Dene
Location in Tyne and Wear
LocationNewcastle upon Tyne, UK
OS gridNZ261663
Coordinates54°59′N 1°35′W / 54.99°N 1.59°W / 54.99; -1.59Coordinates: 54°59′N 1°35′W / 54.99°N 1.59°W / 54.99; -1.59
Owned byNewcastle City Council
Managed byUrban Green Newcastle Edit this at Wikidata

Lord Armstrong and his wife, of the now-demolished Jesmond Dean (sic) house nearby, first laid out the park during the 1860s.[2] The design is intended to reflect a rural setting, with woodland, crags, waterfalls and pools. Lord Armstrong gave the park to the people of Newcastle, and it is now owned by Newcastle City Council. The current Jesmond Dene House adjoining the dene was the mansion of Armstrong's business partner Andrew Noble. It is now a luxury hotel.[3]

The (now closed to road traffic) iron-constructed Armstrong Bridge spans the south end of the Dene and hosts Jesmond Food Market every first and third Saturday of the month.[4][5] The building of a replacement road and tunnel, the Cradlewell By-pass, was the subject of a road protest camp around 1993, due to the destruction of many 200-year-old trees.[6]

Alpaca examining the visitors to Pets' Corner

Jesmond Dene contains a free-entry petting zoo known as "Pets' Corner", which has been a popular family attraction since the 1960s.[7]

Jesmond Dene is home to Newcastle's oldest religious building, St Mary's Chapel. The chapel, now in ruins, was once a site of much significance, attracting a great number of pilgrims.[8]

The park is supported by a group called 'Friends of Jesmond Dene' which provides funds for small projects to improve the park. There is also a group of Volunteer Rangers which carries out physical work tidying the paths, picking up litter, cutting back shrubs and other maintenance tasks.

The dawn chorus of Jesmond Dene has been professionally recorded and has been used in various workplace and hospital rehabilitation facilities.[9]

In 2011, the field area and pets corner were redeveloped. The redevelopment included a new road and a bridge over the Ouseburn river.[10]

In 2012, during excessively wet weather, a landslide occurred on the east side of the Dene, near the Old Mill. The landslide covered several footpaths running along the hillside. The paths are currently still closed as the cost of re-opening them would be excessive.

In July 2014, the Old Mill in the Dene was vandalised with graffiti tags, which has since been removed.[11]

On 1 April 2019, control and upkeep of Jesmond Dene, along with other Newcastle parks, was passed from Newcastle City Council to a newly created charitable trust, Urban Green Newcastle.


  1. ^ Ekwall, Eilert, ed. (1960). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names (4th ed.). Clarendon Press. p. 268.
  2. ^ Dickinson, Katie (6 February 2017). "Jesmond Dene through the years: Park offered to the public on November 7th 1866". Evening Chronicle. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Jesmond Food Market". Visit Jesmond. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Jesmond Food Market - Markets in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Jesmond - NewcastleGateshead". NewcastleGateshead. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  6. ^ Jesmond Dene, direct action road protest camp
  7. ^ "Pets Corner at Jesmond Dene". NewcastleGateshead. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  8. ^ "St Mary's Chapel - Jesmond". Visit Jesmond. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  9. ^ Watson, Chris (7 April 2008). "Dawn chorus". BBC Online. BBC. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  10. ^ Jesmond Dene (1 January 2018). "Jesmond Dene - Parkland / Woodland Garden in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne". NewcastleGateshead. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  11. ^ Brian Daniel (7 July 2014). "Yobs condemned after Jesmond Dene's historic mill is vandalised". Evening Chronicle. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 10 March 2018.

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