Bringing Sunshine to Grey Street

Tony Aldous investigates the story behind Grey Street in Newcastle upon Tyne

Edinburgh's New Town is well enough known, as is the chief reason for its creation overcrowding and unhealthy conditions on the ridge of the Royal Mile prompted merchants, lawyers and others to leap the Nor' Loch to a spacious, urbane development of Georgian terraces and squares It is less widely appreciated that the merchants of Newcastle upon Tyne, eighty miles to the south, did much the same thing. From the mid eighteenth century they increasingly moved up the hill from an overcrowded and polluted quayside to the high ground beyond. But what crowned their efforts was the bold and skilful initiative of a remarkable entrepreneur, Richard Grainger, who was born 200 years ago this October.

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