Forth Banks is a street in Newcastle, which runs from near Central Station
down to the Quayside where it joins Close
and Skinnerburn Road
. In the past Forth Banks was used as the name of the wider area. The old Infirmary
at Newcastle was located on Forth Banks, founded in 1751. Forth Banks became an important area during the Industrial Revolution, with various workshops and warehouses. It was the location of the Hawthorne works. In 1823, George Stephenson
, his son Robert Stephenson
, and partners, opened the world’s first purpose built locomotive works
on Forth Banks (entrance on South Street
). The "Locomotion
" and "Rocket
" were built at the works, along with many other locomotives, which exported to developing railways all around the world. Forth Banks Power Station
, built in 1890, was one of the first municipal power stations in the country.
There has been a great deal of change to Forth Banks over the years. The upper section of Forth Banks, north of the underpass under the railway, used to join Neville Street, just east of the station. However, the road now runs west to join Railway Street. The area around Forth Banks declined during the 20th century and some of the industrial buildings became derelict. However, the area has seen regeneration as the 'Stephenson Quarter', with both new buildings, such as the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and renovation of some of the older buildings.