Tyne and Wear HER(7692): Newcastle, Sandhill, bull ring - Details
Newcastle, Sandhill, bull ring
The Newcastle Courant reported that in January 1768 the gentlemen of the town had graciously provided a bull for the amusement of the poor. In 1774 Newcastle's magistrates enjoyed a baiting to the accompaniment of ringing of bells and firing of guns. There was a bull ring in Sandhill until 1768 when a spectator (Kenslyside Henzell) was gored by a bull and killed and the bullring was closed. Baiting carried on elsewhere in Newcastle however. Thomas Oliver records that a large stone with an iron ring, used for bull-baiting was found in Sandhill on July 10th 1821. The bull was tied to the ring and then baited with dogs. Spectators bet on which dog would be able to clamp onto the bull's nose for the longest time. The authorities believed that meat from a baited bull tasted better. Bull baiting was banned nationwide in 1835. The bull ring was in the Castle Keep. It's now in Jesmond Old Cemetery.
Jack and John Leslie, 2003, Down Our Streets - Newcastle's street names explored, p 7; Pearson, Lynn, 2010, Played in Tyne and Wear - Charting the heritage of people at play, p 9 and 10