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This first semester of 2017-18 started on 2nd October. The annual design Charrette week bring energy and creatively to the students of each stages and disciplines. There were 11 sub topics in total, and asked us to use any information and skills in the process and present it at the end.

Our topic called The Loop. It looks a bit confused. It aimed to create a journey thought several recognized fantastic stories described about some places in Newcastle. In that afternoon, we went to several interesting and legendary places, like a Newcastle story tour. Some impressive marks are as follows.

Figure 1 by WanderingFoot
Figure 1 by WanderingFool

The Vampire Rabbit, perched above Collingwood House, the building near St Nicholas’ Cathedral on Amen Corner. There are various stories. One of them tells it was standing guard to scare away the after-dark diggers. Or maybe it was a touch of Mad March Hare humour from the sculptor.

(more detailed information at:




Figure 2 by Iva Milosevic

The Dog Leap Stairs connect the Castle Garth to the Side. The name refers to ‘a narrow slip of ground between houses’.

It has become famous in the Dire Straits Album song ‘Down to the Waterline’

‘Near misses on the dogleap stairways

French kisses in the darkened doorways.

A foghorn blowing out wild and cold

A policeman shines a light upon my shoulder’

According to folklore, Baron Eldon, later Lord Chancellor of England, rode a horse and leap up the steep stairs to eloped with Bessie Surtees making their escape.

I also heard the story from other group – “an evil man who mistreats the animals that prowl the place”. (yes, it has been written by Fabian in this blog)


Our story is occurred at the Black Gate. Because my team member and me almost aren’t natives.

We found that there are quite a lot of folk stories around the old Castle and the Black Gate. However, the most famous ghost story linked to Castle Keep is that of ‘The Poppy Girl’. Her story is a tragic one. She is said to have been a flower girl who was imprisoned because of her debts. While in prison, she was raped and then beaten to death by male prisoners. She is often seen above the stairs at night, and the smell of flowers usually accompanies her

We decided to make a work that would not make people feel scary at first, and with we told the story, the image change into a horror photo. So, we tried to make a puzzle, intermingled the order. Also done the drawings which make the Black Gate cuter to cover the main picture at first.

Figure 3 by author
Figure 4 by author


Finally, the picture on completed puzzle is like this.

Figure 5 by Aruzhan Sagynay


To review the whole week, it is a new method to understand the culture and environmental atmosphere of a region through the folklore in an unfamiliar city. It was also an amazing experience to talk for a horror video script with people in different stages and background.








School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


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