The present picture seems to show a proposed scheme for a new street by the celebrated Newcastle architect Richard Grainger. It has a general similarity in layout, style, and materials to Grey Street as it was built in 1835, although many details, as minutely described in Carmichael's picture, were not executed.
The scheme was recorded in a published isometric drawing by Thomas Sopwith in 1834 (Laing Art Gallery) and shows key features also seen in Carmichael's painting, such as a Gothic structure with a tall steeple facing down the street. The domed and pedimented structures seen in the painting correspond with the locations of a theatre and hotel in another drawing showing Grainger's original proposal (Newcastle City Library)
Another painting by Carmichael shows part of Grey Street as built, (reproduced in Pevsner Guide to Newcastle and Gateshead, McCombie, Yale, 2009, fig.113). Unlike the present painting it does not show the south-east corner of the street as the land was not acquired until some time after the street was completed (Newcastle and Gateshead, p 164).