Introduction How Newcastle upon Tyne got its name; the history of the castle & the story of Robert Curthose, son of William the Conqueror. What You’ll Hear 1:24: The earliest structure on the Castle site 2:05: William the Conqueror strengthens his hold 2:52: Rebellions & sieges 3:46: The stone castle & the Black Gate 4:50:…

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Introduction The history of Tynemouth, its Priory, the later Castle that sat on the monastery land, and its surprising connection to the Norman Conquest. What You’ll Hear 0:55: The history of Tynemouth 2:04: The Victorian metro station 2:31: The Priory 4:10: Tostig Godwinson 4:31: The Castle Prefer to read instead? Click here for a transcript…

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*DISCLAIMER: I intended to visit the Stephenson Railway Museum to take my own photographs & learn more. I will be updating this post after the Covid19 lockdown has ended* The Killingworth Colliery George Stephenson went to work for Killingworth Colliery, owned by Lord Ravensworth, in 1812. The area had several pits, with Ravensworth’s the best…

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*DISCLAIMER: I intended to visit the South Shields Museum to take my own photographs & learn more. I will be updating this post after the Covid19 lockdown has ended* The South Shields Museum has a piece of the gibbet used to execute murderer William Jobling in its collection, and a grisly recreation of what that…

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The Shipley Art Gallery is a large, imposing sandstone-coloured building, which sits by itself on a main street – Prince Consort Road, named in honour of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert. Over the road from the gallery is the town library, and beyond that the leisure centre. The gallery has a large entranceway and two…

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The Merz Barn Wall Artist Kurt Schwitters began the Merz Barn Wall in Ambleside in 1947, working in a building on the Cylinders Estate belonging to architect Harry Pierce. He met Pierce earlier in the year when he was commissioned to paint his portrait. Pierce gave Schwitters the use of the barn for £1 per…

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The Hatton Gallery is a two-minute walk from the Great North Museum, and there’s a handy signpost to show you the way. If you didn’t know the gallery was within the Newcastle University campus, you could easily miss it altogether. However, it’s opposite the Northern Stage, which is quite noticeable. The History of the University…

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A brown, two-handled amphora decorated with scenes from nature

The Great North Museum has so many fascinating artefacts that it’s hard to choose one. I was tempted to pick something from their extensive Roman collection, which includes a replica Hadrian’s Wall and tombstones amongst other things, but I resisted. Instead, I’ve chosen this vase from their collection of Etruscan pottery. I like it because…

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The sandstone front of the Great North Museum

The Great North Museum, previously known as the Hancock, sits on a small hill at the Haymarket at the top end of Newcastle. When I was a child, the Hancock seemed like a ‘proper’ museum – we had to pay to visit, and it had an old-fashioned feel to it. I distinctly remember a school…

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A large wooden chest with paper scrolls and a metal bucket on the top

The Discovery Museum has so many brilliant artefacts that it’s almost impossible to single one out. However, the museum helped me out, as they’ve chosen their own ‘Top 10’ to highlight, so I’ve picked number two, the town hutch to look at here. The Town Hutch The hutch is a large oak box, bound with…

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