Finchale Priory: children and heritage sites

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Finchale Priory © David Gill

The Benedictine priory of Finchale Priory in County Durham is situated in a bend of the river Wear.

There are two Ministry signs warning of the dangers to be found at a heritage site: one on the north side of the church, and the other at the first floor entrance to the hall.

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Finchale Priory © David Gill

The guidebook was written by Sir Charles Peers.

Grime’s Graves: Young People’s Guide

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1964

The neolithic mines at Grime’s Graves are in the care of English Heritage. Barbara Green prepared the Young People’s Guide to Grime’s Graves (1964), in parallel to the souvenir guide to the site. The cover is by Alan Sorrell, and the guide was printed by Brown Knight & Truscott Ltd., London and Tonbridge.

The guide poses a two questions before addressing wider questions:

  • why were the mines dug?
  • what was the flint used for?
  • mining at Grime’s Graves
  • Exploring the mines (‘… it is often necessary to wriggle on one’s stomach’).

There is little in the text to make it more accessible for the younger visitor.

Inside the cover is a note: ‘Visitors wishing to crawl along the galleries are advised to wear old clothes and take an electric torch’. Those galleries are now closed to the public.

My copy was a handwritten note of the opening times on the back cover. The site was open until 7.00 pm from May to September (5.30 pm, March, April, October; 4.00 pm, November – February).