Tynemouth Priory and Castle: guidebooks

Tynemouth Priory and Castle © David Gill

Tynemouth priory and church are located on the north side of the mouth of the river Tyne. The first guidebook, by R.Neville Hadcock, was published in 1936; the second edition appeared in 1952, continuing as an English Heritage ‘Handbook’ in 1986. It followed the standard format of History followed by description; there is an extended glossary.

The guidebook was replaced by Andrew D. Saunders (1993).


The most recent guidebook is by Grace McCombie (2008). This starts with a tour followed by the history. It includes a section on the headland in the First and Second World Wars, with detailed descriptions of the gun batteries.


South Shields (Arbeia) Roman Fort

South Shields Roman Fort © David Gill

The Roman fort at South Shields guards the mouth of the Tyne. The fort probably dates to the 160s, and major reconstruction took place in the early 3rd century. The site was first identified in 1875, and further excavations took place after the Second World War. The west gate was reconstructed in 1988.


Angel of the Great North Museum

Great North Museum © David Gill
Great North Museum: Greek Hoplites meet The Angel of the North © David Gill

I was looking at museum projects with my students today. One of the case studies was on the Great North Museum that incorporates the former Hancock Museum, the Museum of Antiquities, and the Shefton Museum of Greek Art. The museum is a dynamic collaboration between Newcastle University and the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums Service.

The redevelopment cost £26 million. In March 2004 the museum was awarded £40,000 Project Planning Grant from the HLF, following in January 2005 by a major award of £9,246,000. The museum opened in May 2009 [HLF Press Release].

In 2015 the museum announced that it had welcomed its 3 millionth visitor in just five years.

Rome’s Frontier Begins Here

Segedunum Roman Fort

How do you engage with archaeological heritage in a post-industrial setting? Hadrian’s Wall must rank as one of the premier Roman sites in the UK but the east end lies under Wallsend. The Segedunum project has this fantastic viewing tower overlooking the site with a banner that reads, ‘Where Rome’s great frontier begins’. This, of course, is not just Walls-end but Walls-beginning, especially for those walking from the Tyne to the Solway Firth. The tower itself reminds us of the shipbuilding heritage of the Tyne with clear views up and down the river, explaining the strategic location of the fort.

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