St Mary's Heritage Centre offers the opportunity for schools to make organised visits. Set inside the Quayside's oldest building, St Mary's Heritage Centre is the place where our local heritage is made fun, accessible and creative.
How can a visit help our children's learning?
Visits to St Mary's will help to bring Gateshead's heritage to life. Commemorated on our walls (and inside our graveyard) are local characters, heroes and villains. Over the last 900 years the building has survived fires, cannonball attacks and two world wars. It has witnessed vast changes to Gateshead, and overseen floods, epidemics and industrial revolution.
This magnificent historic building together with the River Tyne, its famous bridges and the Quayside, provide inspiration for engaging sessions that will captivate learners of all ages.
Great fire of Gateshead
Our popular 2 hour session links to the Key Stage 2 History Curriculum and looks at the events of Friday 6 October 1854 and the impact it caused to the people and places on the Quayside
The session includes:
- Using maps, photographs, images, and artefacts to explore how everyday life in Victorian Tyneside differed from today.
- An interactive walk along the Quayside exploring the key locations associated with the fire. (weather permitting)
- Exploring the similarities and differences between The Great Fire of Gateshead and The 1666 Fire of London.
You will also receive a pack of many of the images and resources used in the visit for follow up sessions back in the classroom.
Gateshead in the first world war
Linked to the Local History Study outlined in the Key Stage 2 History curriculum, the 2 hour session uses the first world war to provide a study over time, tracing how national history was reflected in Gateshead. Key elements will include:
- Using historic maps, images and other resources to discuss the differences between life before and after the war and the differences between then and now.
- Use an example of a real soldier from Gateshead, featured on the war memorial at St Mary's Heritage Centre, to look at how national events impacted on in the local area. Resources include birth certificates, census returns, enlistment records and more.
- Take part in re-enactment activities to understand what life was like at the time.
At the visit you will also receive a free learning pack for key stages 2/3 to use afterwards with your class.
How much does it cost?
Prices for either 2 hour session are £60 per class. Admission to the building is free.
Planning a field trip to the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside?
We can offer bespoke sessions linked to your visit and subject.
Please contact us to discuss how we can help.
0191 433 4699