Kids learning at St Mary's
Kids learning at St Mary's

A class or group visit to St Mary's Heritage Centre can help bring the past to life.

What is there to see?

Our magnificent building provides an inspirational setting for learners of all ages. Key historic features include:

  • memorials and commemorations to people of local significance (inside the building and in our historic graveyard)
  • evidence of fire, cannonball attack and cholera
  • clues about the medieval and earlier origins of the building 

Sessions available

Great fire of Gateshead

Our popular two 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 two 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
  • exploring resources like birth certificates, census returns and enlistment records to trace a real soldier from Gateshead who is featured on the war memorial at St Mary's
  • taking 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.


Prices for either 2 hour session are £78 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. 

Contact us

Simon Green
0191 433 4699

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