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Amazing Archives

How an education outreach project engaged North East schools with local heritage.

This exciting and ambitious education outreach project was all about inspiring young people (aged 12-13) to engage with the University and their local heritage in a fun and innovative way through the subjects of History, English, Science and Food Technology.

Amazing archives

About the project

Kenton School (History) worked with Dr Rachel Hammersley to research and create a pop-up museum all about the Civil War in the North East of England using primary sources, as well as creating historical trails around Tynemouth Priory and Castle.

Monkseaton Middle School (Science) found out about the treatment of gunshot wounds past and present, using the works of Pare and Vesalius and undertaking experiments on blood clotting in the science laboratories with Dr Lindsey Ferrie.

Bedlingtonshire Community High School (Food Technology) transcribed recipes from a 17th century recipe book and then baked them with the help of Professor Chris Seal.

Longbenton High School (English/Drama) worked with Tracy Gillman and historical reenactors, the Time Bandits, to use original sources to write and perform a play based on events at Tynemouth Castle during the Civil War.

The project culminated in a fantastic celebration event at Tynemouth Priory and Castle where the young people showcased their work to the other schools, their parents and the wider public.


Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund (Sharing Heritage, Grant Value: £9,900)

Duration: January 2016 -September 2017

PI and Further Team:

NU Library Education Outreach Team: 

  • Sara Bird (PI)
  • Gillian Johnston
  • Kimberley Gaiger
  • Sam Petty

Academic staff:

  • Dr Rachel Hammersley - History, School of History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Professor Chris Seal - Population Health Sciences Institute
  • Dr Lindsey Ferrie - Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences, School of Biomedical, Nutritional, and Sport Sciences
  • Dr Ruth Connolly - English Literature, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
  • Tracy Gilman - Former PhD candidate (graduated 2019), School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics


  • English Heritage
  • Kenton School
  • Monkeaston Middle School
  • Bedlingtonshire Community High School
  • Longbenton High School
  • The Time Bandits

Further information: Visit Newcastle University's Education Outreach Blog to for photos and videos of the project in action.