history museums in Northumberland
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Northumberland Museums & Galleries

including civic and independent art galleries and museums in Northumberland...

Museums long ago ceased to be stuffy rooms full of glass cases containing bits of old pottery and fossilised bones. Today even most conventional museums include changing displays but over recent years there has been a growth in industrial and "living" museums. Here you can learn about local heritage, get a feel for how people lived and worked, the hardships they endured...

Galleries listed include not just civic galleries displaying publicly owned artworks, but also privately owned galleries with items for sale.

Northumberland Museums and Galleries

blank tabTHE HERITAGE CENTREMuseums & Galleries
Station Yard, Bellingham, Hexham, Northumberland, NE48 2DG

A small folk museum for North Tyne Valley and Redesdale. The Border Counties Railway exhibition has artefacts unique to this area. The re-created photographer's shop is based on the one which W. P. Collier had in the village in the 1920s and some of his vast collection of photographs of the area are on display. There are exhibitions on the Border Reivers and mining heritage. Other changing exhibitions reflect aspects of history and tradition in the Upper North Tyne and Redewater valleys. Plus hands on displays and childrens activities. Check the website for opening times.
Tel: 01434 220050
E-mail: info@bellingham-heritage.org.uk
See our website

blank tabHOUSE OF HARDY MUSEUM & COUNTRY STOREMuseums & Galleries
Willowburn, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 2PF

The site is a museum of the company products and country wear. It is reputedly the maker of the finest fishing tackle in the world. It also sells fishing rods, reels, fly lines, bags, clothing and other fishing accessories by Royal appointment to the HRH Prince of Wales.
Tel: 01665 510027    Fax: 01665 602389
E-mail: sales@purefishing.com
See our website

blank tabNORTH EAST AIRCRAFT MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Old Washington Road, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR5 3HZ
Establishment Photo
Open seven days a week through the summer and winter, the well-run North East Aircraft Museum features two display halls and a restoration workshop which is open to visitors. An impressive collection of aircraft is on show, together with a large number of aero engines and many other aviation artefacts.

Themed displays include the 607 Squadron room, Royal Observer Corps, Bomber Command Association, Aircrew Association, RAF Association and the aviation heritage of the local area. World War 2 street scene which will enable visitors to step back in time and walk through the war time street.

Refreshments available, opening times etc, can be found on our website.
Tel: 0191 519 0662
E-mail: info@neam.org.uk
See our website

blank tabWOODHORNMuseums & Galleries
Queen Elizabeth 2nd Country Park, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9YF

Set in a country park, Woodhorn tells the story of Northumberland through its original listed colliery buildings, interactive social history displays, fascinating archive collections and a lively temporary exhibition and events programme. A great day out for all the family. Admission is free.
Tel: 01670 528080See our website

blank tabBAILIFFGATE MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
14 Bailiffgate, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1LX
Establishment Photo
The Bailiffgate Museum presents for the first time the history of Alnwick & District.

Attractively located in the former St. Mary's Church, dating from 1836, the Museum can be found close to Alnwick Castle.

The people and places of North Northumberland are brought to life here in lively, interactive style, through an exploration of six engaging themes. Each section mixes conventional displays with exciting interactives, which include the chance to squeeze through a Northumbrian mine, try on armour, test your skill in a medieval computer game and sing along to local songs.

Temporary museum based and art exhibitions are staged throughout the year on a variety of themes with complementary workshops and events.
Tel: 01665 605847    Fax: 01665 605394
E-mail: ask@bailiffgatemuseum.co.uk
See our website

Abbots Tower, Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1NG

The Fusiliers Museum has its roots back as far as 1929 at the then depot at Fenham Barracks in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It moved to this location in 1970. The history of the Regiment is told in chronological order via the use of story panels and pictures. On the top floor there is a DVD which runs for about 45 minutes on the history of the Regiment. There's a small, children's corner with various games for them. The aim of the museum is not just to show relics of bygone days, but to highlight the social history aspect of the soldiers and their families.
Tel: 01665 602152    Fax: 01665 605257
E-mail: fusnorthld@aol.com
See our website

blank tabARBEIA ROMAN FORTMuseums & Galleries
Baring Street, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 2BB

Situated four miles east of the end of Hadrian's Wall at South Shields Arbeia Roman Fort guarded the entrance to the River Tyne. Built about AD160 the stone fort played an essential role in the mighty frontier system. Originally built to house a garrison Arbeia soon became the military supply base for the 17 forts along the Wall. Arbeia is the best reconstruction of a Roman fort in Britain and offers visitors a unique insight into the everyday life of the Roman army.
Tel: 0191 456 1369    Fax: 0191 427 6862
E-mail: arbeia@twmuseums.org.uk
See our website

blank tabSEGEDUNUM ROMAN FORT BATHS & MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Buddle Street, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, NE28 6EH

Segedunum Roman Fort stood on the banks of the River Tyne and was the last outpost of Hadrian's Wall. For almost 300 years Segedunum, which means 'strong fort', was home to 600 Roman soldiers. Today, Segedunum is the most excavated Fort along the Wall, with a large interactive museum and 35-metre high viewing tower providing outstanding views across this World Heritage Site.
Tel: 0191 236 9347    Fax: 0191 226 9347
E-mail: segedunum@twmuseums.org.uk
See our website

blank tabSTEPHENSON RAILWAY MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE29 8DX

Relive the glorious days of the steam railway at Stephenson Railway Museum. The Museum is home to George Stephenson's 'Billy', a forerunner of the world-famous 'Rocket', and many other engines from the great age of steam including 'Jackie Milburn', named after the Newcastle United legend. A ride on a real steam train can be taken on Sundays from April to October, and fun activities for all ages are held during school holidays.
Tel: 0191 200 7146    Fax: 0191 200 7144
E-mail: stephenson@twmuseums.org.uk
See our website

Burdon Road, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR1 1PP

Exciting hands-on exhibits and interactive displays tell the story of Sunderland from its prehistoric past through to the present day. The Art Gallery features paintings by L S Lowry alongside Victorian masterpieces and artefacts from the four corners of the world. The stunning Winter Gardens stimulates the senses with over 1,500 flowers and plants brought together in a spectacular showcase of the world's natural beauty.
Tel: 0191 553 2323    Fax: 0191 553 7828
E-mail: sunderland@twmuseums.org.uk
See our website

blank tabMONKWEARMOUTH STATION MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
North Bridge Street, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR5 1AP

This splendid Victorian railway station recreates a sense of travel in times past. Discover the original Booking Office as it would have looked in Victorian times, watch today's trains zoom past the Platform Gallery and explore the Journeys Gallery with its original Sunderland bus cab. The Children's Gallery has a range of toys, books and dressing up clothes. Special temporary exhibitions can be seen throughout the year and regular activity sessions are also held.
Tel: 0191 567 7075    Fax: 0191 510 9415
E-mail: monkwearmouth@twmuseums.org.uk
See our website

blank tabSOUTH SHIELDS MUSEUM & ART GALLERYMuseums & Galleries
Ocean Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE33 2JA

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery explores the story of South Tyneside through sensational displays, hands-on exhibits and stunning art. 'Tales of South Tyneside' and 'Changing Faces' chart the history of the region from the Bronze Age to the Twentieth Century, while 'Art Adventure' takes a fresh approach to the interpretation of the Museum's paintings. The Museum hosts temporary exhibitions and has a range of activities and events to suit all ages.
Tel: 0191 456 8740    Fax: 0191 456 7850
E-mail: southshields@twmuseums.org.uk
See our website

blank tabBEDE'S WORLD MUSEUM AND FARMMuseums & Galleries
Church Bank, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, NE32 3DY
Establishment Photo
Venerable Bede's extraordinary life, early Europe's greatest scholar, is celebrated at Bede's World - where he lived and worked at the monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow 1300 years ago.

Bede's life is brought to life - listen to his thoughts in our sound pods and watch how manuscripts were made in our interactive gallery - kids can even dress up in monk's habits too! Make friends with rare breed animals on the farm - including curly coated pigs - and explore reconstructed Anglo-Saxon timber buildings before visiting St. Paul's Church and monastic ruins. Finish your visit with a visit to the gift shop and enjoy a cream tea in our café!

On-site disabled parking and accessible toilets. Check our website for opening times and admission prices.
Tel: 0191 489 2106
E-mail: visitor.info@bedesworld.co.uk
See our website

Museum Of Antiquities

The Quadrangle, Museum Of Antiquities, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU
Tel: 0191 222 7849    Fax: 0191 222 8561
E-mail: m.o.antiquities@ncl.ac.uk

The Museum of Antiquities is the joint museum of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. It is the principal museum of archaeology in north east England. Its visitors are those who wish to know more about the history of the region, especially Hadrian's Wall and the Roman frontier. It has a renowned collection of artefacts, models and archives relating to the Wall, and a full-scale reconstruction of the Temple to Mithras at Carrawburgh. Other displays illustrate the variety of life in the region from early prehistory to the 17th century.

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Grace Darling Museum

Radcliffe Road, Bamburgh, Northumberland, NE69 7AE    
: 01668 214465

The Grace Darling Museum was opened in September 1938 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Grace Darling's famous rescue, with her father, of nine survivors from the S.S. Forfarshire, which was wrecked in a great storm off the Farne Islands of the N.E coast of Northumberland. Among the exhibits in the Museum is the original Coble in which Grace and her father rowed to the wreck from the Longstone Lighthouse where William Darling was lighthouse keeper; goods belonging to the Darling family. Letters to and from Grace Darling and her father replica medals awarded to Grace etc. The museum is open all year round. Easter to October, 7 days a week, 10-5 lass admission 4.15. November to Easter 10-4, closed Monday last admission 3.30pm. Admission charge applies.

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Hancock Museum

Barras Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear, NE2 4PT
Tel: 0191 222 7418    Fax: 0191 222 6753

The North of England's premier Natural History Museum unravels the secrets of the natural world through sensational galleries and close encounters with reptiles and insects. For more than one hundred years the Museum has provided visitors with an insight into the animal kingdom and the powerful and sometimes destructive forces of nature. From the Dinosaurs to live animals, the Hancock is home to creatures past and present and even the odd Egyptian mummy or two.

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Berwick Borough Museum

The Clock Block, Berwick Barracks Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland
Tel: 01289 301869   

A kaleidoscope of experiences from 'Window on Berwick' to Burrell's 'Berwick' Collection, including Degas, Japanese Imari pottery, Venetian glassware, German pewter and Ming vases. Plus Medieval chalices, Roman glass, fine Watercolours and exciting contemporary exhibitions

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Border History Museum

The Old Gaol, Hallgate, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 1XD
Tel: 01434 652349    Fax: 01434 652425

The Old Gaol is the earliest documented purpose-built prison in England. It was built by order of the Archbishop of York 1330-33. It held prisoners from Hexhamshire, and in the C16th from the English Middle March, before their trial in the nearby Moothall Court Room. The museum displays introduce visitors to the life and times of the Border Reivers. Collections description. Arms and armour from the C15th and C16th Items of local history (Tynedale) interest, photographs, documents and objects Border Library holds the Butler Collection, books, tapes and manuscript music relating to the culture of the Borders.

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Coquetdale Arts Centre

Court Building, Front Street, Rothbury, Northumberland, NE65 6TZ
Tel: 01669 621557     E-mail: coquarts@aol.co.uk

The Coquetdale Arts Centre is situated in the beautiful town of Rothbury in the heart of Northumberland. We have a large gallery where we exhibit the work of over 100 artists. We have a well equipped studio in which art classes take place throughout the year. We teach a wide range of media and techniques and classes are suitable for all abilities.

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Fenwick Gallery

21 Castle Street, Warkworth, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 0UW
Tel: 01665 711136        E-mail: fenwickgallery@me.com

The Fenwick Gallery is situated in Warkworth, Northumberland - a picturesque village surrounded on three sides by the River Coquet, and overlooked by a magnificent castle perched on a hill at the top of the main street. It offers an enviable range of contemporary applied art from artists chosen for their unique skills, imagination and flair. The Gallery is dedicated to introducing the country's finest collection of limited edition contemporary art to all. The quality of work is exceptional, enhanced by a combination of the best artists, blended with the finest publishing techniques, quality papers and individual processes. The Gallery, in addition to offering a superb range of paintings and prints, also has a fine selection of ceramics, studio glass, wood pieces and jewellery.

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Arts Centre

Biddick Lane, Fatfield, Washington, Tyne and Wear, NE38 8AB
Tel: 0191 219 3455     E-mail: acw@sunderland.gov.uk

Housed in traditional 19thC farm buildings, the Arts Centre houses a varied programme of arts including music, dance, theatre, arts and crafts and exhibitions.

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Queen's Hall Arts

Beaumont Street, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3LS
Tel: 01434 652477

Arts centre, theatre, exhibition gallery, library and restaurant.

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Discovery Museum

Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4JA
Tel: 0191 232 6789     E-mail: discovery@twmuseums.org.uk

Open: Monday to Saturday 10-5 & Sunday 2-5. Free admission.
Discovery Museum is the North East's biggest free museum and the gateway to fun and facts about Tyneside. Its diverse displays explore Newcastle's past from Romans to the present day, a fun approach to science, a human look at military life and the world of textiles and fashion. It also houses real Tyneside inventions that changed the world, including the record-breaking 30 metre long ship, Turbinia, and early light bulbs invented by Joseph Swan. There is also a UK Online Centre with free internet access and education programmes.

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Terror Potters

29/31 Fenkle Street, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HW
Tel: 01665 605897     E-mail: terror_potters@hotmail.com

The establishment allows the visitors to pick any pottery they like, be it ornaments, crockery or even fun pieces for children, and then you are able to paint it in a manner of your choosing. Great for souvenirs or gifts. Sat - 9am to 4pm, Closed Sundays. Open Bank Holiday Mondays.

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Maltings Theatre and Cinema

Eastern Lane, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1AJ
Tel: 01289 330999     E-mail: box.office@maltingsberwick.co.uk

A 327 seat theatre, with year round performances. Also a new world class black studio with seating for 75 called the Heny Travors Studio. There is also an cinema. The theatre shows plays, live music and dance performances, stand up comedy. The Arts Centre holds exhibitions, classes, courses and art workshops. There is a cafe, bar and restaurant located on site. Wheelchair access to all areas and facilities for the hearing impaired. Open Monday to Friday, 10am  - 8pm.

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Kings Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum

The Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1DG
Tel: 01289 307426     E-mail: info@kosb.co.uk

The museum shows the history of one of the oldest un-amalgamated and operational regiments in the British Army. The exhibitions show the history of the regiment from 1689 to the present day, via displays of uniforms, medals, weapons and other associated materials. There is a gift shop, a refreshment sales point and disabled toilets located in the barracks.

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Hexham Moothall and Gallery

Market Place, Hexham, NE46 3NH
Tel: 01434 652351     E-mail: museum@tynedale.co.uk

Originally a 15th century Goal owned by the Archbishop, and was used as a supply store, the 1st floor was a court room and the roof was used to keep watch for possible troublemakers. Now it is a gallery and library where local artists display their work. Visitors can view the artwork and learn the history of this grand building.

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Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum

The Chantry, Bridge Street, Morpeth, NE61 1PJ
Tel: (01670) 535163     E-mail: tourism@castlemorpeth.gov.uk

The sound system in the museum allows he visitor to listen to bagpipes through head phones and learn the differences about bagpipes and the way they are played. There is also a tourist information point and a craft centre inside the chantry. Facilities for the hearing and visually impaired. Open: Daily, 10am to 5pm, except Sundays

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National Glass Centre

Liberty Way, Sunderland, Tyne And Wear, SR6 0GL
Tel: 0191 515 5555    Fax: 0191 515 5556
E-mail: alison.atkinson@nationalglasscentre.com

Based in a new building on the banks of the River Wear the National Glass Centre has all the ingredients for a fun day out for people of all ages. The Glass Tour: Start your journey in the Sunderland Room where you can follow the history of our local glass industry on stained glass panels. Emerge into the interactive world of the Kaleidoscope Gallery with its video walls and touch screens telling the story of how glass relates to everyday life. Then feel the heat as you enter the heart of the NGC. The Glass Factory gives you a birds-eye view of the glassmaking process performed by students of the University of Sunderland’s Glass and Ceramics departments. And finally, take your seat in the Glass Studio to watch our team of glassmakers perform special demonstrations throughout the day. Spoil yourself after the Glass Tour in the Glass Shop and Throwingstones Restaurant.

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Alnwick Castle

Alnwick, NE66 1NQ
Tel: 01665 510 777      E-mail: enquiries@alnwickcastle.com

The second largest inhabited castle in England, Alnwick Castle is home to the Percy family, who have been Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. The castle interior is furnished in the Italian Renaissance style and houses paintings by Titian and Canaletto and a large collection of China. There is also a regimental and archaeological museum, a dungeon, a gun terrace, and the Percy family state coach all within the castle grounds. There are also many walks in the surrounding area. Open daily from 1 April to 29 October, 11am to 5pm.

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Corbridge Roman Site

Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5NT
Tel: 01434 632349     E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk

Opening Times: 1 April to 30 Sept, 10am - 6pm daily. 1 Oct to 31 Oct, 10am - 4pm daily.
1 Nov to 31 March, 10am - 4pm weekends only.
5 miles north of Corbridge is the site of this well-known Roman camp - the main supply depot for the armies building and guarding Hadrian's wall nearly 2000 years ago. The substantial remains of this excavated Roman settlement include the best example of military granaries in the country. The museum houses finds from the site, including the famous stone fountainhead - the Lion of Corbridge, giving a fascinating insight into Roman life. Inclusive audio tour. It is well worth a visit, especially if you intend to tour the Hadrian Wall sites.

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Chesters Roman Fort

The Chesters, Humshaugh, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4EU
Tel: 01434 681379     E-mail: customers@english-heritage.org.uk

Sophisticated water systems and Edwardian museum. Chesters was one of the series of troop bases added to Hadrian’s Wall soon after it was built in ad122-23. It is the best preserved example of a Roman cavalry fort in Britain. It seems to have been occupied for nearly three centuries, with several changes of garrison during that time. There is much to see on the ground: the four principal gateways are well-preserved, the east and west with short lengths of Hadrian’s Wall adjoining them. The entire foundation of the headquarters building is visible with a courtyard, hall, regimental chapel and strong room. The military bath house is extremely well-preserved, with changing room, latrines and bathing rooms, as is the Roman bridge abutment on the far bank of the river. Chesters Museum is home of the Clayton Collection, which includes many important early archaeological discoveries relating to the central sector of Hadrian’s Wall.
Opening Times: 1 April to 30 Sept, 9.30am - 6pm daily. 1 Oct to 31 March, 10am - 4pm daily.

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Allenheads Heritage Centre

Allensheads NE47 9UQ     Tel: 01434 685586

The Heritage centre tells of the interesting history of a small mining village. where are several displays located in the old mine buildings. There is a blacksmiths shop and cafe. The exhibition centre also houses a restored Armstrong water engine. Near the centre are nature trails, which allow visitors to see the surrounding area. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Open all year round.

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The Bakehouse Gallery

Prudhoe Street, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1UW
Tel: 01665 602277      E-mail: Fiona@thebakehousegallery.com

Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30am - 5pm.  Housed in the former bakery, displaying original art, textiles, glasswork, ceramics, jewellery and metalwork.

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Great North Museum

Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PT
Tel: 0191 222 6765

The Great North Museum incorporates collections from the Hancock Museum and Newcastle University’s Museum of Antiquities, the Shefton Museum and the Hatton Gallery. Highlights of the new £26 million museum include a large-scale, interactive model of Hadrian's Wall, major new displays showing the wonder and diversity of the animal and plant kingdoms, spectacular objects from the Ancient Greeks and mummies from Ancient Egypt, a planetarium and a life-size T-Rex dinosaur skeleton. The Living Planet display houses hundreds of creatures and by using a mixture of touch screen technology and hands-on investigations, visitors can investigate these animals. Live animal tanks and aquaria are integrated into this major display. Please see our website for full details.

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Laing Art Gallery

New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AG
Tel: 0191 232 7734

The Laing is home to an impressive collection of art and sculpture and its exhibition programme is renowned for bringing the biggest names in historic, modern and contemporary art to the North East. The Gallery has a packed programme of free events including gallery talks, family activities and artists’ events. Free entry. Please see our website for full details.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday 2pm - 5pm
Closed: 25 & 26 December & 1 January.

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Art Chain

Blaydon Trade Park, Tollbridge Road, Blaydon, Tyne and Wear NE21 5TR
Tel: 0191 414 4014    E-mail:

Art Chain are a business selling a diverse and one of the largest ranges of art under one roof by local and international artists including Original Art - Limited editions from many of the worlds leading publishers - Open edition prints from one of the largest choices available - Sculptures and glassware - Moisannite jewellery as seen on TV and dress jewellery too - Photography including your own personal photographs put onto canvas - Gifts and much more.

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Hatton Gallery

The Quadrangle, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
Tel: 0191 222 6059

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 2pm - 5pm. Last Admission at 4.45pm | Closed Bank Holidays. Free entry Please see our website for full details.

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