Great North Museum

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Great North Museum
Great North Museum Hancock.png
Established 1884 (Hancock)
1925 (Hatton)
2000s (Great North Museum)
Location Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Coordinates 54°58′50″N 1°36′47″W / 54.98046°N 1.6131°W / 54.98046; -1.6131
Type Natural history museum
Art museum

638,454 (2009)[1]

Public transit access Haymarket Metro/Bus station
Great North Museum

The Great North Museum is a visitor attraction in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England. It features three venues: the Great North Museum: Hancock, the Hatton Gallery on the Newcastle University campus and the Regional Resource Centre[2] in the basement of the Discovery Museum. All three venues are currently open.


The £26 million[3] Great North Museum project is a partnership between Newcastle University, Tyne & Wear Museums, Newcastle City Council, the Natural History Society of Northumbria and the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne. The Great North Museum project has been made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, TyneWear Partnership, One NorthEast, the European Regional Development Fund, Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Wolfson Foundation and The Northern Rock Foundation, as well as numerous other trusts and foundations. The building architects were Terry Farrell and Partners; Sir Terry Farrell is a native of Newcastle, and had previously been a student at Newcastle University.[4]

On 21 November 2008, the 'Be Part of It' campaign was launched, and it was announced that the Great North Museum: Hancock would be opening in 2009. Athlete Jonathan Edwards is the patron of the 'Be Part of It' campaign.[5] Donors to the campaign have the opportunity to have their name (or the name of a loved one) permanently included on a donor wall in the museum.

On 6 November 2009, HM The Queen officially opened the Great North Museum.[6] In 2009, the Great North Museum had over 600,000 visitors.[1]

The Great North Museum Library is open to the public and is located on the second floor of the Hancock. It houses three collections - the Library and Archives of the Natural History Society of Northumbria, the Library of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and Newcastle University’s Cowen Library.[7]


The front of the Hancock Museum in September 2009.

Great North Museum: Hancock[edit]

The Great North Museum: Hancock not only holds the collections of the former Hancock Museum and collates those of Newcastle University's Museum of Antiquities and Shefton Museum, which closed their doors in 2008.[8] The museum opened on 23 May 2009.

The natural history museum includes an interactive model of Hadrian's Wall, new displays showing diversity of the animal and plant kingdoms, objects from the Ancient Greeks and mummies from Ancient Egypt, a planetarium and a cast of a T-Rex dinosaur skeleton. The interactive Bio-Wall features hundreds of creatures, that visitors will be able to investigate and find out where they live and how they survive in such extreme places as the Arctic and Desert. There is also a full size model of an elephant, a great white shark display, polar bear and giraffe specimens from the historic Hancock collections and a moa skeleton.

Hatton Gallery[edit]

Hatton Gallery

The university's art gallery, the Hatton Gallery is also a part of the Great North Museum Project, but is not relocating to the Hancock, and is thus remaining in Newcastle University's Fine Art Building. Its permanent collection comprises over 3,500 works, some dating back to the 14th century. These works of art include paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. Notably, it houses the Merzbarn - the only surviving Merz construction by Kurt Schwitters.

Other logos[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Visits made in 2009 to visitor attractions in membership with ALVA". Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Great North Museum Resource Centre". Tyne and Wear Museums. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  3. ^ "Great North Museum". Newcastle University. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  4. ^ "Great North Museum project". Hadrian's Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  5. ^ "Be Part of It". Great North Museum. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  6. ^ "Royal opening for Great North Museum". Newcastle University. 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  7. ^ "Great North Museum Library". Great North Museum. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  8. ^ "Last chance to visit University Museums". Newcastle University. 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 

External links[edit]