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Teachers Information Pack


Teacher’s Introduction to Old Newcastle WELCOME TO THE HEART OF THE CITY! Newcastle Castle

St Nicholas Cathedral

Newcastle Castle was in serious danger of demolition in 1847 from the development of the railway. The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne successfully campaigned against the proposals and saved the Castle for future generations.

A church has been on this site since at least 1194 serving the growing town around the Castle. The 15th-century lantern tower was an important navigation point for ships on the River Tyne. The church became a cathedral in 1882, giving Newcastle the status of a city.

Castle Keep

Standing on the site of the Roman Pons Aelius, the 12th-century stone keep replaced the ‘new castle’ of 1080. As part of the important medieval royal stronghold near the Scottish border, the Keep later became the county prison and a home to a beer cellar and orchard. The Keep played host to the last royalist stronghold during the Siege of Newcastle in 1644. The Black Gate

Originally an important medieval gateway into the Castle, the gatehouse was expanded in the 17th century and became a home to slum dwellings and taverns. Castle Garth

The medieval buildings had been replaced by dense slum dwellings by the 18th century including taverns, cobblers’ shops and a theatre before they were demolished in the 19th century. Parts of the curtain wall can still be seen today.

Old Newcastle Area Castle Stairs - Dog Leap Stairs - The Side The Close - Quayside - Holy Jesus Hospital Swing Bridge - Bessie Surtees House Dean Street - Town Walls - Mosley Street Amen Corner - High Level Bridge - Lit & Phil TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL VISIT  Tailor your visit with a range of tours and activities. Discuss these extras when you make your booking.  All school groups must be accompanied by a teacher and group sizes are restricted to a maximum of 30 pupils.  Split your group into smaller groups to avoid congestion and to ensure all the group enjoy their visit.  Take care! Uneven ground and lots of steps.  Watch out for seasonal events and activities.

School groups can be booked by email stephanie.carter@newcastle.gov.uk or telephone 0191 235 7551


Teacher’s Introduction to Old Newcastle EDUCATION TOURS AND ACTIVITIES There is a range of pre-bookable sessions available to enrich and enhance your visit. All sessions are half-day sessions and are flexible in content. Re-build Newcastle Castle!

Newcastle under Siege

Your mission if you choose to accept it is to rebuild Newcastle Castle! Discover what you need to build a castle with an interactive tour before designing your very own castle! Explore the main features of the castle, relating these to methods of attack, defence and domestic construction.

Prepare for the storming of Newcastle in 1644! Discover what life was like for Newcastle’s residents during the English Civil War. Dress in Stuart fashion and handle objects. The KS 2 session includes an interactive quiz. The KS 3 session includes a pupil-led debate between Royalists and Parliamentarians.

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On the Hunt for Old Newcastle

Time Bandits

Join us to investigate Newcastle’s past, discovering the stories of people who lived and worked in the Castle Garth from Roman times to the present day. Examine real and replica objects and use your detective skills to find clues to piece together the past and to discover why the area looks as it does today. This session includes activities out of doors, unless the weather is exceptionally bad.

Join the Time Bandits for a special, interactive journey of Old Newcastle. This multi-period, hands-on ‘living history’ group has extensive experience working with schools. The Old Newcastle Project has a special relationship with the Time Bandits. We can book the Time Bandits for you. Please note there is a charge for this activity.

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To book a visit, activity and for further information, including special projects and outreach sessions, please contact the Learning Officer, email stephanie.carter@newcastle.gov.uk or call 0191 235 7551


Teacher’s Introduction to Old Newcastle SUPPORTING YOUR VISIT This pack includes pre- and post-visit activities to enhance your visit to Old Newcastle. There are also resources, including a timeline and map, designed as an introduction to the site. Re-build Newcastle Castle!

Newcastle under Siege

Pre visit Activities

Pre visit Activities

 Explore the events of 1066  Explore the general layout and purposes of a castle  Explore war machines and, in groups, build your own Trebuchet

 Explore the English Civil War and the causes and consequences  Prepare for the debate with the worksheet ‘whose side are you on?’ (Key Stage 3)

Post visit Activities

 Ask your pupils to write a creative description about the scene in the Castle Keep when the Scots and Parliamentarians were attacking in 1644. This could be a stimulus for role play.  Explore the effects of the local events of the Civil War at Newcastle upon the course of the war nationally.

 Compare and contrast castles with a visit to another local castle, such as Prudhoe Castle  Ask your pupils to write a short report explaining why Newcastle’s location is suitable for a castle  Build your own castle by creating models either as individuals or in groups

Post visit Activities

On the Hunt for Old Newcastle Pre visit Activities

 Explore what archaeology is and introduce your pupils to different periods using a timeline  Study a variety of maps showing how the area has changed over time Post visit Activities

 Create leaflets on medieval Newcastle with a map plotting interesting sites and archaeological finds

Outreach Sessions in your school led by the Old Newcastle Learning Team or the Time Bandits can also be arranged. Contact the Learning Officer to discuss your requirements, email stephanie.carter@newcastle.gov.uk or telephone 0191 235 7551


Teacher’s Introduction to Old Newcastle MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VISIT These are some ideas for getting the most out of your visit to Newcastle and activity ideas for selfled visits. Old Newcastle area

Self led visit ideas

Use us as a hub to explore further tales of Old Newcastle. Discover…

 Use the scroll worksheet and ask your pupils to make notes on what made the area an ideal location for a castle, and to assess the Castle Keep with a view of defending or attacking it.

Castle Stairs - Dog Leap Stairs - The Side The Close - Quayside - Holy Jesus Hospital Swing Bridge - Mosley Street - Amen Corner High Level Bridge - Dean Street - Town Walls Bessie Surtees House - Lit & Phil Society Make a day of it and combine your visit with…  ‘Newcastle Story’ Discovery Museum

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 ‘Antiquities Collection’ at the Great North Museum: Hancock  Walk the Town Walls All locations are within easy walking distance. The Hidden Newcastle app www.hiddennewcastle.org

 ‘I spy’ trail of the Old Newcastle site, designed for Key Stage 2.  Ask pupils to draw a building on the Old Newcastle site, looking particularly at shape. This can be adapted into a block print back at school.  Ask pupils to create a design for a stained glass window that shows parts of the Castle and/or Cathedral as well as important symbols of Newcastle (such as coats of arms) found around the buildings.

Check out the worksheets designed to aid self-led visits at the back of this pack

IPhones only

To book a visit, activity and for further information, including special projects and outreach sessions, please contact the Learning Officer, email stephanie.carter@newcastle.gov.uk or call 0191 235 7551


Resources for Old Newcastle TIMELINE Newcastle Hadrian’s Wall begun Fort of Pons Aelius built in stone

Site of Pons Aelius becomes an AngloSaxon cemetery

The ‘New Castle’ founded The castle rebuilt in stone First reference to St Nicholas Church Two fires damaged St Nicholas church Black Gate added to the castle Town walls begun

Work on St Nicholas Church was interrupted by the Black Death St Nicholas Church was rebuilt Newcastle becomes a county with its own sheriff Great Plague Death of Roger Thornton, the ‘Dick Whittington of Newcastle’ Tower and lantern crown of St Nicholas Church built Plague in Newcastle. 2000 died Queen’s Men company of actors visit Newcastle and Carlisle, including William Shakespeare

AD43 122 c.200 c.410 500-600 c.700 787-875 1066 1080 1168-1178 1194 c.1200 1247-1250 1260-1279 1296-1603 1347-1349

Siege of Newcastle Charles I held prisoner in Newcastle for 8 months The first history of Newcastle published, Chorographia by William Grey 14 witches and a wizard were hanged on the Town Moor A disease called the ‘Jolly Rant’ killed 924 people

End of Roman rule in Britain Anglo-Saxon kingdoms develop

Viking raids Norman invasion of Britain

Invasion of Scotland by Edward I begins over 300 years of intermittent warfare Black Death

1362 1400 1410 1429 1455-1487 1474

Wars of the Roses

1579 1588

1603 Crown on St Nicholas rebuilt

England & Europe Roman invasion of Britain

1608 1642-1651 1644 1646-7 1649

‘Union of the Crowns’ (James VI of Scotland also became James I of England) English Civil Wars

Charles I beheaded

1650 1675 1715 and 1745

Jacobite Rebellions


Resources for Old Newcastle TIMELINE (cont’d) Newcastle Newcastle Corporation buy the Keep and begin restoration Castle Keep opens as a visitor attraction

John Dobson restores Keep Robert Stephenson’s High Level Bridge formally opened by Queen Victoria 1538 people died of cholera St Nicholas becomes a cathedral church Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne restore the Black Gate Society of Antiquaries opens the Black Gate as a museum

Archaeological excavations and restoration of Castle Keep The Black Gate opens to the public

England & Europe 1810-1812 1812 1815 1837-1901 1848 1850

Battle of Waterloo Queen Victoria reigns

1853 1882 1883-1885 1885-1959 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 1960-1992 2014

World Wars


Resources for Old Newcastle

RECONSTRUCTION OF 12TH-CENTURY CASTLE WITH 13TH-CENTURY BLACK GATE


Resources for Old Newcastle RESOURCES  ‘The English Civil War: whose side are you on?’ Worksheet For Key Stage 3, this worksheet supports pupil-led exploration of the English Civil War in the classroom prior to your visit. The session ‘Newcastle Under Siege’ includes a debate for pupils supporting either the Royalist or Parliamentarian cause. Self led Worksheets  Scroll Worksheet For Key Stage 1 & 2 pupils, this worksheet proposes a self-discovery and investigative approach to the Castle Keep. A visit to the roof of the keep is particularly useful for seeing the geography of the landscape.  ‘I spy’ Trail A self-discovery trail booklet designed for Key Stage 2 pupils. With a flexible format, the trail can be printed as a booklet either for the whole Old Newcastle site or for individual tours of the Castle Keep or Cathedral.

Useful Resources David Lovie, The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas Newcastle upon Tyne Guidebook, 2005 The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle Castle Guidebook Frank Graham, Newcastle – A Short History and Guide, 2005 David Heslop and Zoë McAuley, Digging Deeper: The Origins of Newcastle and Gateshead, 2011


The English Civil War: whose side are you on? Complete the boxes below for your role in the debate! During the debate, you will be asked to read out your argument for your team. Name: Team: Royalist / Parliamentarian

My argument: As a (Royalist/Parliamentarian) I argue that‌


What makes this area an ideal location for a Castle? What features of the Castle Keep help to defend soldiers from attack?



Teacher Information Pack