Museum In Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear
A museum of science and industry housed in the former Co-operative Wholesaler Society Headquarters Building on Blandford Square.
Nestled in the heart of Newcastle, the Discovery Museum is a captivating blend of local history and scientific wonders. Housed in the grand former headquarters of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, the museum offers a journey through time and technology, exploring the rich heritage of the region alongside interactive exhibits that bring science to life.
The Discovery Museum's roots can be traced back to 1934 when the “Municipal Museum of Science and Industry” was established in Exhibition Park, in what is now the Wylam Brewery. This pioneering institution, the first science museum outside of London, reflected the region's industrial prowess and its commitment to innovation. In 1978, the museum relocated to its current home in Blandford House, a Grade I listed building that epitomizes the grandeur of Newcastle's Victorian architecture. In 1993 it was relaunched as “Discovery Museum”.
The museum is divided into a series of exhibitions and areas over four floors. On the ground floor as you enter the building you will get sight of one of Newcastle's engineering marvels.
The awe-inspiring Turbinia is a steam-powered turbine vessel that revolutionised naval propulsion. This engineering marvel, built in Newcastle in 1894 by Charles Parsons, is 34 metres long and once held the record for the fastest speed ever attained by a ship on water.
Newcastle Story: Unveiling the City's Past
Also on the ground floor you can step into the captivating realm of Newcastle Story, a permanent exhibition that chronicles the city's evolution from its Roman origins to its modern-day status as a vibrant cultural hub. Through a series of interactive displays, dioramas, and audio-visual presentations, visitors embark on a captivating journey through time, witnessing the city's transformation amidst social, political, and economic shifts.
Tyne & Wear Archives: Unlocking the Region's History
Delve into the rich historical archives of Tyne and Wear, housed within the Discovery Museum. This extensive collection of documents, photographs, and artefacts provides a fascinating glimpse into the region's past, offering insights into its social, economic, and political evolution. The archives are open Tuesday to Friday and must be booked in advance.
The first floor continues the story of the city's history and heritage with the following galleries;
Story of the Tyne:
Telling the rich maritime history of the River Tyne, a lifeline that has shaped the region's economy and culture. The Story of the Tyne exhibition showcases the river's role in shipbuilding, trade, and industry, from its early days as a Roman port to its transformation into a thriving international gateway.
Charge! The Story of England's Northern Cavalry:
Step into the world of mounted warfare and explore the history of England's Northern Cavalry at the Charge! exhibition. This captivating display brings to life the valour and skill of these elite troops, showcasing their uniforms, weaponry, and tactics.
On the second floor of the museum you can find the Turbinia café along with the realm of interactive experiments that is “Science Maze”, where you can unleash your inner scientist and immerse yourself in the wonders of science. This interactive exhibition is a playground for curious minds, offering a plethora of hands-on experiments that bring scientific principles to life. Explore the intricacies of light and sound, discover the power of electricity, and delve into the fascinating world of magnetism.
The fourth floor of the museum is where you will find the Great Hall which has an ornate Art Deco ceiling and can be hired for conferences, parties and weddings.
The Discovery Museum stands as a testament to the region's rich heritage and its spirit of innovation. Through engaging exhibitions and interactive displays, the museum sparks curiosity, ignites imaginations, and inspires a deeper understanding of the world around us.
The museum is open Monday to Friday 10am till 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am till 4pm.
How To Find Discovery Museum
Contributed by Andrew Gardner
I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.More Places from Andrew
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