Dove Marine

Building Cullercoats Tyne And Wear

Dove Marine

Building In Cullercoats, Tyne And Wear

A research and teaching laboratory which formed part of the School of Marine Science and Technology at Newcastle University. It is now part of the larger School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

The Dove Marine Laboratory is a research and teaching laboratory located on the northern edge of Cullercoats Bay and originally formed part of the School of Marine Science and Technology within Newcastle University but which is now part of the larger School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. The laboratory was established in 1887, in the October of that year, as a small wooden hut next to the Cullercoats Bay Saltwater Baths. The Salt Water Baths were positioned in an area where no fresh water could mix with the sea water and weaken its strength, and were refilled every tide to avoid infection. The baths had four bathrooms and dressing rooms. 

The laboratory was used by Armstrong College to study the waters of the north east coastline from 1887 until 1904 when both it and the Saltwater Baths burned down on 28th March. It was agreed that the work of the laboratory should continue and in 1906 the landowner, Wilfred Hudleston (a Geologist and Fellow of the Royal Society), offered to finance the construction of a much larger facility on the site of the old Baths. The new Laboratory was opened by the Duke of Northumberland on the 29th September 1908, and Hudleston, who was reluctant to publicise his generosity, asked that it be named after the daughter of one of his ancestors Eleanor Dove, hence Dove Marine.

On Hudleston's death in 1909, Armstrong College purchased the site and took over the running of Dove Marine, making it a department of their College. In 1911, with the College's reputation growing, Dove Marine acquired its first boat “The Evadne”. The building also operated a public aquarium and also housed the coble that Grace Darling and her Father used to rescue the survivors of The Forfarshire shipwreck in 1838. At one point the entrance had to be accessed by walking across a long beam.

In 1967 the responsibility for the Dove Marine Laboratory transferred to Newcastle University, who look after it today. In 2008 it celebrated its Centenary and once again the festivities were led by the Duke of Northumberland. It still operates a boat, currently RV The Princess Royal which has been in use since 2011, with previous vessels being; Pandalus (1950s); The Alexander Meek (1950s - 1973) and RV Bernicia (1973-2011).

As a research facility the Laboratory is normally closed to the public, but holds open days during the summer months and as part of other events such as Cullercoats Harbour Day and Heritage Open Days.

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Where Is Dove Marine

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55.034996, -1.432633
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Head north out of the car park along Grand Parade and Beverley Terrace, passing the children's play area on your right. Once you reach Cullercoats Bay head towards it northern end where the Dove Marine building can be found.

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55.029714, -1.430846

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Parking is available on Grand Parade, just to the south of St George's Church at Cullercoats.

Andrew Gardner

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.

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