The Mining Institute
Building Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

The Mining Institute

Building In Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear

The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers or as it is more commonly known, “The Mining Institute” is one of the finest buildings in Newcastle. It is a Victorian building built at the time when high-Gothic architecture was coming into fashion.

The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, commonly known as The Mining Institute, is a British Royal Chartered learned society and membership organisation, and as its name suggests, it is dedicated to advancing science and technology in the North and promoting the research and preservation of knowledge relating to mining and mechanical engineering. Though it was almost known by another name; "The North of England Society for the Prevention of Accidents and for other purposes connected with mining", with Nicholas Wood as its Chairman. The name it began with was “North of England Institute of Mining Engineers”, and this was then changed, in 1870, to the name we know today.

The Institute was founded in 1852 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1876. Given the strength of the mining and engineering industries in the north east, it is little wonder that the Institute developed one of the largest collections of mining information in the world. Its library, named after Nicholas Wood, the first Chairman, contains more than twenty thousand volumes of technical literature.

On the 3rd of September 1852, the inaugural meeting was held at which Wood delivered an address in the lecture theatre of The Literary and Philosophical Society where he set out the aims of the Institute;

“First, - By a union or concentration of professional experience, to endeavour if possible, to devise measures which may avert or alleviate those dreadful calamities, which have so frequently produced such destruction to life and property, and which are always attended with such misery and distress to the mining population of the district; and Secondly, - to establish a Literary Institution, more particularly applicable to the theory, art, and practice of Mining, than the Institutions in the locality present, or which are within the reach of the profession in this locality.”

Nicholas Wood - Inaugural Address, printed in the Transactions of the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers.

The Institute initially held its meetings at The Lit and Phil and other local addresses but it soon felt the need for its own building, and thanks to a generous donation from Robert Stephenson on his death of £2000.00, a fund was started to build a permanent home. In 1867 plans were made and the building constructed between 1869-72 in Grainger's new town on the site of the medical school on land traditionally held by the Dukes of Westmorland, the Neville's. It comprises the Wood Memorial Hall containing the Library, lecture theatre and other small rooms and Neville Hall which was primarily office space that from the beginning until recently was let to various mining and other organisations, such as the Coal Trade Association, Blyth and Tyne Railway, Freemasons and the Law Society.

The Architect was Archibald Matthias Dunn, whose father was a mining engineer and mines inspector and present at the Institute's inaugural meeting, so it pays to have good connections! The building is in the English Gothic Revival style with “Tyneside Classical” themes, and the library has a spectacular barrel vaulted, sky lit ceiling, that rises to 39ft above the floor, with stained glass windows by Cooke of London. Other features of the room are a statue of Nicholas Wood mounted on a throne, marble busts of other Institute Presidents and an amazing carving above the entrance door of the River Tyne God, featuring the Institute Motto: Moneo et Munio (I advise and I protect).

The original lecture theatre was replaced by the current one in 1902 designed by local architects Cackett and Burns Dick (who went on to build the Tyne Bridge Towers), and modelled on the Royal Institution in London. It features a steep rake of seating constructed from Cuban mahogany and the walls display portraits of all the Institute's Presidents since 1852.

In 2019 the assets of the Institute - building, library and archive collections and staff - were transferred to a new charity, The Common Room of the Great North, established to "celebrate the region's engineering history through education and engagement, with a vision to inspire the next generation of innovators and engineers". Neville Hall, the Institute building, was closed for refurbishment in 2019 and recently re-opened for access by the public. There is even a lovely cafe / bar to relax in.

  Add To Bucket List   I Have Visited This Place

Get 1 point if you have visited this place. Already visited by 80 VIPs.

Login to the VIP area to add places to your bucket list, mark them as visited and more importantly see where you rank on the league table.

How To Find The Mining Institute

Where Is The Mining Institute?

Show Place On Google Maps

Lat / Long

54.969505, -1.614407

What three words


Where To Park For The Mining Institute?

Show Parking On Google Maps

Lat / Long

54.969505, 54.969505

What three words


There is parking nearby at Newcastle Central Station although this is expensive. Better to park at the multi story on Waterloo Street and walk down to visit.

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
Andrew Gardner

More Places In Newcastle City Centre

Find more fabulous places in Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear and if you know of a place we haven't listed, then let us know.

Blue Carpet
Blue Carpet
Art Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

A blue carpet made out of crushed glass outside of the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. Part of an urban art project and created by Thomas Heatherwick.

War and Peace Memorial In Old Eldon Square
War and Peace Memorial In Old Eldon Square
Statue Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

Saint George slaying the dragon atop a granite and portland stone pillar in the middle of old Eldon Square

George Stephenson Monument
George Stephenson Monument
Statue Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

Statue dedicated to George Stephenson at the junction of Westgate Road and Neville Street.

More Buildings

So this building wasn't enough and you want more? Don't worry we have you covered.

Dukesfield Arches
Dukesfield Arches
Building Hexham Northumberland

Remains of a former smelting mill hidden in the Northumberland countryside.

Friar's Goose Pumping Station
Friar's Goose Pumping Station
Building Gateshead Tyne And Wear

Remains of a pumping station built by Robert Stephenson in 1844.

Morpeth Chantry
Morpeth Chantry
Building Morpeth Northumberland

Also known as All Saints Chantry, it’s a Grade I listed building now housing a bagpipe museum.

Never Miss A Fabulous Place

If you are afraid of missing out on all the fabulous places we post, or just want to be the first to know, then sign up to the Fabulous North.

Each week we will email you all the brand new places that we visit.

Sign Up To Alerts
Sign up to newsletter
Fabulous North On Facebook

Find Us On Facebook

We post all our new places daily on our Facebook Groups page, so join the group today and be notified when we add a new place.

Join Our Facebook Group

The Mining Institute was listed in Building // Tyne And Wear // Newcastle City Centre