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Opening times

  • Sunday
    Check What’s On for details
  • Monday to Friday
    Check What’s On for details
  • Saturdays and Bank Holidays
    Check What’s On for details
  • FREE ENTRY

Cathedral Characters

Rachael Rickwood, the Cathedral’s Learning and Activities Officer, writes…

One of the reasons I was drawn to working at Newcastle Cathedral was the organisational commitment to showcasing, supporting and nurturing creativity. This extends from the huge range of art that can be found almost everywhere you look inside (and outside) the Cathedral, to its prolific Music and Choral programme, its frequent participation in regional cultural events and its extensive array of artefacts and building features which demonstrate centuries of talent and skill.

As our building contractors begin to dismantle pews and lift ledger stones, everyone is getting quite excited about the things that might be found and the changes that are due to happen over the next year. One area that will continue to develop and grow is our Learning programme. Over the next year we will be working closely with educational consultants to develop a series of brand new, exciting offers for schools which will span a wide range of areas in the National Curriculum, all whilst exploring the inspiring stories, traditions and artwork that the Cathedral holds.

We continue to welcome school groups to Newcastle Cathedral whilst our capital works take place, and we continue to offer an enriching array of free offers to any groups interested in learning more about History, Art and Design, Religious Education and Music. Check out our shiny new leaflet to find out all about our offers which include Den building workshops, Hard Hat tours and Canon led Hymn singing sessions amongst other things!

Over the past two months we have been hard at work on a project with talented illustrator, Josie Brookes. Through learning about the lives, stories and interests of some of the people remembered in Newcastle Cathedral’s vast ledger stone collection, primary school students have created a series of illustrations to tell their story and bring them to life.

Any day now we will be unveiling some amazing artwork on hoardings surrounding the Cathedral (currently slightly boring metal fences!) This work has been made by students from Choppington Primary School, St. Michael’s Church of England Primary School and Whitley Memorial Church of England First School, with Josie’s support. Watch this space for local school students take on the following Cathedral Characters:

Jane Hancock 1778-1853 Jane had a keen interest in the natural world and fostered a love of nature in her six children. Her sons John and Albany were instrumental in the development of what is now known as the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle.

John Hancock 1769-1812 John was Jane’s husband. Out of a sense of duty he took over his family’s hardware business after leaving school. Throughout his life he was a keen amateur naturalist and collector of plants, molluscs and shells.

Lady Jane Clavering 1669-1735 Jane was a well-known businesswoman, taking over the family business after her husband died and making a great success of it. She was a popular and powerful person at a time when it could be very challenging to be a woman in business.

Joseph Barber 1706-1781 Joseph was a man of many talents whose business made prints and sold books, stationery and pharmaceutical products. Joseph became the first person in Newcastle to use copper plate printing techniques and started the first circulating library in Newcastle.

Mary Pawson 1725-1802 Mary was a successful businesswoman; she was a wine merchant, involved in the import of wine and spirits and managed various family properties.

Matthew Prior 1732-1800 Matthew followed in his father’s footsteps to become the Assay Master of Newcastle. Matthew was also known for being a maker of instruments, toys and false teeth.

If you are interested in working with us or booking a workshop for your school or community group please contact learning@newcastlecathedral.org.uk