Discovery Museum - Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

Discovery Museum - Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
Discovery Museum
Blandford Square
Newcastle & Gateshead
Tyne and Wear





0191 232 6789

Textphone users

18001 0191 232 6789


0191 230 2614

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
A large field gun standing in a museum gallery
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Shop icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Discover all about life in Newcastle and Tyneside, from the area's renowned maritime history and world-changing science and technology right through to fashion through the ages and military history. The museum is bursting with interactive displays, which makes it the perfect place to learn and have fun.

Explore Newcastle's past from Romans to the present day; Tyneside inventions that changed the world; a fun approach to science and take a walk through fashion. Discover a great day out all under one roof!

There is also a wet-play gallery specifically designed for the under sevens.

This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Opening hours Mon-Fri 10-4
Sat 10-5
Sun 2-5

Closed: Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

Discovery Museum has the following facilities for visitors:
Lift available
Accessible toilets
Male and female toilet facilities
Assistance available if required
Facilities for Deaf people and hard of hearing
Facilities for Blind people and partially sighted
Assistance and Guide dogs admitted
Baby changing facilities
Gift shop
Hot and cold meals
Hot and cold drinks
Teachers' Packs
Worksheets for groups
Under 7 year old resources: soft play and Playtyne Gallery

Discovery Museum houses the finest collections of scientific and technical material outside London and keeps important collections of maritime history, social history, regimental militaria and costume.

For more than two centuries developments in science, technology and industry which were pioneered or became established in Tyne & Wear had a powerful influence world-wide. Such influence is, arguably, unsurpassed by that of any other region of comparable size and population.
Examples of world 'firsts' include Charles Parson's 'Turbinia', the first vessel to be powered by steam turbine, and Joseph Swan's historic lightbulbs.

This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Social History, Science and Technology, Maritime, Industry, Costume and Textiles

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Corporal C.E. Garforth

For Valour: Two VC heroes remembered

  • 2 August 2014 — 29 March 2015 *on now

An exhibition about the lives of two recipients of the Victoria Cross, Cpl. C. E. Garforth, 15th Hussars, who was awarded one of the first VCs of the First World War and Pte. H. G. Columbine, 19th Hussars, who sacrificed himself to save other soldiers in his regiment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Workers at Armstrong Vicker, around 1916

When the Lamps Went Out: Life on Tyneside in the First World War

  • 25 October 2014 — 28 June 2015 *on now

By Christmas 1914, the City of Newcastle upon Tyne reported that over 21,000 men had been recruited following the outbreak of the First World War on 4 August 1914. It became clear that while the war was being fought to such devastating effect abroad that it was going to have considerable impact back at home.

This exhibition takes a glimpse at what life was like here on Tyneside for those back on the Home Front.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

A Natural Anthem

  • 17 December 2014 — 28 March 2015 *on now

A Natural Anthem heralds the dawn of a new nation, with live music and theatrical speeches from the balconies of the Turbinia Atrium.

Follow our musical procession as performers lead you to A Natural Anthem exhibition, where you can listen to ‘Lark Radio’ broadcasts and interviews, and have exclusive access to a special archive of photographic memorabilia and artefacts from the new nation.

Join our growing community by taking up the nation’s currency of seeds, and plant your hopes and dreams for the future.

The exhibition is inspired by documents held in Tyne & Wear Archives, themes of security, propaganda and remembrance, and Issac Rosenberg’s ‘Returning, We Hear the Larks’.

A Natural Anthem explores the impact of threat, harnessing of community action during First World War, and today’s fight to protect the natural world.

Performances take place on 23 January, 20 February & 21 March 2015
All performances start at 1.30pm in the Turbinia Atrium and run for 20 minutes.


Three images of Tyneside industry during WWI

When the Lamps Went Out: Life on Tyneside in the First World War

  • 2 April 2015 2:30-3:30pm
  • 4 June 2015 2:30-3:30pm

Join Curator Alisdair Wilson for a tour of Discovery’s exhibition When the Lamps Went Out: Life on Tyneside in the First World War, and find out what went on at the home front during the Great War.




Tynemouth Trust medal

Heroes of Everyday Life and the Loss of the Hospital Ship Rohilla

  • 28 March 2015 1:30-3:30pm *on now

During the First World War, disaster and heroism weren’t just found at the front, but at home as well. During this joint talk, Craig Barclay and John Wilson will discuss the history of the hospital ship SS Rohilla, which sank at Whitby in October 1914, and the stories of the North Tyneside heroes that rescued the survivors of this and other ships.

John Wilson is the grandson of a crew member of the Rohilla, Craig Barclay is the Curator of the Oriental Museum in Durham. They share a research interest in the history of lifesaving and lifesaving medals in general, and the story of the Rohilla in particular.


£5, free for students


Picture of an Edwardian baby and a little girl

Children and War in Early Twentieth Century England

  • 28 March 2015 11:30am-12:30pm *on now

The decades leading up to the outbreak of the First World War have been identified as a period of increasing enthusiasm for war and of intensifying militaristic patriotism. Children, especially boys, were seen as a group especially attracted to the idea of war. Historians, however, rarely know what children themselves thought, felt or did.

This talk looks at what children thought about war and peace in the early-twentieth century, by using their surviving drawings, stories and letters. Many ordinary children growing up in the North East wrote about their experiences and understandings of war, especially in local newspapers. This talk focuses on uncovering the voices of these young people. Their writings challenge many of our assumptions about how people responded to the outbreak of war in 1914.

Dr Sian Pooley teaches modern British history at Oxford University. Her research focuses on parenthood, child-rearing and children's writing in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century England.


£4, free for students


WWI Food Poster

Great War Baking

  • 17 April 2015 10:15am-2:30pm

Over the last couple of months, patisserie students at Newcastle College have researched and tried out different recipes from the Great War era. From trench cake to Anzac biscuits, each nation had its own treats to support their men at the front line.

During this workshop, Nigel Grant, Head of Pastry and Baking at Newcastle College, will teach you how to prepare some tasty Great War bakes. The workshop will take place at the professional training kitchen of the Lifestyle Academy.

The workshop itself will last three hours, after which you’ll have the option of a two-course lunch at the Academy’s restaurant.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


£10 without lunch
£15 including lunch


White feather

Those Who Refused: Conscientious Objectors in the First World War

  • 18 April 2015 1-3pm

In 1916 the Military Service Act first introduced conscription to Britain. Throughout the First World War, about 16,000 men conscientiously objected to military service, many with religious motives, including the Quakers.

During this joint talk, Dr André Keil will discuss the perception and treatment of conscientious objectors, while Dr Gillian Grant will specifically look at Quaker activism in Newcastle and North Tyneside.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


£5, free for students


Female munitions workers

Rachel Parsons: Queen of the Machine

  • 25 April 2015 11:30am-12:30pm

Rachel Parsons (1885–1956) was one of the most trailblazing women of her era, but she has disappeared from the pages of history – until now. The daughter and heir of Charles Parsons, inventor of the steam turbine, she was the first woman to study engineering at Cambridge and went on to become a director of the Parsons firm at Heaton. During the Great War, she taught hundreds of women to make munitions and later founded the Women’s Engineering Society.

The remarkable story of Rachel Parsons and the Parsons family is told by Henrietta Heald, author of William Armstrong, Magician of the North, a highly acclaimed biography of Baron Armstrong of Cragside.


£4, free for students