Great North Museum Hancock

Great North Museum Hancock
Barras Bridge
Newcastle & Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
NE2 4PT
England

Website

www.greatnorthmuseum.org

E-mail

info@greatnorthmuseum.org.uk

Telephone

0191 222 6765

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.
Great North Museum Hancock
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The Great North Museum incorporates collections from the Hancock Museum and Newcastle University’s Museum of Antiquities, the Shefton Museum and the Hatton Gallery.

Highlights of the £26million museum include a large-scale, interactive model of Hadrian's Wall, major new displays showing the wonder and diversity of the animal kingdom, spectacular objects from the Ancient Greeks and mummies from Ancient Egypt, a planetarium and a life-size T-Rex dinosaur replica skeleton.

The Living Planet display houses hundreds of creatures and by using a mixture of touch screen technology and hands-on investigations, visitors can investigate these animals and find out where they live and how they survive in such extreme places as the arctic and desert.

Live animal tanks and aquaria are integrated into this major display where visitors can see wolf fish, pythons and lizards to name a few. Star objects include a full size model of an elephant, a great white shark, a virtual aquarium, live animal displays, a polar bear, a giraffe and moa skeleton.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 10am to 5pm
Saturdays: 10am to 4pm
Sundays: 11am to 4pm

Admission charges

Free

The Hancock collections represent an amalgamation of many hundreds of individual collections amassed by leading naturalists who worked not only in the North East but throughout the world, pioneering the development of natural history as a science in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collections continue to be actively used by researchers from all over the world. There is research material of international significance within all parts of the collection and this provides an irreplaceable tool by which biological and geological principles such as taxonomy, variation, speciation, geographical distribution, evolution and typology can be studied.

In addition, the Hancock Museum library houses, amongst its extensive archives, one of the largest collections in the world of the watercolours and engravings of the world-renowned, Newcastle born 18th century artist and engraver Thomas Bewick. His works, particularly the engravings featured in History of British Birds and A General History of Quadrupeds, have attracted international interest. He is regarded as the "father of wood engraving" and the success of his technique led to it becoming the most popular form of book illustration for most of the 19th century. A selection of Bewick's work is on display in the Museum in The Bewick Shrine.

The collections reflect the Museum's historic specialisation in the Natural Sciences. The collections number well over half-a-million items, and these include over 1,000 type specimens. A type specimen is the original specimen from which a new species was named. In international terms, the most important collections are the freshwater and marine crustaceans collected by Professor George Brady, and the Carboniferous vertebrate fossils collected by Thomas Atthey and Albany Hancock, some of which can be seen in the Earthworks gallery. Both collections are consulted extensively by researchers from all over the world.

In addition to these collections, the Museum owns an important collection of early vertebrate material as well as historical ethnographic material, some of which is traceable back to the voyages of Captain James Cook. Some of the ethnography collections can be seen in the World of Difference display.

When looking around the Museum you will see a wide range of collections and some truly wonderful objects including the huge fossil tree from Weardale, the giant Spider Crab, the Sea Dragon or Ichthyosaur from Whitby, the skeleton of a Moa, the animals in Abel's Ark and the vast collection of birds including extinct species such as the Great Auk, Passenger Pigeon and Dodo... and not forgetting Sparky Williams, the internationally famous talking budgerigar. Sparky died over 40 years ago but he is preserved in the Museum and visitors can hear some of his recordings.

The Hancock also possesses small collections of archaeological material, most importantly, Egyptology. Although not numerous, these collections do contain some important material, including two New Kingdom mummies which can be seen in the Land of the Pharaohs gallery. One of these, Bakt-hor-nekht, remains wrapped, and has been the subject of extensive research, including pioneering CAT- scanning work in 1991.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, World Cultures

Key artists and exhibits

  • Thomas Bewick
  • Professor George Brady
  • Thomas Atthey
  • Albany Hancock
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

World Cultures

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This gallery shows some of the most exciting objects in the museum’s collection from many world cultures – the Islands of the Pacific, the great land masses of Africa and Asia, the plains of North America, as well some parts of Europe (including Newcastle, of course!).

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/world-cultures.html

Roman Empire

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This display explores objects from the wider Roman Empire including a huge porphyry foot and one of the most famous coins in the world, a Roman silver denari of Anthony and Cleopatra.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/roman-empire.html

Natural Northumbria

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Visitors can discover what makes the North East region special in terms of the animals and plants as well as paying a 'virtual' visit to a number of sites in the area.

Investigation Hides provide the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at how animals and plants live and behave in the North East region's woodlands, uplands, lowlands, and coastal areas.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/natural-northumbria.html

Mouse House

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Mouse House is especially for our youngest visitors and their families. Designed to excite curiosity and encourage young children to explore, the Mouse House gallery is full of surprises introducing the museum’s exciting collections.

Young children and their families are also welcome to join free Mouse House activities. Visit the what's on section of our website to find out about our regular Mouse House events.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/mouse-house.html

Living Planet

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Bio Wall in Living Planet houses hundreds of creatures and by using a mixture of touch screen technology and hands-on investigations, visitors can investigate these animals and find out where they live and how they survive in such extreme places as the arctic and desert.

Live animal tanks and aquaria are integrated into this major display where visitors can see wolf fish, pythons and lizards to name a few.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/living-planet.html

Hadrian's Wall

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

An interactive model of the Wall enables visitors to discover the detailed history of this amazing fortification as well as finding out about all the forts, milecastles and associated museums that can be visited today.

The gallery includes a wealth of archaeological finds and visitors can hear stories of life on the Wall from the people who actually lived at the time. Also on display is the gold Aemelia Ring, believed to be one of the earliest Christian artefacts found in Britain.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/hadrian-039-s-wall.html

Fossil Stories

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Discover the Earth's past through its fossil record and find out how amazing some of these creatures were.

Learn about the major changes to the landscape and the animals and plants that were around millions of years ago. Visitors can become palaeontologists and re-assemble a pre-historic creature using virtual technology. Sound, touch and animation brings alive a world that disappeared millions of years ago.

This gallery also has a display on Crystals and Gems providing a sparkling story about minerals their formation, function and beauty.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/fossil-stories.html

Explore More!

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

An exploratory space for all the family to find out about the Museum's collectors, the reasons why we collect, and the types of classification which can be adopted.

This gallery interprets the Museum's Anglo-Saxon and Medieval collections and provides a wide range of activities and handling material which can be studied either on a casual weekend visit or in a more formal class. Identification reference books and computer interactives support the themes of the natural world, ancient world and world cultures.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/explore-more.html

Ancient Greeks

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Find out what it was like to be an Ancient Greek and how this great civilisation was shaped by the mountainous terrain that helped to create many different city states.

Visitors can listen to stories of Greek myths, and a huge frieze portrays images taken from the actual objects which are displayed down the centre of the gallery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/ancient-greeks.html

Ancient Egypt

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

An exciting exploration of life and death in Ancient Egypt, this exhibition combines the Museum's own Ancient Egyptian collections with a number of spectacular objects on loan from the British Museum.

The exhibition takes visitors through a fascinating journey which explores how the Ancient Egyptians were shaped by the Nile and how they lived their everyday lives as well as their mystical religious beliefs. Visitors can take a dramatic journey through the transition from Life to Death by passing though a tunnel which spans a virtual River Nile.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/displays/ancient-egypt.html

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.

Saturday Storytimes in the Mouse House

  • 31 January 2015 *on now
  • 7 February 2015
  • 14 February 2015

NEW from 1:30pm – 3pm after storytimes the Mouse House is transformed into a creative workshop where young children can engage with craft activities.

Come and meet the Great North Mouse and Georgina during our Saturday Storytime sessions; the Great North Mouse is a little explorer who lives in the Mouse House and explores the museum at night. He loves it when children come to visit the museum as he can share all the things he has learnt on his travels.

Storytimes are for young children and their carers, where little ones can engage with a different theme each week through through story and song.

Storytimes at 10:30am and 11:30am.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/events/saturday-storytimes-in-the-mouse-house.html

Behind the Scenes Tours

  • 7 February 2015 11am-1pm
  • 7 March 2015 11am-1pm
  • 11 April 2015 11am-1pm
  • 9 May 2015 11am-1pm

See behind the scenes of the Great North Museum: Hancock in the Resource Centre which is based at Newcastle's Discovery Museum. This is an exciting chance to see objects from our archaeology, natural history and ethnography collections!

Don't miss this rare opportunity to see the items in the collections we care for that are not on display. From John Hancock's trailblazing taxidermy specimens and the bones of hundreds of animal species, to poisonous spears and Ethnographic masks made from spiderwebs.

Suitable for children minimum age 8 years. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Email info@greatnorthmuseum.org.uk or telephone (0191) 208 5121 to reserve a place

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/events/behind-the-scenes-tours.html

Bjorn the Polar Bear

  • 16 — 17 February 2015

Come nose to snout with one of the world’s deadliest – and fluffiest - predators, a life size polar bear called Bjorn - he walks, he growls and you may even get to stroke him!

Bjorn, a giant pod puppet, is incredibly lifelike and is accompanied by his ‘keeper’ Ursula who provides a lively and informative natural history commentary, as members from the audience will be invited to interact with the enormous creature.

Bjorn the Polar Bear is brought to the museum by performers Los Kaos.

Shows at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.
Each show lasts approximately 25 minutes.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free, no booking. (We expect the museum to be busy so please expect to queue.)

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/events/bjorn-the-polar-bear.html

Meet the Scientist

  • 19 February 2015 11am-3pm

Take part in a range of exciting physics activities, experiments and demonstrations as part of Newcastle University’s involvement in the Explore Your Universe: Atoms to Astrophysics project. Meet real scientists and enjoy getting hands-on with everything from thermal imaging cameras to a salad bowl particle accelerator!

The Explore Your Universe: Atoms to Astrophysics project is a partnership between the UK Association for the Science and Discovery Centre (ASDC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/events/meet-the-scientist.html

How does a museum really work?

  • 24 March 2015

Have you ever wanted to know how a museum actually works? Roy Bearpark, the Learning Officer from the Great North Museum: Hancock will give you an insight into how things operate in one of the busiest museums in the region.

From tales of road-kill being brought to the front door, how we plan and deliver a programme of exhibitions, and keep objects that were collected hundreds of years ago in tip-top condition- this talk will be a real eye opener!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Booking is essential - £4 per person. To book, please call (0191) 208 5121 or email info@greatnorthmuseum.org.uk.

Website

http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/great-north-museum/whats-on/events/how-does-a-museum-really-work.html

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