The Great North Museum: Hancock was purpose built in Newcastle as a natural history museum in 1884 to house the growing collections of the Natural History Society of Northumbria.
Noted Newcastle born ornithologist and trailblazing taxidermist John Hancock was instrumental in securing funds for the museum. When he died in 1890 the museum, briefly called the New Museum of Natural History, was renamed the Hancock Museum.
John Hancock donated his prolific collection of British birds to the museum, many of which are in the museum today.
Following a £26million redevelopment in 2009, (when the Hancock Museum merged with the Museum of Antiquities and the Shefton Museum), the Great North Museum: Hancock is now a popular free family destination with a varying programme of exhibitions, expert talks, courses and activities for children.
It is managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on behalf of Newcastle University.