Saturday, 20 February 2016

St Mary's Heritage Centre, Gateshead, North East England, UK

The Heritage Centre is based within the former St Mary’s Church which dates from the 12th century and is a Grade 1 listed building. An amateur video is at the foot of this page.

St Mary’s was once the church of St Mary the Virgin. It was built in the late 12th century, replacing the earlier church which was destroyed in the Anglo-Saxon revolt of 1080. It was damaged by cannon balls in the English Civil War and has survived three fires including The Great Fire of Gateshead & Newcastle in 1854. 

It ceased to be a church in 1979 and now has a new life celebrating 900 years of Gateshead’s history.

For many years, this building was the only church in Gateshead and has often been described as Gateshead’s ‘mother’ church’. 

Adjoining the church is its graveyard which closed to burials in 1853. This houses a number of well carved and artistic 18th and early nineteenth century gravestones.

The interior houses permanent and changing displays celebrating various aspects of Gateshead’s history. 

A wide ranging programme of events takes place throughout the year and a dedicated family history corner enables you to search for that elusive ancestor!.