Take a peek at life in South Tyneside in the 12th century

Museum manager Geoff Woodward.
Museum manager Geoff Woodward.

An ancient document has provided artistic inspiration and an education opportunity in modern times.

The Boldon Book is the subject of a new exhibition at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

Papier mache sculpture by Arts4Wellbeing

Papier mache sculpture by Arts4Wellbeing

The historical document provides a fascinating insight into life in the North in the 12th century, having been compiled as a survey of the lands controlled by the Bishop of Durham.

It tells us about people who lived there, their farms, crops and animals and the work they did and includes the earliest survey of the South Tyneside villages of the Boldons, Whitburn and Cleadon. 

It also gives us the names of seven people living in those villages.

To mark 200 years since the first published edition of the Boldon Book was made available in 1816, South Shields Museum Art Gallery has worked with five local schools and community groups to produce a creative response to the contents of the Boldon Book.

Great North Run by The Materialistics

Great North Run by The Materialistics

Their work is displayed alongside the 15th century manuscript, which is on loan from the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford. The partners involved in the project are Age Concern Tyneside South, Arts 4 Wellbeing, Bamburgh School, Boldon School and The 
Materialistics knitting group.

Geoff Woodward, museum manager, said: “The result of this project is a wonderful, varied and colourful exhibition presenting a visual snapshot of life in 21st century South Tyneside, echoing the written description of 12th century life revealed in the Boldon Book.”

The Boldon Book – A Moment in Time: is on display in the first floor exhibition space until Saturday, June 3.

Admission is free but donations are welcome.

l For more information, please visit www.southshieldsmuseum.org.uk.