South Tyneside's Heritage Open Days - how you can take part

A rare chance to look behind the scenes at some of South Tyneside’s heritage gems is on offer next month.

The borough has a programme of more than 20 activities and events lined up for the annual Heritage Open Days, which run from Friday, September 10 to Sunday, September 19.

Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Pat Hay said: “There is a wonderful range of events taking place this year bringing the Borough’s local history to life and enabling people to go behind the scenes or go somewhere new which would normally be closed to the public or usually charge a fee.”

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Visitors can join the Mayor on special tours of South Shields Town Hall as well as Jarrow Town Hall. To reserve a place on the Town Hall Tours, call the Civic Office on (0191) 424 7331.

Whitburn windmill
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Visitors can also enjoy talks about of Sir Charles Mark Palmer Bart and the lasting industrial and political impact he had on the Jarrow area. Talks must be booked in advance by calling 427 1818.

Jarrow Hall is offering free tours of its beautiful Medieval Herb Garden. Book in advance at

Whitburn Local History Group is offering a chance to go inside the Grade II Listed Whitburn Windmill which has undergone restoration work. The group is also holding special walks to give an insight into the history of the village.


Special walks along South Shields riverside will delve into the area’s rich maritime history. Pre-booking is required by calling the Visitor Information Centre on 424 7788.

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The Friends of North and South Marine Parks are also holding a Heritage Walk around the Victorian seafront parks.

There is an opportunity to enjoy guided tours of the Flesh on the Bones exhibition at Arbeia Roman Fort and enjoy ‘meet and greets’ with Roman soldiers. Pre-booking is required at

Animator Sheila Graber will be offering a tour of her exhibition at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery. Reserve a space at

Souter Lighthouse
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South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade is giving access to its Watch House while Souter Lighthouse will be inviting people to learn about life as a lighthouse keeper.

A number of churches are taking part this year. People can find out more about the home of the Venerable Bede and beginnings of English Christianity at St Paul’s in Jarrow, discover memorial tablets from Saxon times at St Nicholas’ in West Boldon and hear from Jean Stokes about local farmland at St Peter’s in Harton Village.

Online screenings include a short film about St Hilda’s Pit: Past, Present and Future at South Tyneside Libraries’ YouTube channel will showcase a special film ‘Humanity and Courage’, featuring a selection of pictures by photographer Amy Flagg, recording the air raid damage during World War II.

Other attractions include a cuppa and a look behind the scenes of the Age Concern Tyneside South (ACTS) early Victorian townhouse in South Shields Town Centre. Booking is required by calling ACTS on 456 6903.

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South Shields Town Hall

The Friends of Temple Memorial Park are hosting a walk to learn about the park’s history.

For full listings, specific opening times or booking information for events in South Tyneside, visit

Copies of the Heritage Open Days booklet are available at libraries and the Visitor Information Centre at The Word.

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Jarrow Town Hall