Tynemouth Priory and Castle

Schools

Discover 2000 years of history at Tynemouth Castle and Priory, on a free education visit with your class. Overlooking the North Sea and the River Tyne, Tynemouth dominates the headland, and since its origin as an Iron Age settlement, the site has been an Anglo Saxon monastery, a medieval monastery, a royal castle and a costal defence.

Information about your visit

Our number one priority remains the health, safety and security of all of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Our staff are still working hard to keep everyone safe and make sure you and your group have an enjoyable visit.

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’re continuing to limit visitor numbers at some sites and in some indoor spaces. Please book as soon as possible to secure your preferred trip date and times.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit and make sure you download our COVID risk assessments; download a free copy of managing education visits during the pandemic and if you're participating in a Discovery Visit download our managing Discovery Visits during the pandemic risk assessment
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • You’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our terms and conditions for full details.
  • Although is it not a requirement, any teachers, parents, or students aged 16 years can check in via the NHS Test and Trace app, using the NHS QR code posters displayed at the site entrance. Please factor this into your travel/arrival time. For more information about how we are handling your personal data for NHS Test and Trace please visit this page.
  • Our staff are continuing to wear a face covering in our busy areas and indoor spaces, and we encourage you and your group to do the same where possible.

At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to keep you and your group safe at all times, but for certain sessions we’re still working on this – please check the Discovery Visit section and Facilities section on this page below for further information.

Curriculum links

Step back in time and explore the varied history of Tynemouth Castle and Priory, with curriculum links to History and Geography.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS1-2 Geography: Geographical skills and fieldwork
  • KS2 History: Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots: Anglo-Saxon art and culture, Christian conversion. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Human geography: Types of settlement and land use
  • KS2-3 History: A local history study
  • KS3 History: Development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509: Christendom, the importance of religion. Development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745: The English Reformation. Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day: First World War, Second World War

Free Self-Led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to discover the varied and rich history of Tynemouth Castle and Priory with your class. Once one of the largest fortified areas in England, you can follow the history of this site from the Iron Age, through to an Anglo Saxon monastery, a medieval monastery fortified against Scottish attack, and a coastal Tudor fort. Having survived the English Civil War, the site was later upgraded with anti aircraft guns and radar to defend the coastline during the First and Second World Wars. Today you can explore the castle and priory, visit a beautiful 15th century chapel, and see the restored gun battery and cannon.

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Plan your visit

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip.

We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team are on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • SITE: Majority of the site is open and accessible, however the gun battery and the upper levels of the keep are closed.
    • PARKING: To access disabled drivers' car park (10 cars), drive up causeway from Front Street, through castle gatehouse and turn right. Visitors parking in village face a 150m uphill walk and 70m of cobbles at gatehouse. Ticket office is in gatehouse. There is additional pay and display parking at the Spanish Battery and along the coastal road which leads to Tynemouth.
    • TOILETS: Toilets are available.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring your own packed lunches. There are picnic benches, grass and a small sheltered garden.
    • SHOP: There is limited shop capacity. Please bring your students in small supervised groups of up to 5.
    • EXHIBITION: The interactive 'Life in the Stronghold' exhibition (located in the Warrant Officer's House) takes visitors on a journey from Tynemouth's beginnings as an Anglo-Saxon settlement, a medieval monastery and Tudor fortification, right up to its importance as a WWII coastal gun battery. We recommend bringing your pupils in small groups.
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