This museum is spread across acres of open countryside in Durham. This living museum contains streets, shops, a pit, a farm, a school, a fairground, a manor house and a tram system. Almost everything is authentic – including the buildings, which have been deconstructed at their original sites and put back together again at Beamish, brick by brick! The village is split into two different periods in history. The Old Hall is set in 1825, while the town is set in 1913, after the Industrial Revolution.
The busy street in the town contains businesses typical of the time: a printers, a bank, a hardware shop and an inn to name a few. There is also a row of smart terraced houses (moved there from Gateshead), containing genuine furnishings from the early 1900s. All of the buildings are open to visitors, and are bustling with costumed staff who are in character, and can explain about life in the town.
The farmstead, complete with animals, shows how farms served the local community before large supermarkets existed. The kitchen, forge and stables have all been recreated with many genuine fixtures and fittings.
Visitors can jump on and off the genuine, restored trams that travel the site, and journey to Pockerly Old Hall, which is a 1700s farmhouse set in 1825. It is authentic in the way it has been furnished, complete with servants quarters. Outside, the vegetable gardens supply the house’s kitchen, which was the usual use for gardens at that time.
Children will enjoy the freedom of an open air museum, but the 1913 fairground, which has a carousel and traditional stalls, is sure to be a hit, as are the sweet shop and school house.
Due to the age of the buildings, many areas are not accessible to wheelchairs. Contact the museum for detailed information about accessible locations around the site. There is a tea room, gift shop, toilets and baby change facilities at the museum.
Tel: 0191 370 4000
Date posted: 23rd April, 2017Home > Articles > Beamish Open Air Museum