Monday, 17 September 2012

Bessie Surtees House

We spent a couple of hours at Bessie Surtees house on the Quayside today and found lots of interesting things. We had read and acted out the story of Bessie Surtees before going. She eloped to Scotland in 1772 from a first floor window to marry John Scott (who later became Lord Chancellor of England) against her father's wishes. We found the actual window at the house, which is marked by a plaque outside. The 600 year old house is famous for this as well as for being located in an important area in the history of Newcastle.

The bellows on the object shelves were very popular. Harry used them for blowing dust away and pretending to blow the fire.

We also talked about the clogs to be worn over normal shoes to keep them clean in the dirty streets and the money box the servants would have held to encourage tips from guests.

We opened two trunks and looked at the type of food a poor family and a rich family would have eaten, together with the type of toys they would have played with and fabrics their clothes might have been made from.  

There were also some traditional toys to play with - spinning tops, quoits and cup & ball.

This will be a really good historical place to visit in coming years too as there is lots to engage older children, such as maps of the quayside, architectural examples and many more Tudor objects to explore.


  1. what an interesting day out for young & old alike. can i put in a request to visit with you & the boys sometime please.
    It's good for Harry & Peter to see toys & clothes from the past, what a difference to todays comfort & choice.

  2. This is a place I've thought about going to lots of time but have never quite made it. I feel quite spurred on by your post x