Remaking Beamish

Beamish is about to embark on an incredible journey to transform the UK's most popular living museum!

Beamish Unlimited

We’re working with communities across the North East on this amazing project, which will see the living museum grow. People will go back to a time in living memory, the 1950s, and share memories of what life was like. We’ll also be able to tell a more complete story of the 1820s, the foundation period of the industrial era.

By 2021, we plan to attract 100,000 more visitors to the region annually and create 95 permanent jobs and 50 apprenticeships.

Beamish has initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £10.75million grant and we’re currently fund-raising.

1950s Town

Houses, shops, cafe, cinema, police house and recreation area are along among the plans for the 1950s Town.

Aged Miners’ Homes

A centre for people living with dementia, older people, and their families and carers will be created in a replica of Marsden Road Aged Miners’ Homes, in South Shields.

Beamish already holds sessions in Orchard Cottage at the 1940s for people living with dementia. Click here to find out more.

Aged miners’ homes originally provided housing for retired pitmen. We’re working with Marsden Road residents to share their 1950s memories and Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association, which owns the properties.

1950s Semis

The 1952-built semi-detached house of Esther Gibbon, daughter Linda Gilmore and their family was chosen to be replicated.

The house, in Red House, Sunderland, was picked in a public vote from nine finalists from across the North East. The nominated houses had to be built in the 1950s as social housing.

Esther and her family were delighted their home was chosen and we’re working with them and the Red House community to explore life in the 1950s.

Airey Houses

Post-Second World War prefabricated houses from Coltspool, Kibblesworth in Gateshead were collected by Beamish in 2012. The homes, due for demolition, were offered by Gateshead Housing Company.

Airey Houses, designed by Sir Edwin Airey, were prefabs built as temporary measures to house people after the war.

John’s Cafe

The interior of John’s Cafe, from Wingate, County Durham, was donated to Beamish and is set to be given a new home in the 1950s Town.

The cafe, owned by John Parisella, was popular with young people in the 1950s. Former customers have been sharing their memories of the popular ice cream parlour.

Spain’s Field Farm

We’re collecting this Weardale farm from Eastgate, near Stanhope, County Durham.

Spain’s Field Farm, which has been donated by the Jopling family, will be rebuilt at Beamish to tell the important story of upland farms and how rural life changed in the 1950s.


A 1950s trolley bus system and restored buses will transport visitors directly to the 1950s area. A new bus depot will be part of our work to pass on heritage engineering skills.

1820s Area

Georgian Coaching Inn

Guests will be able to stay overnight in a reconstructed Georgian Coaching Inn, a museum-quality exhibit, where Beamish’s nationally-significant Georgian collections will be displayed.

The inn will demonstrate an almost forgotten way of life, examining the heritage of droving, horse-keeping, hospitality, postal service and the complex coaching industry.

It will also serve as a unique centre of learning for apprentice trainees in the hospitality industry.

1820s Industry

New exhibits in the 1820s area will show how the simple needs of life gave rise to the blacksmith, potter and candle maker. Local records of Joe the Quilter who befriended the homeless will enable us to recreate his 1820s home and illustrate the plight of the pre-industrial homeless.


A windmill that was shipped from Sweden to Blyth, Northumberland, and rebuilt to working order is set to be reconstructed in the 1820s area. The windmill was dismantled and brought here by John Watts, a ship owner from Blyth who regularly went on voyages to Scandanavia and the Baltic states.


More details about Remaking Beamish will be added as they are annouced