Hop along to Beamish Museum this Easter!

March 22nd 2024

Travel back in time at Beamish Museum to discover how Easter was celebrated in the 1820s, early 1900s, 1940s and 1950s with a whole host of eggs-citing activities to join in with across Easter weekend! 

Take part in the Beamish Easter Egg Championships! Find the 12 Easter eggs hidden across the museum to earn a stamp on your certificate, will you find all the eggs and get a gold stamp?

Head to the school in The 1900s Pit Village on Good Friday, 29th March to learn about Good Friday.

There’ll be plenty of opportunities to show off your craft skills. Make Easter wreaths in the school (30th March to 1st April), create a finger puppet at The 1940s Farm and make Easter animal pom poms at Spain’s Field Farm from 29th March to 1st April.

Try your hand at egg jarping at Pockerley Old Hall, from 30th March to 1st April. Egg jarping was a traditional game popular in the North East, the word jarping means to hit or strike and, during this game, players are each given a hard-boiled egg and take it in turns to hit the other player’s egg with their own – a little like a game of conkers.

Enjoy egg rolling will take place in The 1900s Town Park from 30th March to 1st April.

Give egg catapulting a go at the welfare hall in The 1950s Town on 29th and 30th March and get ready to run with an egg and spoon race on 31st March and 1st April (weather permitting).

See traditional baking demonstrations and food displays across the museum. From lamb dinner and fish and chips to simnel cake and hot cross buns, find out what Easter food would’ve been enjoyed in time period in the museum.

Plus, enjoy delicious Easter treats from times gone by. Tuck into fish and chips from Davy’s Fish and Chip Shop in The 1900s Pit Village or Middleton’s Quality Fish and Chips in The 1950s Town, treat yourself to a freshly-baked goods from Joseph Herron’s Bakery or enjoy freshly-prepared fare from The Tea Rooms in The 1900s Town.

Rosie Nichols, Keeper of Social History, said: “In the past, there would be as much excitement around celebrating Easter as Christmas, particularly as it was one of the few times of year that workers would get time off, first on Good Friday and by the 1870s Easter Monday too.

“Good Friday was always a solemn day on which no work was done and many people would eat fish and hot cross buns. People would look forward to traditional food and pastimes for the rest of the long weekend along with a trip to church on Easter day itself. Edible treats would include simnel cake, roasted lamb and, by the middle of the 20th century, novelty chocolate eggs. Many children would receive new clothes to be worn for the first time at Easter and much fun would be had playing games and relaxing with family and friends.

“This Easter at Beamish, visitors can take a look at how Easter was marked in the past through the foods eaten and take part in traditional seasonal activities form Georgian egg jarping to egg rolling in The 1900s Town park and egg and spoon racing in the 1950s. You can also get stuck in with Easter crafts such as finger puppet making, wreath making and egg catapulting.”

The museum’s traditional Easter Celebrations, including Easter trail, is included in museum admission and free to Beamish Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members, pay once and visit free for a year!