The historical significance of Jarrow did not fade at all after the suppression of monastic life in the middle of the 16th century. The resources from this territory and the strategic position of Jarrow next to a safe harbour not far from the mouth of the River Tyne into the North Sea – i.e. the tidal mud that was once called “Jarrow Slake” – maintained the primary role of this place throughout the Middle Ages into modern times. These resources and especially all the people who worked for centuries to make them available to the world can be seen as the common thread of Jarrow’s history. This thread is what really connects the monastic past of this place to the generations of miners, shipbuilders, and iron and steel workers who forged the present community.
Coal extraction is recorded in Jarrow already in the 17th century, and the area will become a pivotal centre during the Industrial Revolution. This role was marked especially by the opening of the “Temple Main Colliery” by Simon Temple Jnr in 1803 and of the “Palmer Brothers & Co.” – later “Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company” – by Charles Mark Palmer in 1851. Temple was a
shipbuilder and entrepreneur who had obtained coal royalties from the Chapter of Durham Cathedral to open the new colliery. He also bought the tidal mud harbour of Jarrow Slake, now transformed into the Port of Tyne.
Jarrow Hall House, which constitutes the physical core of our Museum, was built around 1785 precisely by Simon Temple Jnr.
Virtual Museum | Jarrow and its Museum | The excavations at St Pauls and the new local Museum | The monastery and the medieval landscape | Jarrow and the Industrial Revolution | Modern Jarrow | Jarrow in the first half of the 20th century | Jarrow across the 20th century | Jarrow in the late 20th century | The new local Museum and Gyrwe’s farm