Digital model of the Tyne Dock in 1860 and 1999. Courtesy of Richard Carlton, The Archaeological Practice Ltd.

The history of modern Jarrow is extraordinary and dramatic at the same time. It is mainly characterised by fighting social injustice, labour struggles, resilience and workers’ pride.

Due to the increasing demand of labour in the industry sectors during the 19th century, the population in Jarrow grew from 3,350 people circa in 1821 to about 33,000 in the 1890s. The 19th century was extremely difficult for the local community due to a long succession of deadly accidents that occurred in the mines. The accidents were followed by numerous strikes and protests to denounce unacceptable conditions and claim for rights and safety on the workplace. In 1851, when the new “Palmer Brothers & Co.” shipyard started its activity, the Colliery in Jarrow was closed causing further labour struggles. The Tyne Improvement Commission, resulting from a parliament act, constructed a monumental dock – which is known as the “Tyne Dock” – to the east of Jarrow Slake between 1854 and 1859. The new structure boosted the trade of coal and other goods transported from the territory to the Tyne.

In 1875 Jarrow became a municipal borough, and a new Town Hall designed by Fred Rennoldson was inaugurated in 1904. The 1920s saw a widespread failure and closing of shipyards due to the economic and political dynamics that led to the 1929 Great Depression and the “global economic recession” of the 1930s. Jarrow was crushed by this situation, and in 1933 the Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company collapsed.

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

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