Forthcoming Activities

Denton Dene and beyond

Monday 16th May: Denton Burn Library, West Road  

Join us and our colleagues from Denton Burn Library and the Friends of Denton Dene to explore the heritage and environment of this area.

Drop in between 10-30am to 1.30pm

Visit Denton Burn Library for light refreshments and an opportunity to find out more about Denton Dene from the volunteers who look after it. 

No booking required

Denton Dene and beyond – Guided heritage walk at 11am

Join us to explore the area’s Roman and coalmining heritage as well as visiting one of Newcastle’s few remaining denes with its ancient woodland.  Leaving from the library, the full walk takes about an hour and a half but there are options to take a shorter route.  Involves some uphill walking and good footwear is recommended. 

Booking essential – see below

The ancient woodland of Denton Dene – Guided nature walk at 1pm 

Join us for a walk around the Dene to explore one of the oldest landscape features in this part of Newcastle. This walk goes through the woodland area of Denton Dene which dates from medieval times.  Trees such as oak, wych elm, ash and sycamore provide a leafy canopy for bluebells, wood anemones, wild garlic and other plants.  The area is home to different species of birds and other wildlife.  Walk leaves from the library.  Involves some uphill walking and good footwear is recommended.

Booking essential – see below

 To book places on the walks

You can book through Newcastle Libraries online: https://tinyurl.com/DBurn22

OR email information@newcastle.gov.uk

OR phone 0191 2787878

OR ask at your local library

Gannin’ Alang the Wall

Thursday 19th May, 2pm: Bewick Hall, Newcastle City Library

The Romans went this way

This is the official launch of our new film Gannin’ Alang the Wall about the real route of Hadrian’s Wall through Newcastle. 

Booking is essential.

Book through Newcastle Libraries online through this link   http://tinyurl.com/LHMMAY22.   

Or contact the Libraries direct by emailing them at information@newcastle.gov.uk,  calling on 0191 2787878 or visiting your local library, and they will book on your behalf.  

Sharing the film

The film will be available to view online from the end of May.  DVD copies will also be available free of charge to organisations interested in showing it.  Contact us at stjamesbenwell@gmail.com for more information.

West Newcastle in the 1950s

Monday 23rd May, 10.30 am – 12 noon: West End Library, Condercum Road

What was life like in the fifties?

Join West Newcastle Picture History Collection to explore their unique collection of old photographs of the west end. Look for places that have been important in your life – where you used to live, where you went to school, what you did in your leisure time.  Help us build up a picture of life in the area in the fifties for a new booklet.    

Light refreshments.  No booking required.

Can you give a hand on our Flower Planting Day?

Wednesday 25th May, 11am – 3pm:  St James’ Graveyard, Benwell Lane

Let a thousand flowers bloom!

Drop in any time between 11 and 3 o’clock to help us plant flowers around St James’ Graveyard.  This is a time to celebrate – whether it’s the Jubilee, the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall, Local History Month, or the start of summer.  Tools and cake provided. 

Visit St James Graveyard

Visit the historic graveyard of St James’, burial place of the developer Richard Grainger, mining engineer John Buddle, glass manufacturer John Sowerby among others.  We welcome visitors any Wednesday morning between 10am and 1pm or at other times by arrangement.  Volunteers are available to show you around – but please contact us in advance if you would like a tour by emailing stjamesbenwell@gmail.com.

You can also read or download our two graveyard guides from the Publications and resources page of this website – “A Guide to St James’ Graveyard and A short history of St James’ Graveyard, Benwell.

We are unable to show visitors around St James’ Church at the moment.  Anyone wishing to look around the building should contact St James’ Church directly.  You can read or download a heritage guide to the church from the Publications and resources page of this website – St James’ Church Heritage Guide.



Ruth Nicholson’s Elswick

A new booklet from St James’ Heritage & Environment Group tells the story of the transformation of Elswick during the 19th century, from rural area to suburb of Newcastle, through the experience of one family.  Ruth Nicholson, the eldest daughter of the vicar of St Stephen’s in Low Elswick, was a pioneer in the field of women and medicine.  During the First World War she worked as a doctor near the frontline.  The booklet contains a walk trail, visiting the sites of places connected with the Nicholson family, enabling you to explore 19th century Elswlck on foot or to follow the trail through the illustrated pages.  You can download Ruth Nicholson’s Elswick by clicking here

Recent Publications

Remembering St Joseph’s Church:

A new book telling the story of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Benwell.  The church closed in 2013 but the iconic building with its colourful dome still stands.  Email us at stjamesbenwell@gmail.com or visit us on a Wednesday morning at St James’ Graveyard, Benwell Lane, between 10am-1pm if you would like to obtain a copy of this book.  Click here to view the book.

Newcastle’s Outer West through the years in Maps and Pictures

This book uses old maps and photographs to trace the development of the outer west communities of Newburn, Lemington, Sugley and Bell’s Close  from 1864 to the 1970s.  Copies can be obtained on this website by clicking here, by emailing us on stjamesbenwell@gmail.com

West End at War: Stories from the Home Front

A new booklet telling the stories in their own words of nineteen residents of the west end of Newcastle who lived through the Second World War.  You can download these booklets by clicking here OR obtain a printed copy by emailing us at stjamesbenwell@gmail.com

Heritage Guides

Use our series of local heritage guides to explore the heritage of the west end.  These guides include walk trails that take you around local heritage sites.  There are five different booklets:

Denton Dene and Old Scotswood
The Outer West areas of Newburn, Lemington, Sugley and Bells’ Close
A separate outer west guide which includes a five mile circular walk trail  



You can find all of our previous publications free of charge on our Publications and Resources page – click here to see it.


If you would like to join our contact list to receive emails about our events and activities, email us at stjamesbenwell@gmail.com and ask to subscribe.


Email: stjamesbenwell@gmail.com
Write: c/o Sunnybank Centre, 12/14 Sunnybank Avenue, Pendower, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 6SD