Get involved - schools

2023, is a momentous milestone in the history of our Loyal and Ancient Borough as we celebrate the 850th anniversary of the borough receiving its Royal Charter.  The borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme rose in prominence in 1173 when King Henry II granted the town its first Royal Charter.

The Royal Charter gave special rights and freedoms to residents that went on to help shape the borough as we know it. Perhaps most notably this included the right to hold an outdoor market, a long-held tradition that is still an important aspect of the town's vitality and success.

The borough is, of course, steeped in history. Did you know that Newcastle-under-Lyme is named after a new castle, which was built around 1145 by the Normans, close to the Lyme Forest? 

Newcastle's location, in the heart of the country, meant that it was an important coaching town and the centre of major ironworking, felt hat-making and clay pipe production industries.

Famous folk

It was also the birthplace of many notable individuals, including:

  • Philip Astley, widely acknowledged as the 'father of the modern circus'
  • author, nurse and feminist Vera Brittain, who wrote the celebrated 'A Testament of Youth' in response to her experiences during the First World War
  • Reginald Mitchell, famed designer of the Spitfire
  • Sir Joseph Cook who worked in local coalmines before emigrating to Australia where, in 1913, he became Prime Minister

How to get involved

We are very proud of our borough's long heritage and we are keen to celebrate it as part of the 850th anniversary in 2023. There are many opportunities for local primary, secondary and special schools to use this year-long celebration to support the curriculum, help students understand more about the local area and engender a feeling of pride in their borough.

To get involved book one of the Borough Museum's 850 experience events created specifically for this year - details of these sessions will be released soon!

Download the 850th anniversary logo