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.

Logo art activity

The official 850th anniversary logo can be downloaded and printed out for art activities.

Download the 850th anniversary logo

Art, dance and history day at The Brampton Museum

Enjoy an exciting day of art, dance and local history at The Brampton Museum.

850 years ago, Newcastle-Under-Lyme received its first royal charter. This gave the town special privileges, helping it grow and flourish. We are celebrating this with fun activity days for schools.

Your pupils will:

  • Work with a professional dancer from Daniel Jones Dance to learn a medieval inspired dance and create a dance of their own. 
  • Have a go at writing with a feather quill pen.
  • Create a beautiful illuminated letter, decorating a letter with patterns and pictures.
  • See our exhibition "The Lost Charter," which, explores centuries of Newcastle’s history - from medieval to modern times

Suitable for KS2.

Curriculum links: Local history. Art techniques. Design history. Movement and performance in dance. Team work skills.


Tuesday 4 July
Wednesday 5 July


Full day (art, exhibition and dance activities): £7.50 
Half day (art and exhibition activities only): £5.50 

To book, please email: