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The Hancock Museum and the Second World War

Find out how the Hancock Museum and its collections were protected during the Second World War.

The NHSN has been researching the impact of the Second World War on the museum and society. Below are a series of articles, looking at different aspects of how the war affected the museum and the different collections that were rehoused during the conflict.

The Impact of the Second World War on the Hancock Musem

WW2 destabalised the museum and society which were already fragile in the aftermath of WW1.


The Victoria Tunnel

The Victoria Tunnel, running under the grounds of the Hancock Museum, was used as an air raid shelter during WW2.


Tom Russell Goddard

T Russell Goddard (1889-1948) was employed as the Hancock Museum Curator from 1923 until his death in 1948.


Albany Hancock (1806-1873)

Albany Hancock, older brother of John Hancock, was a highly respected and skilled anatomist and artist with wide-ranging zoological interests. Much of his work was rehoused during the war because of the threat posed by air raids.


Thomas Bewick's drawings

The Society holds an important collection of Thomas Bewick's preparatory studies, many of which were moved into storage during WW2


William Watson-Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong (1863-1941)

William Watson-Armstrong (1863-1941), 1st Baron Armstrong of Bamburgh and Cragside in the County of Northumberland was elected President of the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne in […]


Caretakers Lodge

The caretaker’s lodge, at the rear of the Hancock Museum on Claremont road, where A E Bennet and his wife lived. It is shown here on the left of this […]


Gilnochie Tower

The Gilnockie Tower at Cragside, the home of Lord Armstrong, where most of the evacuated collection was stored. Photograph courtesy of Mr & Mrs G J Wightman.