North East Quiz 2

How well do you know the North East? Test your local knowledge with our latest History of North East England quiz?

Sea wall, Old Hartlepool
Stag Island. Question One © David Simpson

1. Which North East town has a name that means ‘stag island pool’?

2. A collection of artefacts stored in old army camp huts at Brancepeth near Durham became the basis for which famous North East institution and great day out founded in 1970?

3. Where would you find the famous Barter Books book store and what purpose did the building it occupies originally serve?

Barter Books occupies the former Alnwick Railway Station.
Barter Books. Question 3 © David Simpson

4. What is the name of the Sunderland-born author of the Horrible Histories series of children’s books?

5.  By what name of Viking origin are waterfalls usually known in Teesdale?

High Force
What a fall! Teesdale. Question 5. Photo David Simpson

6. The nineteenth century historian William Tomlinson said of this town that in former times its people were among the wildest and most uncivilised in the county. For fighting, gaming and drinking they had a worse reputation than the inhabitants of Tynedale and Redesdale Where was he talking about?

7. What was the nickname of the famed Northumberland-born landscape gardener born at Kirkharle in 1716.

Sans Pareil replica, Shildon
Sans Pareil replica © David Simpson

8. Where were the Sans Pareil and Royal George locomotives built?

9. Where in Northumberland would you find the Anglo-Saxon Frith’ or ‘Frid’ stool, possibly a symbol of sanctuary but more likely a primitive example of a bishop’s throne?

10. Which North East city has a name that derives from words meaning ‘hill island’?

11. Which North East town is famed for its beautiful bridges dating from 1611, 1850 and 1925.

Royal Border Bridge Berwick
Question 11 © David Simpson

12. What does the Weardale ballad The Bonny Moor Hen commemorate?

13. Who wrote the popular, tongue-in-cheek Geordie dialect book Larn Yersel Geordie?

14. What is the name of the oldest surviving 18th century warship that can be seen at the maritime museum at the Royal Navy Museum at Hartlepool?

15. Which is the oldest of the seven bridges across the Tyne linking Newcastle and Gateshead?

16. What disaster affected much of the North East on St Hilda’s Day in November 1771?

17. In 934 AD Athelstan king of England returned a place he described as his “beloved vill” to the Bishops of Chester-le-Street. It had been seized by Vikings in 918AD. Where was he talking about?

18. What are the names of the Newcastle-born brothers who founded Viz comic?

19. What was the name of the North East-born Victorian serial killer responsible for the deaths of up to 21 people, mostly her own husbands and children?


20. Which North Eastern town was attacked by King Eystein of Norway in what is thought to have been the last Viking raid on Britain?

21. The North East dialect word ‘gadgie’ originates in which language?

22. What is the name of the Sedgefield-born actor, comedian, screenwriter and novelist who is the writer, co-creator and producer of the TV drama ‘Sherlock’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch?

23. Which impressive North East parish church dedicated to St Cuthbert and described by King James I as a ‘bonny church’, is known as ‘The Lady of the North’?

Historic view of Darlington showing the Skerne and St. Cuthbert's church
St. Cuthbert’s church, question 23

24. What was invented by John Walker, a Stockton-on-Tees chemist in 1826?

25. Which North East town derives its name from the Celtic name Allt Clud meaning cliff on the Clyde?

26. What was the fictional name for the village that was the setting for the 2000 film Billy Elliot set in east Durham?

27. What was the family name of the coal owning Marquess of Londonderry, once commemorated in the name of an east Durham Colliery?

28 Whitley Bay-born artist John Gilroy (1898-1985) was principally famous for his iconic graphic designs advertising which well-known alcoholic drink?

29. Who was the North East lead singer immortalised by John Lennon as the ‘Egg Man’ in ‘I am the Walrus’ and what was the name of his band?

30. Which legend is depicted in stone on the outside of Durham Cathedral? It portrays the foundation myth of the city and the journey of the monks to Durham.

The Dun Cow and milkmaids as depicted on Durham Cathedral.
Durham Cathedral. Question 30 © David Simpson

31. What can be found in the weather vane of the market cross at Barnard Castle?

Market Cross, Barnard Castle
Market Cross, Barnard Castle. Question 31 © David Simpson

32. In which North East town would you find the beautiful Low Hall, Monksholme and an impressive vicar’s pele?

33. Who was the radical Liberal politician (pictured) who founded Tyneside’s Chronicle newspaper and was once a friend of the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi?


34. Where can you find the elegant Infinity Bridge named from its resemblance to the scientific symbol for infinity?

35. St. Cuthbert’s shrine was based here for 113 years and there were a succession of nine bishops based here. It was then one of the most important places in the region but where are we talking about?

36. What was supposedly mistaken for a French spy and hanged on the beach after it was washed ashore at Hartlepool during the Napoleonic Wars?

37. What was the name of the Durham coal owner and racehorse owner who was also a champion pugilist?

38. What was the name of the Heaton-born musician and record producer who managed both Slade and Jimi Hendrix?

39. Which North East town plays host to the spectacular Kynren?

40. Which Tyneside writer wrote the autobiographical ‘Kiddar’s Luck’?

Answers Below



  1. Hartlepool.
  2.  Beamish Museum.
  3.  Alnwick. The building was formerly Alnwick Railway Station.
  4.  Terry Deary.
  5.  Forces.
  6.  Rothbury.
  7.  Lancelot Brown, known as ‘Capability’ Brown.
  8.  Shildon.
  9.  Hexham Abbey.
  10.  Durham from ‘Dun Holm’.
  11.  Berwick.
  12.  A battle between the Bishop of Durham and poachers of his land.
  13.  Scott Dobson.
  14.  Trincomalee.
  15.  High Level Bridge.
  16.  A great flood which destroyed many North East bridges.
  17.  Wearmouth.
  18.  Chris and Simon Donald.
  19.  Mary Ann Cotton.
  20.  Hartlepool.
  21.  Romany gypsy.
  22.  Mark Gatiss.
  23.  St Cuthbert’s church, Darlington.
  24.  Friction matches.
  25.  Bishop Auckland.
  26.  Everington. Much of the movie was filmed around Easington.
  27. Vane Tempest.
  28.  Guinness.
  29.  Eric Burdon, The Animals.
  30.  Dun Cow and Milk maids who guided the Cuthbert-carrying monks to Durham.
  31.  Two bullet holes resulting from a  shooting competition between a soldier and a gamekeeper.
  32.  Corbridge.
  33.  Joseph Cowen.
  34. Stockton-on-Tees.
  35.  Chester-le-Street (Conecaster).
  36.  A monkey.
  37.  John Gully.
  38.  Chas Chandler.
  39.  Bishop Auckland.
  40.  Jack Common.




North East Quiz Number 1: Test Your North East Knowledge

How well do you know the North East of England? Test your North East Knowledge with these regionally-themed questions to tax your brain.

Transporter Bridge from Port Clarence looking towards Middlesbrough
The Transporter Bridge pictured from Port Clarence looking towards Middlesbrough © David Simpson

1. Who was the Clarence from whom Port Clarence on Teesside is named and what did he become?

2. What North East location was known in Celtic times as Medcaut?

3. What is the name of the impressive thirteenth century manor house situated about a mile north of Corbridge and described as “almost completely intact”?

Aydon Castle
Medieval manor house. See question 3 © David Simpson

4. Alf Wight, who wrote autobiographical experiences of his life as a Yorkshire vet under the name ‘James Herriot’ was born in which North East city?

5. By what nickname was the 6ft 4 inch tall William Carr (1756-1825) known?

6. A tribal name Gyrwe, meaning ‘the fen dwellers’ gave its name to which North East town?

Grey's Monument, Newcastle
Grey’s Monument, Newcastle © David Simpson

7. What connects Penshaw Monument on Wearside and Grey’s Monument in Newcastle?

8. The Terris Novalis sculpture can be found close to a long distance cycle path near which North East town?

Terris Novalis
Terris Novalis sculpture. Photo David Simpson

9. Cobweb-covered dirty bottles have remained in a shop window of a pub in which North East town for around 200 years owing to a superstition that their removal will release a curse?

10. What was the name of the eighteenth century landlady of a pub at Picktree near Washington who was apparently commemorated in song?

11. John Miles, composer of the song ‘Music was my first love’ was born in which North East town in 1949?

12. Name the Monkseaton-born TV writer noted for Porridge, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, The Likely Lads and Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?

13. Ha’ Hill was the site of which North East castle?

14. Longovicium was the Roman name for the fort in which North East village?

15. The villages of Eastgate and Westgate in Weardale once marked the boundaries of what?

16. Name the North East comedian born in Acklam near Middlesbrough in 1959 and ‘the son of a biscuit salesman’?

17. Who was the first ever £1,000 footballer (pictured). Which club sold him and which club bought him?



18. What is the name of the river at Rothbury?

19. What unique North East landmark across the River Tees dates from 1911?

20. Lauren Gofton is the real name of which Sunderland-born radio presenter?

Cliff of the spectre © David Simpson

21, Which County Durham village has a name that means cliff or hill of the ghost or spectre?

22. Jimmy Allen, a gypsy who haunts a former prison cell beneath Durham’s Elvet Bridge was a musician with a talent for playing what kind of instrument?

23. Which famous Viking king visited St Cuthbert’s shrine at Chester-le-Street in 952AD, two years before the king met his death?

24. Name the Durham-born singer song-writer from Witton Gilbert who headed the 80s and 90s band Prefab Sprout?

25. What was the nationality of the talented 3 feet 3 inches tall ‘count’ who resided in Durham City during the eighteenth century?

Gertrude Bell
Gertrude Bell

26. Gertrude Bell who was born at Washington New Hall in 1868 and grew up near Redcar, was later noted as an explorer and for her part in drawing up the borders of which Middle Eastern country?

27. Actress and scriptwriter Val McLane is the sister of which North East singer, actor and songwriter?

28. In the 1850s, the Durham historian Fordyce mentions a derisive comment about shipbuilders in a particular North East town who in the earlier part of that century could either ‘make’ a ship or ‘build’ a ship depending on quality and price demanded. To ‘make’ meant to construct a ship on the cheap as a sideline job at low cost to the buyer with no guarantee of quality. Which town was he talking about?

29. What was discovered by the Hartlepool-born physiologist Sir Edward Mellanby that had an important impact on health and diet?

30. Which North East castle once belonged to Nathaniel Crewe, the Bishop of Durham in the eighteenth century and to the industrialist William Armstrong in the nineteenth century?

Empire Theatre and Dun Cow
Edwardian Baroque architecture © David Simpson

31. In which North East city would you find ornate Edwardian Baroque style pubs called the Dun Cow and Peacock in close proximity to a theatre of the same architectural style?

32. What was described by the Prime Minister William Gladstone in 1862 as “Our best modern street“?

33. Which well-known North East landmark hill was once known as Odin’s Berge from its association with the Viking god, Odin?

34. On 9th March 1761, during a protest against methods of conscription into the local militia, the Riot Act was read and soldiers opened fire resulting in the deaths of around 40 men and the injury of hundreds more in the market place of which North East town?

Delaval development © David Simpson

35. What is the name of the little coastal port that was developed by the Delaval family between Whitley Bay and Blyth with its canal-like cut?

36. Which famous defensive structure dates from 122 AD?

37. What is the name of the Newcastle-born director whose films include the Resident Evil series, Mortal Kombat and Alien vs Predator?

38. Which Tyne Valley village is associated with the railway pioneers George Stephenson and William Hedley?

39. What has 27 miles of shoreline and opened in 1982?

John Simpson Kirkpatrick

John Simpson Kirkpatrick © David Simpson

40. The famed Australian and New Zealand war time hero John Simpson Kirkpatrick (pictured) hailed from which North East town?






Answers below

  1. William Duke of Clarence who later became King William IV.
  2. Lindisfarne.
  3. Aydon Castle.
  4. Sunderland.
  5. The Blyth Samson.
  6. Jarrow.
  7. Both designed by Benjamin Green. Also, Grey’s monument commemorates the Prime Minister Earl Grey. Penshaw Monument commemorates John George Lambton, the First Earl of Durham. Lambton was Grey’s son-in-law.
  8. Consett.
  9. Alnwick.
  10. Elsie Marley.
  11. Jarrow.
  12. Ian la Frenais.
  13. Morpeth.
  14. Lanchester.
  15. The hunting park of Durham’s Prince Bishops.
  16. Bob Mortimer.
  17. Alf Common. Sunderland sold him to Middlesbrough.
  18. Rothbury.
  19. Transporter Bridge.
  20. Lauren Laverne.
  21. Shincliffe.
  22. Northumbrian Pipes.
  23. Eric Bloodaxe.
  24. Paddy Macaloon.
  25. Polish.
  26. Iraq.
  27. Jimmy Nail.
  28. Sunderland.
  29. Vitamin D.
  30. Bamburgh.
  31. Sunderland.
  32. Grey Street, Newcastle.
  33. Roseberry Topping.
  34. Hexham.
  35. Seaton Sluice.
  36. Hadrian’s Wall.
  37. Paul Anderson.
  38. Wylam.
  39. Kielder Water.
  40. South Shields.