National Glass Centre

National Glass Centre

You’ll never look at, or through, glass in the same way again.

Discover how glass arrived in Britain, how it’s made and how it’s become something we all take for granted at the National Glass Centre. Learn how Benedict Biscop first brought glass making to Sunderland, and Britain, in the 7th Century AD to produce glass for the impressive windows at Bishopwearmouth Monastery.

Find out how the craftsmen of Sunderland went on to produce some of the finest glass in the world for century after century. Marvel at the latest glass and ceramic art from some of the world’s top artists and new artists studying at the National Glass Centre. Then feel the heat of the furnace and witness for yourself the skill of the glass blower during a glass making demonstration.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to have a go yourself by taking part in a glass blowing experience. There’s also regular glass based kids activities, particularly around school holiday times. You can pick up your own souvenir or stunning example of glass art in the gift shop before taking a well-earned rest in the restaurant with its captivating views out onto the River Wear. Top it all off, literally, by taking a walk on the glass roof of the National Glass Centre. Have you got the nerve to look down!

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Did you know?

Roker beach is home to the unique 'cannonball' rock formations that were the inspiration for the seafront 'pods'.

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