From Healing Waters to a Font of Knowledge


The story of Queen Elizabeth High School and the ‘Hexham Hydro’ told through social history and built heritage survey

Rebecca Haslam with Scott Vance, Graeme Atkins, Madeline Brydon and Keda Norman, 2021.

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ISBN 978-1739879907



The Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham occupies one of the town’s most important historic buildings – the iconic former hydropathic hotel, known locally as ‘the Hydro’. The decision to move the town’s Middle School to the grounds of QEHS and to provide both schools with new buildings offered PCA the opportunity to undertake a detailed examination of the site’s historic core. Heritage surveys of the buildings and documentary research were undertaken, revealing a rich and varied history.

This booklet tells the story of how the complex evolved; from its foundation as a lavishly-decorated 19th-century villa, through years as the iconic Hexham Hydropathic Hotel and subsequent use as a children’s sanatorium, into the centre of teaching excellence it is today.

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