King George VI Building

Opening of the Medical School 1939, NUA/170035/1,  Newcastle University Archives, Newcastle University Special Collections, GB 186

The King George VI Building was opened by King George in 1939. It was built to house the Medical School of Kings College, a newly created institution which would go on to become Newcastle University. King’s College was formed from two separate institutions – Armstrong College of Physical Sciences, and the Newcastle upon Tyne College of Medicine. Local shipowner Sir Arthur Sutherland donated £200,000 for King’s College to establish a Medical School with a dedicated building (around £14 million today). The new Medical School was nearer the hospital, less crowded and better equipped than previous facilities. 

Material relating to Frederick Robson and the opening of the Medical School 1939-48, NUA/D062, Newcastle University Archives, Newcastle University Special Collections, GB 186

Newcastle University’s Medical School developed to be a world leading research and teaching institution, and student numbers continued to rise. It was the first to offer an integrated curriculum, which gave students early clinical exposure as part of their studies. It remained based in the King George VI building for nearly 50 years, with an extra floor added in the 1950s. In 1984 the Medical School moved to its current location, and the building is now home to the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, and the School of Pharmacy.  

University of Newcastle upon Tyne Medical School, 1964, NUA 6/2/3, Newcastle University Archives, Newcastle University Special Collections, GB 186

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Co-Curate (no date) Arthur Munro Sutherland (1867-1953). Available at:

Co-Curate (no date) King George VI Building. Available at:

Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2010) The Alumni Association 175 years of medicine at Newcastle. Available at:

McCord, Norman (2006) Newcastle University Past, Present and Future. Newcastle: Third Millennium Publishing.  

Newcastle University (2021) History of Newcastle University. Available at:

Sitelines (no date) Tyne and Wear HER (9244): Newcastle, Queen Victoria Road, King George VI Building – Details. Available at:

Want to learn more about the history of Newcastle University campus? Why not explore all the articles in our Campus Tour blog series.

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