This film is part of Free

Young Ladies Academy

Female students from Armstrong College, Newcastle, pose for the camera outside Easton Hall.

Amateur film 1932 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


On the 8th June 1916, Easton Hall in Jesmond, a suburb of Newcastle, opened as a hostel for women studying at Armstrong College of Science. The hostel was built with money bequeathed to the college by Emily Easton, a woman of property as well as a Gateshead colliery owner, upon her death aged 95 in 1913. This amateur film captures students from the early 1930s posing proudly for the camera, possibly taking a break from their busy studies.

Emily Easton inherited her wealth and property, including the family home of West Layton Manor near Richmond in North Yorkshire, from her brother John Easton upon his death in 1880. Emily’s interest in the education of women may have stemmed from the sad death of her niece Emma Easton under ‘regretful’ circumstance only eight months previously. Found dead in her bedroom at the age of 36, the coroner recorded Emma’s death as ‘suffocation’. The coroner was critical of her father for not forcing open her bedroom door when he suspected something was wrong, potentially saving her life, instead calling for a joiner from two miles away. The trust created by Emily, Emily Matilda Easton Trust, continues to this day.