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Arthur Holmes’ birthplace & childhood homes

Tyne and Wear

Society , Intellectual life

The early home of a local ‘Rock Star’!

Arthur Holmes is remembered as the first scientist to accurately calculate the age of the planet earth. He was one of the most important geologists of the 20th century and one of the North East’s foremost scientific thinkers.

His most famous book is The Age of the Earth (1913) where he first proposed that the planet’s age was over a billion years old. Previous geologists had thought it only tens of millions of years old and scholars had only recently accepted that the earth was much older than 6,000 years. He also wrote Principles of Physical Geology, which was, for many years the standard text book on the subject.

Born in Glen Street, Hebburn on 14 January 1890, he later lived at Primrose Hill, Gateshead and attended Gateshead Higher Grade School. After leaving school he attended and lectured at Imperial College, London before becoming Professor of Geology at Durham University. Durham’s student geology society is still named after him.


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