Byline: By Amy Cartmell
A glimpse behind closed doors of some of the North East's most important buildings will give new insight into the region's past.
For the first time the Newcastle home of world-renowned engineer Robert Stephenson will be open to the public next month.
The private home is one of 40 new venues which can be visited as part of Heritage Open Days 2003.
Altogether, 111 buildings, tours and talks in Gateshead, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside and Sunderland will be open for the nation's biggest free celebration of architecture, history and culture.
Last year was a huge success with more than 20,000 visits to 84 properties, tours and talks.
The four-day event will give free access and guided tours of landmarks such as the Tyne Tunnels and Bessie Surtees' House, as well as a tour of the Jesmond Old Cemetery chapels.
The Moot Hall in Newcastle and the Grade Two listed Bensham Grove Community Centre in Gateshead, the family home of Liberal activist and scholar Robert Spence-Watson, are taking part for the first time, along with the Customs …