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Heritage Open Days 2017

Heritage Open Days 2017

Morpeth Heritage Open Days - 2017 Programme

Once again, there is a wide range of heritage activities in and around Morpeth as part of the national Heritage Open Days programme 7th - 10th September - co-ordinated by GMDT and friends

Look out for:  Morpeth Past and Present – In Newgate Street, Oldgate and Newmarket areas.  A photographic exhibition in shop windows showing how Morpeth and its shops have changed over the years


Thursday 7th Sept

Rothley Castle

A five-and-a-half mile walk featuring Codgers Fort and Rothley Castle and lakes.  Meet at Rothley Crossroads on the B6342 (NZ 0437 8973).  The walk route may be muddy. 

Contact (01670) 515351.  No booking required. Walk starts at 1pm

Friday 8th Sept

Rothbury WW1 Trenches & Iron Age Forts

A nine mile walk featuring WWI trenches and an Iron Age Fort along with a visit to the normally private Cartington Castle.  Meet at Beggars Rigg car park quarter of a mile west of Rothbury on the B6341 road to Thropton.  No need to book but take a picnic lunch.  The walk route can be muddy.Contact (01670) 515351.  No booking required. Walk starts at 10:30am

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th Sept

Morpeth Poetry Heritage Tour

A tour of some of the town’s heritage sites led by members of the Morpeth Poetry Group including child poets.  Gain an insight into the people and places of Morpeth’s past through the medium of poetry.  Poets will be in costume.  A maximum of 12 people per tour session.  Meet on Newgate Street at the entrance to St James Church 10 minutes before tours start. The route may vary according to weather conditions.  The walks around Morpeth town centre will last one hour and cover less than one mile.  There are two walks each day starting at 10:30am and 2pm.

Pre-booking required – contact Barbara Waldie (0771 898 9566 or email - bookings now open and close on 8th September.


Thursday 7th Sept

Collingwood Society Lecture

Dr Tony Barrow will talk about "Collingwood’s Midshipmen" some of whom were local to the North East. 

7:30pm Morpeth Town Hall NE61 1LZ


Thursday 7th Sept

Morpeth Town Treasures

The Mayor’s Parlour and the Council Chamber will be open to visit in Morpeth Town Hall to see displays of Morpeth’s treasures including the Silver Mace that dates from 1604 and is the oldest working civic mace in the country.  See also cannon balls from the 1644 siege of Morpeth Castle; the Town Hutch that dates from 1513 and the scold’s bridle or branks which was given to gossips or scolding wives.  The current Mayor Cllr Nic Best and several past mayors will be present. Open 2pm - 4pm Morpeth Town Hall NE61 1LZ 

Thursday 7th - Saturday 9th

John Caffrey – ‘The Birds of Thoreau Country’

Chantry Bagpipe Museum, Bridge St

John Caffrey was a well-known Morpeth artist who became interested in the American naturalist, writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau whose environmental concerns reflected John’s own views. This year is the 200th anniversary of Thoreau’s birth and the event will include John’s collection of Thoreau books as well as literature about the early English publishers and editors of his work.  John’s own original watercolours depicting ‘Birds of Thoreau  Country' will also be on show.  The event takes place at The Bagpipe Museum, upstairs in the Chantry, where cards of John’s watercolours will be on sale.

Open 10am - 4pm daily

Thursday 7th - Sunday 10th

Clock Tower, Oldgate NE61 1QF

Tours and bell ringing experience.  Built in the early 1600s the Clock Tower is one of Morpeth’s landmarks and it contains the oldest original peal of civic bells in Britain.  Short tours of the Clock Tower and a chance to ring the bells.  No booking required but at busy times visitors may have to wait or be asked to return later.  Leaflets available.  There are steep steps at the entrance and further flights of steep stairs to the ringing chamber.  All children must be accompanied by an adult. Hosted by Morpeth Bellringers

Fri 8th Sept 2pm – 4pm; Sat 9th Sept 10 – Noon  & 2pm – 4pm; Sun 10th Sept 2pm – 4pm

Friday 8th & Saturday 9th

Morpeth Railway Station, Coopies Lane, Morpeth, NE61 2SL

Daily 9:30am - 12:30pm

Small exhibition on the history of the Grade II listed Victorian station designed by Benjamin Green and opened in 1848, as well as information about the current redevelopment project to restore the station’s buildings.  Also short guided tours of the current station buildings - maximum six people per tour session (call 01670 503866 to book).  As this event takes place at a main line railway station, children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Sunday 11th   

Celebrating Morpeth's Heritage, Butter Market, Morpeth Town Hall NE611LZ

A mini-display and heritage drop-in afternoon at the Butter Market in Morpeth Town Hall run by Morpeth Antiquarian Society with an exhibition of 1917 births and deaths plus the Society’s 70th Anniversary. Meet Society members for a chat about ideas for the future of its museum collection. Open 12noon - 3pm

CHURCHES - and other buildings open for HODS

Church of St James the Great, St James Terrace, Morpeth, NE61 1BP

Open Thurs - Sun 10am - 4pm

Impressive Victorian church designed by Benjamin Ferrey, former apprentice to Augustus Pugin, which is based on the style of the Cathedral of Monreale in Sicily.  See the apse paintings and fine Minton tiled floor in the Chancel. Information leaflets available.  Teas/coffee. Guide books and handmade cards available to purchase. Church is accessible by wheelchair from north porch although access to High Altar and Grey Chapel is limited due to steps.

Church of St Mary the Virgin, St Mary’s Field, Morpeth, NE61 2QT   

Open Thurs - Sat 11am - 3pm, Sunday Noon to 3pm

One of the best medieval churches in Northumberland; 14thC Jesse window; small exhibition on suffragette Emily Wilding Davison (her grave is in the churchyard); children’s trail –“Find the Church Mice”; booklets on the history of the church and stained glass.  Refreshments available. 

St. Andrew's Church, Bothal  NE61 6SW

Open Sat - Sun 11am - 4pm

A designated Grade I Listed Building because of its exceptional architectural and historical interest.  Occasional tours during the Open Days and there will be craft stalls with items for sale as well as art and photography exhibitions

St George’s United Reformed Church, Bridge Street, Morpeth, NE61 1PD    

Open: Sat 10am - noon and 1:45pm - 4pm

There will be a jazz event from 12.30pm - 1.30pm which is not a HODS event and entrance is £5 including strawberries & cream.

St Mary Magdalene Church, Stable Green, Mitford NE61 3PZ

Open Thurs, Fri 2pm - 4pm; Sat 10am - 4pm; Sun 12noon - 4pm

A 12th Century church that is steeped in history.  There are Norman remains and the oldest church bell in the country as well as fascinating stained glass windows, all in a beautiful setting overlooking Mitford Castle. A service will be held from 10.30am on Sunday 10th  September and all are welcome to attend.

 St Robert of Newminster RC Church, Oldgate, Morpeth NE 61 1QF

Open Thurs 1pm - 4pm

A glorious church with stained glass windows by the renowned William Wailes.  The church is behind Collingwood House which will also be opening during the Heritage Open Days

Collingwood House  Oldgate, Morpeth NE 61 1QF

 Open Thurs 1pm - 4pm

Admiral Lord Collingwood was Nelson’s second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar.  When he was not away at sea, this Georgian house in Oldgate, Morpeth was where he lived with his wife and family.  Although he was often not at home he wrote fondly of his time spent there.  The house is now the working house and Presbytery of St Robert’s RC Church so full access is not available.  The main door on to Oldgate will be open with access to the dining room, main hall and staircase.  

Bothal Castle Grounds

Tours on Sunday only 11am - 3pm

Tours of the Castle grounds led by local historian and archaeologist Barry Mead that will reveal the history of one of Northumberland’s lesser known strongholds.  No entry into the Castle itself.