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Morpeth Heritage Open Days 2019

Morpeth Heritage Open Days 2019
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Morpeth Heritage Open Days 2019

19 Sep - 22 Sep 2019

 Morpeth Heritage Open Days - 2019 Programme

Once again, there is a wide range of heritage activities in and around Morpeth as part of the national Heritage Open Days programme 19th - 22nd September - co-ordinated by GMDT and friends

Provisional programme - subject to change

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 19 September 13:00

Morpeth Heritage  & Health Walk - Harnham and Shortflatt

Start: St Andrew's Church, Bolam, Northumberland, NE61 3UX

A guided walk with David Barker featuring a visit to Harnham Buddhist Monastery starting and finishing at Bolam Church. The walk begins at 1pm and is 4.8 miles long. Please wear suitable clothes and shoes for a country walk. 

This is a countryside walk, over ground which may be uneven, muddy or steep. Walkers may encounter livestock and traffic and must be alert to this. Unaccompanied children are not allowed on this walk.

Approx 2-3 hours More details available from David Barker. Tel no: 01670 515351 

Friday 20th September 10:30

Morpeth Heritage  & Health Walk: Serpent’s Column Walk

Start: Edlingham Castle, Edlingham, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 2BW

An all-day guided walk that takes in Edlingham Castle, Lemmington Hall, Serpent's Column and Alauna Roman Fort. Approximately 7 miles long, bring a picnic lunch.

A taster of the Morpeth Heritage and Health Walks which happen every three weekly Fridays. This walk takes in many different heritage sites in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside. Join a group of experienced walkers and enjoy a visit and talk about Edlingham before moving on. Lemmington Hall and Serpent's Column are opened especially for this HOD walk and are a must see. Also visit a northerly Roman Fort, Alauna, and imagine what the Romans felt in the cold frontierland of Northumberland. This walk has some steep hills and weather depending, it can be quite muddy. Wear sensible shoes and clothes, best for intermediate-confident walkers.

No booking required

Access Information: This is a countryside walk, therefore it is unfortunately not suitable for wheelchairs, prams or anyone unable to traverse steep, muddy or uneven ground. Walkers may encounter livestock and vehicles and must be alert to this. Unaccompanied children are not allowed on this walk.

Directions: Follow the B6341 Rothbury-Alnwick road and turn off at the brown signed 11th Century Church/Edlingham Castle. Park in the church carpark, or carefully along the road.

Saturday 21st September 11:00 & 14:00; Sunday 22nd September 11:00 & 14:00

Morpeth Poetry Heritage Tours

Start: Market Place, Morpeth, NE61 1LZ

A guided walk with costumed poets in the centre of Morpeth.

A tour of some of Morpeth's heritage sites in costume conducted by members of Morpeth Poetry Group, including our child poets. Gain insights into the people and places of Morpeth's famous past through the medium of poetry. We will be remembering a number of Morpeth characters and some examples of People Power. In addition there will be a number of other famous, and not so well known, Morpethians both male and female. Poets will be in costume. 12 places available which must be pre-booked.

This is an outdoor walk around Morpeth town centre and Carlisle Park lasting one hour and covering approx. 0.75 miles. Children must be accompanied.

Tour is free but places must be booked, please ring or email Barbara Ross Call: 07718989566 Email: Booking opens 1 September 2019 12:00 and closes 22 September 2019 11:00

Sunday 22nd September 10:30 - 11:30 

Hepscott Heritage Walk

Start: Hepscott Parish Hall, Hepscott, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 6LR

Heritage Walk at Hepscott led by John Sadler and David Cowans.

Meet at 10.30am at Hepscott Parish Hall car park. The walk will take approximately 1 hour and cover 2.5 miles. Walkers will see heritage sites relating to a landscape changing from a 13th century feudal agricultural estate, to public ownership and a 19th century industrial hub, to the present 20th century residential settlement.

The walk is mainly on level, hard surfaces and suitable for all ages. 

No booking required



Thursday 19th September 19.30 - 21:00

Collingwood Society Lecture

Corn Exchange, Town Hall, Morpeth, NE61 1LZ

A lecture about local historical figure, Cuthbert Collingwood. most famous as Nelson's second in command at the Battle of Trafalgar

Cuthbert Collingwood – a family man at sea. Local historian and author Ian Whitehead delivers a biographical talk on the one-time Morpeth resident and his family. Part of Morpeth’s Heritage Event. Free to all. Raffle. No booking required.


Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd September 9am to 5pm

Morpeth Past and Present: Shop Window Displays

Newgate Street/Oldgate/Market Place/Newmarket, Morpeth

A photographic exhibition in shop windows along main streets of Morpeth. The displays give a potted history and old photographs show how the town centre shops have changed over the years.

Saturday 21st September 10:00 to 12:00 & 14:00 to 16:00 Sunday 22nd September 14:00 to 16:00

Clock Tower Tours and Bell Ringing Experience

Oldgate, Morpeth, NE61 1QF

This is an unusual clock tower as it is not part of a church. The bells ring to celebrate civic events such as the annual Mayormaking.

Built in the early 1600s and containing the oldest original peal of civic bells in Britain, the Clock Tower is one of Morpeth’s landmarks. There will be short tours of the Clock Tower and an opportunity to ring the bells. There is no booking required but at busy times people might have to wait or be asked to come back later. Leaflets will be available.

No booking required

Access: There are steep steps at the entrance and further flights of steep steps up to the ringing chamber. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday 21st September 10:00 - 15:00

Bowling in the Park

Morpeth Bowling Club, Pavilion, Carlisle Park, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1YD

Come and try your hand at bowling in the park.

Morpeth Bowls Club was formed in 1926 and has its home in beautiful Carlisle Park. The members invite you to watch them bowling and give it a try yourself. In the clubhouse there will be a display of trophies, historic items and refreshments will be available.

No booking required

Additional Information: Carlisle Park is also home to a newly refurbished working floral clock, one of only four in the country. There is a children's playground close to the Bowling Club

Sunday 22nd September 11:00 - 14:00

Celebrating Morpeth’s Heritage

Butter Market, Town Hall, Market Place, Morpeth, NE61 1LZ

Morpeth Antiquarian Society mini-display in Butter Market, Town Hall.

An exhibition on notable men of Morpeth; refreshments available and Friends of Morpeth Museum Grand Prize Draw tickets (top prize £100). Simply pop-in to Morpeth Town Hall and explore the Morpeth Antiquarian Society's display.

Sunday 22nd September 13:00 - 16:00 

Woodhorn Matters: Traditional Mat Making

Morpeth Methodist Church, Howard Terrace, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1HU 

Come and see the traditional craft of hooky and proggy mat making, and even have a go yourself!

On the afternoon of Sunday 22nd Woodhorn Matters welcome visitors to their meeting to see traditional crafts in person. This old make do and mend craft is updated to 21st century upcycling and contemporary individual design.


St Andrew’s Church, Bothal

St Andrew's Church, Bothal Village, NE61 6SL

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd September 11:00 to 16:00

St. Andrew's Church, Bothal has been designated a Grade I Listed Building as it is of exceptional architectural and historical interest. There will be a wide variety of craft stalls with items for sale and excellent homemade refreshments. Tours of the building are available on Sunday.

Direction: The village is situated between Ashington and Pegswood and signed from the A1068 Ashington to Bedlington road.

St George’s United Reformed Church, Morpeth

Bridge Street, Morpeth, NE61 1PD

Saturday 21st September 10:00 to 16:00

Victorian church on the banks of the River Wansbeck

This fine, spacious church will be open from 10am to 4pm, refreshments will be available.

Church of St James’ the Great, Morpeth

St James Terrace, NE61 1BP

Thursday 19th September to Sunday 22nd September: 09:30 - 15:00

Impressive Victorian Church with fine wall paintings.

A Victorian, Norman-style church by Benjamin Ferrey, former apprentice to Augustus Pugin. Impressive apse murals from 1875, recently conserved, and a fine Minton tiled floor in the Chancel. Information leaflets will be available. Guide books& handmade cards will be available to purchase. On Saturday, volunteers will be present to talk to and refreshments will be available. On other days, information is available about the church and its history.

The church is accessible by wheelchair from the north porch, although access to the High Altar and Grey Chapel is limited due to steps.

Additional Information: A separate car park is next to the church, behind the church hall on Wellway. On Sunday there is a service of Holy Communion at 08.00 and a Family Communion Service at 11.15 to which all visitors are welcome.

St John the Evangelist, Longhirst, Morpeth

St John the Evangelist, Longhirst, Morpeth, NE61 3LS

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd September 10:30 to 15:30

Beautiful Victorian Church in small village.

There are recently restored original floor tiles and a new servery area which has been created using re-cycled pews.

There will be a church service on Sunday morning at 9.30 to which all visitors are welcome. Contact for the day: Jill Elphick (01670 790764).

There is disabled parking near the lychgate. Although there are steps up to the church, ramps will be in place but care should be taken on the path to the lychgate and on to the church as these are old and uneven. There are toilets in the Village Hall further along the main street. There will be no access to the altar area.

St Mary Magdalene Church, Mitford

Stable Green, Mitford, Morpeth, NE61 3PZ

Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd September  10:00 - 16:00

A beautiful historic church in a small village.

St. Mary Magdalene Church, Mitford, is a 12th Century church steeped in history. There are Norman remains; the oldest church bell in the country and interesting stained glass, all in a delightful setting overlooking the remains of Mitford Castle. The church is open for visitors, but especially for HODs there will be a guide to share with you the beauty and history of this lovely church.

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Morpeth

St Mary's Field, Morpeth, NE61 2QT

Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd September   10:00 - 15:00

One of the best medieval churches in Northumberland with a 14th Century Jesse Window.

A lovely church set in an interesting churchyard which holds the graves of several famous people including the artist, Joseph Crawhall and the Suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison, who died at Epsom racecourse. There is also a Watch House used to guard against grave robbers. Refreshments are available throughout the day and there will be volunteers to speak with about this unique medieval church. 

Additional Information: There is a church service on Sunday at 9.30 to which all visitors are welcome.

Directions: The church is set back from the A 197 (feeder road to the A1) near to Morpeth Golf Club. Enter by the Lychgate opposite the Sun Inn or through the churchyard by Storey Park Community Centre.

St. Robert's RC Church, Morpeth

Oldgate, Morpeth, NE61 1QF

Thursday 19th and Friday 20th September   12:00 - 16:00

A beautiful Victorian church near the banks of the River Wansbeck

A glorious church of 1850 with stained glass windows by the renowned William Wailes. An icon to St Robert is incorporated into the stained glass of the Sanctuary. There is a marble memorial for those who fell in the First World War.
Church members will be on hand to give information about St Roberts' and its most important features.
There are new booklets available on the history of the church and of its statues.

Other Buildings open during the HODs Weekend

Collingwood House

Oldgate, Morpeth, NE61 1QF

Thursday 19th and Friday 20th September    12:00 - 16:00

Georgian house of historical importance

Admiral Lord Collingwood was Nelson's second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Lord Collingwood spent long periods of time away at sea but this Georgian house in Morpeth was where his family lived. Although his visits home were rare, he wrote fondly of his time spent here in Morpeth.
This house is now the Presbytery of St Robert's R.C. Church which will be open at the same time.

Morpeth Town Treasures

Town Hall, Market Place, Morpeth, NE61 1LZ

Thursday 19th September 14:00 - 16:00

The Civic Suite will be open inside Morpeth's Town Hall.

This year's Heritage Open Days will include an opportunity to visit Morpeth Town Hall where you can see the Council Chamber and the Town Treasures in the Mayor's Parlour. There will also be the opportunity to Meet the Mayor, Cllr Alison Byard, and Deputy Mayor, Cllr David Bawn, and enjoy free tea or coffee and a selection of delicious cakes supplied by local businesses.

Morpeth's treasures include the silver mace from 1604 - the oldest working civic mace in the country, cannon balls from the 1644 siege of Morpeth Castle and the Town Hutch from 1513. Also the scold’s bridle (or ‘branks’) which was given to gossips or scolding wives.

Bothal Castle Grounds

Bothal Village, Morpeth, NE61 6SL.

Saturday 21st September    11:00 - 15:30

Visit the grounds of a 14th century manor house.

Informal tours of the grounds of Bothal Castle to reveal the history of one of Northumberland's less well known strongholds. Also a table with archaeological curios, where people may wait if a tour is already in progress. There is no entry to the Castle which is privately occupied.

No booking required

Access Information: Park in village or car park and walk up tarmac drive leading to the Castle, gravel paths around the grounds with some steps on the rough path outside the castle walls.

Additional information: Tours around the grounds will be led by Barry Mead, local historian and archaeologist. The nearby St Andrews Church is also open for refreshments and sale of locally made handicrafts.

Directions: Bothal is between Ashington and Pegswood. There is no bus service to Bothal.