When did it all start?
The Trust was established in 2009, and since then we’ve welcomed more than 1million visitors to our museums.
We’ve worked with over 5,000 partners and supported 500,000 plus participants in lifelong learning activities.
We’ve also raised over £20m through public and private donations.
What type of organisation are we?
We are a museums service and care for incredible collections which testify to the role Northumberland has played in shaping modern Britain.
We are stewards of a portfolio of historic sites, sharing the stories of key moments in world history such as:
- England’s first purpose-built gaol
- England’s first planned barracks
- the UK’s first bagpipe museum
- a Scheduled Ancient Monument Colliery Complex from Europe’s largest coalfield
We are the custodian of two of two internationally important collections:
- the Pitmen Painters – the first collection of amateur art to be displayed permanently; and
- the Berwick-upon-Tweed Burrell Collection – the Northumbrian portion of the most significant private donation in Europe
Can I experience the Collections?
Yes. Of course!
You can find out more about the Collections by clicking here.
To get a taste of what you can explore during your visits to the museums please see below.
Tell me a bit about the Collections at Berwick Museum and Art Gallery…
Berwick Museum and Art Gallery is housed in England’s first planned barracks and hosts the Berwick-Upon-Tweed Burrell Collection.
This collection was donated to the Town and forms part of the most significant private donation to the public ever made in Europe.
This collection features a Degas, easel paintings by Boudin and Daubigny, and significant collections of decorative arts from Europe and East Asia.
The museum is also home to the Berwickshire Naturalists’ Club Library, a fantastic array of social and industrial history collections as well as Medieval, Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts.
What can I experience at Hexham Old Gaol?
Hexham Old Gaol is England’s oldest prison.
Not only is it England’s oldest prison, it also holds a special collection of music manuscripts and local history publications.
These Collections are very important as they tell us about the oral tradition of Border Ballads.
Opposite the Old Gaol you can see the Moot Hall, a place where decisions affecting local issues were made. A ‘moot’ refers to the meeting of the people making those decisions.
Tell me about Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum…
Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum can be found within a thirteenth century chantry in Morpeth.
The museum is home to a unique and internationally significant collection of Northumbrian small pipes.
The museum also has rare examples from other piping traditions, including a set of pipes played at the Battle of Culloden, and a set from the court of ‘the Sun King’, Louis XIV.
What can I see and do at Woodhorn Museum?
Woodhorn Museum is a former colliery and is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Here you can find the amazing collection of the Ashington Group or Pitmen Painters. This is the first collection of work by amateur artists to go on permanent display anywhere in the world.
The museum is home to a large collection of social history items related to the Northumberland coalfield.
There is also an important material record of the Hartley Pit Disaster – an event which resulted in changes to mining legislation saving countless millions of lives throughout the world.
We are ambitious:
- We hosted the first Weeping Window Poppies tour outside of London;
- We delivered the prestigious cross-border multidisciplinary educational project Flodden 500;
- We have been a partner in exciting community-centric events such as the North East’s largest Sci-Com Festival Invasion Day; and,
- We have changed the way people think through our work on the pioneering Arts Council England Creative People and Places Project, bait.
Something we love to do through our historic sites, museum and archive Collections is to provide unique engagement opportunities in community settings, classrooms and colleges.
We also enjoy working alongside a wide range of academic, third sector and commercial partners on a large range of exciting projects and areas of work.
Recognition of our work
In recent years, our exciting work has received many prestigious awards, including: