Morpeth Chantry was founded in the 1300s by Richard of Morpeth as a place for prayers to be said in memory of his parents and his benefactor the Lord of Morpeth John of Greystoke. The building is a rare surviving example of a bridge chapel, where blessings would be given to the passing traveller in exchange for a small fee.
Through the centuries the Chantry has had a multitude of uses – as the town grammar school from the 1550s to 1846, as council offices and concert venue in Victorian times, and as a mineral water factory in the 20th century. The Chantry was restored to be used as a museum and craft centre in the 1980s.
In the charming Chantry building, visitors to the Bagpipe Museum can:
- Discover a unique piece of Northumberland’s heritage: the Northumbrian small pipes
- Browse the displays of pipes and panels to learn how the local small pipes differ from the famous Highland war pipes
- Experience the William Alfred Cocks’ collection of bagpipes, including ivory small pipes belonging to Robert Bewick (son of Tyneside engraver Thomas Bewick), a miniature set made for Queen Mary’s dolls’ house, a set of pipes from the Jacobite Rising and richly decorated French pipes from the court of French King Louis XIV