Opening times

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday Closed
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
More information

Opening times

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday Closed
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
More information

Opening times

  • Monday 9.30am - 5pm
  • Tuesday 9.30am - 5pm
  • Wednesday 9.30am - 5pm
  • Thursday 9.30am - 5pm
  • Friday 9.30am - 5pm
  • Saturday 9.30am - 5pm
  • Sunday Closed
More information

Opening times

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday 10am - 4pm
  • Friday 10am - 4pm
  • Saturday 10am - 4pm
  • Sunday 10am - 4pm
More information

Some of our museums are now running on Winter opening times. To find out more, visit the Opening Times page.

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Stokes's work will be displayed across all of our sites: Woodhorn Museum, Hexham Old Gaol, Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum and Berwick Museum & Art Gallery

Woodhorn Museum

Woodhorn Museum encompasses the iconic coal mine buildings of Woodhorn Colliery – the best preserved pit in Northumberland. It was part of the Ashington Coal Company from the late 1800s until nationalisation in 1947/8. It closed on the 27th February 1981. Ashington was known as the ‘biggest pit village in the world’ with nearly 30,000 inhabitants.

One of these was Jackie Milburn (1924 – 1988). He worked at Ashington Colliery as a fitter. His house looked out over the mine itself and his family all worked there. His childhood in Ashington was marked by his passion for football – he would walk 8 miles a day to and from school kicking a stone down the road to improve his ‘ball control’. In 1946 he signed for Newcastle United aged 22. He became a folk hero overnight. He went on to play for England. As part of the Ashington footballing dynasty that included Jack and Bobby Charlton, Milburn’s name is etched into the hearts of every Geordie – everyone in the area seems to have a ‘Wor Jackie’ story.

Stokes’s work looks at Jackie the family man, father and husband. Stokes draws upon a collection recently donated by Jackie’s son Jack to Woodhorn Museum. Items include a reel-to-reel tape recorder and some ‘Soundmirror’ tapes that record family gatherings, chats and sing-songs. You can read more about Stokes’s ‘Soundmirror’ here.

Hexham Old Gaol

The Old Gaol was built in c. 1330 and is the oldest purpose built prison in England. It and the nearby Moot Hall served as the gaol and courtroom for the Archbishop of York who governed this part of Northumberland, known as ‘Hexhamshire’.

For 700 years the gaol has been home (literally) to a warden and his family, as well as countless prisoners. The gaol was like a hotel – if you were accused of a crime you had to pay for the pleasure of being kept here. If you ran up a bill this needed to be paid before you could leave.

Two dungeons were reserved for the most dangerous and poorest criminals. If you could afford it however, the upper levels were comparitively pleasant – with proper beds, a fire and a choice of meals. Those of noble birth could instruct their servants to sit in prison during the day on their behalf – they acted as gurantee that their master wouldn’t run away.

Following this theme, Stokes’s work – entitled Felons – considers these ancient links between class, crime and … birds of prey. In a highly stratified society, men and women were compared to different types of birds – only lords and ladies could own certain types of bird, and criminals were often equated with ‘raptors’ or birds of prey. Read more about Felons here.

 

Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum

The Chantry Bagpipe Museum is utterly unique. It specialises in the history and development of the Northumbrian small pipes and their music. Founded in 1987, it houses a large collection of historic bagpipes and music collected by William Alfred Cocks (1892 – 1971). Cocks was a master clock-maker who had a lifelong interest in the history and culture of the North-east of England. His collection was gifted to the Society of Antiquaries and it is now displayed in the beautiful medieval bridge-chapel in Morpeth.

In 2017/18, Stokes discovered an scrapbook of newspaper cuttings that W. A. Cocks had kept throughout his life. It revealed a stunning revelation: Cocks thought that bagpipes were hilarious! Stokes’s work explores this intriguing example of bagpipe-joke antiquarianism… Read more about it here.

Berwick Museum & Art Gallery

Berwick Museum and Art Gallery is located in the Ravensdowne Barracks in Berwick-upon-Tweed. It is the first purpose-built army barracks in England, and is nestled just behind the impressive Elizabethan wall built in 1558 to keep out the marauding Scots who regularly laid claim to the town.

The museum houses the Berwick Burrell Collection which was one of the most generous civic donations to be made in Europe. Alongside paintings by Degas, Gericault and many others, you can also see Samurai armour, East Asian art and Egyptian antiquities, medieval, neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts – as well as a 90-million-year-old dinosaur. Berwick Museum and Art Gallery also boasts the Berwick Naturalist Club collections, a pioneering society that documented the history, culture and folklore of the area.

Stokes’s work taps into this rich history. What was Berwick like before industrialisation, before the fields were enclosed and the birds had been hunted? Stokes’s installation at Berwick invites you to encounter a lost rural soundscape inspired by this 18th century borderland between England and Scotland – period folk instruments evoke the calls of rare fauna and grasses sway in the breeze. To read more about ‘Beyond the Field’ go here.