Discover the heritage of Northumberland

Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick.
Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick.

Attractions and venues will be open to the public this weekend with special events to celebrate the heritage of our county and country.

A whole host of events will take place across Northumberland from today to Saturday as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme.

And most are free.

Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest festival of history and culture involving more than 40,000 volunteers.

Every year, over four days in September, thousands of events across the country invite you in to explore local treasures of every age, style and function.

Heritage Open Days was established in 1994 as England’s contribution to the European Heritage Days and has since grown into the country’s largest heritage festival.

In Alnwick, the Bailiffgate Museum will be open for free on Saturday with drop-in family activities, as well as rag-rugging demonstrations, and on Sunday (also free) there will be a demonstration of wool spinning from the Powburn Spinners and an opportunity to try rag-rugging.

The museum is also working alongside the Alnwick Playhouse and it’s Creative Cocoon project, which is offering special storytelling sessions for families at 10am and noon in the bar for £2.50 – but spaces must be booked in advance.

The National Trust’s Cragside near Rothbury will be open and the village’s All Saint’s Church will be open on Saturday for visitors to access the tower to view the bells and hear an explanation on the art of change ringing.

Further north, Belford Hall will be open on Saturday and Sunday with pre-booked groups visiting on Friday.

The Hall is a Grade I listed Georgian manor house by James Paine, extended in the Regency period by John Dobson.

And Belford Hidden History Museum is putting on a special exhibition in the newly refurbished Snooker Hall and the Erskine United Reformed Church and Ferguson Church Hall are open over the weekend.

An ecological self-build house at West Back Lane, which is under construction, will also be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

And at Kirknewton, near Wooler, the village hall will have a special event about Bob Fraser and his remarkable achievements as a shepherd in north Northumberland and an exhibition about the Bondagers of the Borders. St Gregory’s Church in the village will also be open. Both on Saturday.

Woodhorn Museum will have guided tours covering the Woodhorn disaster in 1916.