Museum guide tells story of Alnwick

Author Peter Carter.
Author Peter Carter.

Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum has produced a new guidebook, which also doubles as a history of the town.

Telling the Story of Alnwick and District is the guide to the museum’s permanent collection, but also ‘celebrates the rich and turbulent history of the town and surrounding area’.

Telling the story of Alnwick and District by Peter Carter

Telling the story of Alnwick and District by Peter Carter

Written by Peter Carter, the 61-page pamphlet manages to take readers on a journey through the area’s heritage, spanning 10,000 years.

It offers an insight into the life and times of Alnwick’s residents from Mesolithic times to the present day, incorporating sections on the developing town and its guilds in medieval times, the district’s industries, Alnwick in the 19th century, during the world wars and today.

As the book states, very little is known about the early history of Alnwick with the first documentary reference being contained in the various chronicles that described the death of Scottish King Malcolm III in 1095 – the town’s Anglo-Saxon name is older.

It was not until the 12th century, a while after the Norman Conquest, when King Henry I established baronies for his supporters north of Morpeth, that Alnwick really began to develop, later becoming the county town of Northumberland and long being associated with the Percy family.

The introduction adds: ‘The town offers a fascinating picture of market-town development, from its medieval origins through major redevelopment in Georgian times and further expansion more recently.

‘The surrounding area of coast, countryside, hills, farms and villages has a long and rich history of border warfare, agriculture, fishing, coal mining and railways’.