Celebrate town’s architecture

Alnwick Market Place in the Bailiffgate Museum Then and Now exhibition.
Alnwick Market Place in the Bailiffgate Museum Then and Now exhibition.

Alnwick Civic Society has joined forces with Bailiffgate Museum to celebrate both the architecture of Alnwick and the key figures who influenced its development.

Then and Now features not only images of the town’s historic buildings as they were and as they are now, but also their history and some ‘Alnwickdotes’. 

One of the images in the Bailiffgate Museum's exhiibtion Then and Now.

One of the images in the Bailiffgate Museum's exhiibtion Then and Now.

On Friday there will be a joint launch of the exhibition and Heritage Heroes, a book which has been produced by the civic society.

The heroes in the book include George Tate, who published the classic History of the Borough, Castle and Barony of Alnwick in 1866-68, and FR Wilson, the architect for many new and restored buildings in the mid to late 19th century. He also served as engineer to Alnwick Board of Health following the 1848 outbreak of cholera in the town.

Other heroes are Henry Hudspith, George Armstrong and Sons – builders who raised the standard of housing in the town by building part of the Green Batt/Howick Street suburb in the 1850s and 1860s, and MRG.Conzen, international geographer and academic whose ground-breaking study of Alnwick in 1960 raised the profile of the town amongst urban professionals. He was also involved in the setting up of Alnwick Civic Society prior to 1974.

Barbara Woodhouse, famous for her TV dog training and who published in the mid 1990s some charming sketch drawings and handwritten historical notes in two publications, Zig Zag, which as a personal record of the town are still relevant today, is also featured.

Heritage Heroes by Alnwick Civic Society

Heritage Heroes by Alnwick Civic Society

David Lovie, of the Civic Society, said: “This has been an exciting community writing project involving eight researcher/writers working closely together on what has been a journey of discovery and learning.

“Although from different backgrounds, we are all united by our passion for the unique heritage of Alnwick.

“The team has been splendid in its dedication and we are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which funded our project.”

Jane Mann, from the museum, said: “It is a real bonus for local people and visitors to be able to find out so much about the town in one place.

“We are launching both the book and exhibition on November 3, and visitors will be able to see both until mid February.

“The exhibition includes some photographs from our collection, which have never been shown before.

“We also want to announce that at the same time we have created three new boards in the museum, which explain more fully the detail of our beautiful building, formerly St Mary’s church. These include our much admired stained glass windows.

“We hope people will find the time among all the seasonal festivities to enjoy a quiet moment discovering more about the environment we often take for granted.”