Heritage Open Days

A week of FREE events in and around Hexham This year's festival will run 13th to 22nd September 2019 What will you discover?!

13th Sept - 22nd Sept

Hexham Abbey – Bell Tower
Sunday 15th September 2pm to 4pm and Sunday 22nd September 2pm to 4pm
Go behind the scenes at Hexham Abbey and take the rare chance to climb the bell tower. With its 1,300 years of history, the Abbey has many stories to tell, discover one more and explore an area of the Abbey normally closed to visitors. Our expert bell ringers will take you into the tower and share their knowledge about these bells, which are still in use today. Visit the Abbey’s bell tower to find out more about this thriving and heard-but-not-seen part of our heritage.
Booking Details : Maximum 12 people per tour. Tours will last approx. 30 minutes. Please book in advance. To book contact Zoe Robinson: zoe.robinson@hexhamabbey.org.uk
Access: There is full wheelchair access to the Abbey and the exhibition in the adjacent Priory Buildings. We are sorry but there is no disabled access for the tower tours. Please note this tour is not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th; and Sunday 22nd September, 10am-4pm 
Hexham Heritage Hunters will be at the historic 15th century Moothall (entry on east side from Market Place under arch and up the stone steps). A colourful exhibition of the Highs and Lows of People Power in Hexham's flourishing Georgian era. Presenting stories of community endeavour through the amazing borough court and trade guild and Hexham's MP's support for new roads, hospitals,  market gardens, and the era of the lead industry. Contrast with times of trial when people demonstrated and paid a heavy price, or when the wealthy sought to use their influence to gain advantage over neighbours facing economic ruin.

Graft and Glory at Hexham Old Gaol and House of Correction
Join the Common Room team and their travelling Graft and Glory exhibition telling the story of how engineers and innovators from the North East changed the world.
Attend our free lecture at Hexham Old Gaol by local historian David Kidd and learn about the eccentric inventor William Martin. The lecture will take place in the Old Gaol on Saturday 21st September between 1pm and 2pm. Numbers are limited to 30 people and pre-booking is essential – see below.
To book, please telephone 01670 624523, email hexham@museumsnorthumberland.org.uk, or in person at the Old Gaol, Hexham.

More Graft and Glory at Hexham Old Gaol and House of Correction (Meet at the Old Gaol)
Free walking tours will also be available to the House of Correction, where inventor William Martin’s brother Jonathan was held in the town after he set fire to York Minster in 1829.
House of Correction tours during Heritage Open Days: Saturday 14th September: Tour 2.30pm Sunday 15th September: Tour 2.30pm Saturday 21st September: Tour 2.30pm Sunday 22nd September: Tour 2.30pm
Visitors will see the ‘prison-like’ character of this two-storey remnant of a much larger institution. Built in the 18th century and extended in 1820, only the 1820 extension survives. Meet at the Old Gaol.
The tours are free of charge and limited to 15 people per tour. Booking is essential: phone 01670 624523, email: heham@museumsnorthumberland.org.uk or in person at the gaol. House of Correction tours will last around 40mins. Contact for the day is Ben Hill or Howard Hill on: 01670 624524

Forum Cinema Hexham Projection Room Tours
Sunday 15th September throughout the day
A 20-minute tour of the Forum Cinema projection room available for one day only! One of our experienced projectionists will show you around and give you some history of the building. Please visit www.forumhexham.com for more info.
This year there will also be a screening of some historical footage: watch this space!

Haltwhistle Railway Station, The Old Booking Hall and the Old Signal Box
Visit a mechanical signal box from 1901 and a booking hall from 1855 complete with 'Edmondson' ticket racks. For a donation, you will be able to issue your own replica Edmondson ticket. Step inside the 1901 original signal box (please note this requires climbing a flight of stairs). Railway staff, past and present, will be on hand to explain the Victorian technology. Adjacent is the 1849 Alston Arches viaduct and the 1875 cast iron River Tyne bridge. We plan to offer short guided walks around these features. Just turn up and go! The Booking Hall may have some additional exhibitions and there may be guided walks from some of the stations between Newcastle and Carlisle – keep checking Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership social media for more info (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all TVCRP). Teas and coffees available. Train timetables available at http://tiny.cc/k1qw9y
Railway Station, Haltwhistle, Northumberland
Friday 20th and Sat 21st September 10am to 4pm

Queen’s Hall Arts Centre
Beaumont Street, Hexham, Northumberland NE46 3LS
There will be a historical photographic display of Hexham in the Queen’s Hall foyer (provided by Hexham Local History Society) for the duration of Heritage Open Days. Come in and visit our beautiful town through time.

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