Landmarks set to join in free for all

The winding wheel at Woodhorn Colliery.
The winding wheel at Woodhorn Colliery.

DOZENS of landmarks in south east Northumberland are inviting visitors in for free next month to give them the chance to find out more about the county’s history.

Northumberland County Council is expecting thousands of people to take up the invitation, issued as part of the annual Heritage Open Days initiative.

Woodhorn Colliery Museum, Ashington.

Woodhorn Colliery Museum, Ashington.

The four-day event, starting on Thursday, September 6, is the most popular event of its kind in the country, with visitor numbers reaching an all-time high of 1.7m last year.

Historic buildings in Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Cramlington and Seaton Sluice are among the venues taking part.

Among the activities lined up is an exhibition at New Hartley Memorial Hall at New Hartley to mark the 150th anniversary of the Hester Pit disaster.

Other venues opening their doors for free include Seaton Delaval Hall, the watch house museum at Seaton Sluice, Ashington’s Woodhorn Museum, Newbiggin Maritime Centre and Blyth Battery. Churches including St Cuthbert’s and St John’s at Bedlington, St Nicholas’s at Cramlington, St Mary the Virgin at Horton and St Bartholomew’s at Newbiggin are getting involved too.

Various walks are also being lined up.

Neil Bradbury, the council’s executive member for culture, said: “Northumberland is steeped in history, and some of the most remarkable buildings and grounds that are being opened to the public over the weekend date back hundreds of years.

“The event provides a fantastic opportunity for people to find out more about the intriguing heritage right here on our doorstep.”

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