Barnard Castle has been recognised nationally as one of the 50 most historically and architecturally important towns in Great Britain and listed in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain. The Grade II listed Witham Hall is an important, central feature of the townscape, located where Horsemarket meets the Market Place.
The Witham Testimonial was built by public subscription as a memorial to Henry T.M. Witham of Lartington, a palaeobotanist and philanthropist who had strived to make provision for the medical and educational needs of Barnard Castle before his death in 1844. Hence the building, which opened in 1846, housed the Mechanics’ Institute and a Dispensary for the Relief of the Sick Poor. By 1860, a large music hall had been built to the rear of the Testimonial Building, whilst the premises later incorporated several small cottages in Hall Street. Together these buildings became known as The Witham and have continued to be used by the people of Barnard Castle as a backdrop for celebration, for participation and for people to gain new experiences.
2013 marks the culmination of over 10 years work to raise money and carry out work to restore its historic fabric and make The Witham fit-for-purpose as a fully accessible modern arts venue for the 21st century. The redevelopment project has seen the original Grade II listed Witham buildings restored, and a new link building constructed between the Witham Testimonial and the Event Hall, incorporating a foyer area, café bar and toilets. In addition, Durham County Council has extended and refurbished its Library building to the rear of The Witham buildings, to include new council offices and a customer access point as well as the continued Library service.
Funding of the project principally came from Durham County Council investing over £2 million with match funding of £336,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £773,879 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF funding is part of a wider programme which has brought more than £300 million to the North East. The Witham and Library development project was led by Barnard Castle Vision, Durham County Council and The Witham Directors.
Hire Charges: Contact the hall directly Registered Charity Number: 1146726
Centre Manager – 01833 631107 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Witham, 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle DL12 8LY Registered Charity Number: 1146726
On Street Parking
Wheelchair Access to Side (by prior arr.)
Tue03Dec20197:00 pmWitham Hall, Horse Market, Barnard Castle DL12 8LYwww.thewitham.org.uk 01833 631107 email@example.com Centre Manager£5.00
The Victorian History of the Candle
With nights drawing in, bring a little light to a dark December evening and come to a talk, A Victorian history of the candle, at The Witham.
The talk is illuminated with practical demonstrations to show the structure of candle flames and is based on a series of six Christmas lectures given by Michael Faraday at the Royal Institution in London in 1860/1. Some of the famous Victorian scientist’s demonstrations are recreated and reveal the fascination of that everyday object, the candle. There will also be opportunities for the audience to examine lit candles close up and to try some of the simpler experiments.
The Victorians are noted for their enthusiasm for ‘natural philosophy’ – chemistry and physics in today’s terminology – and organisations such as the Mechanics’ Institute arranged lectures and talks that were very popular and attracted large audiences on many subjects. The Witham was built more than 170 years ago as a home for events such as these. Continuing that long and fine tradition, this talk will be held on Tuesday, 3rd December at 7pm.