Witham Hall Barnard Castle

The Town

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 Hall

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: admin@thewitham.org.uk The Witham, 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle DL12 8LY Registered Charity Number: 1146726



ParkingOn Street Parking
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Event Information:

  • Sat

    The Great Cabaret Safari : Shoo Shoo Baby

    8:00 pmWitham Hall, Horse Market, Barnard Castle DL12 8LYwww.thewitham.org.uk 01833 631107 info@thewitham.org.uk Centre Manager£15.00

    The “effortlessly funny” ShooShooBaby, have been appreciated by audiences all over the world, earning them a reputation for their excellent singing and musicianship.

    In The Great Cabaret Safari, you can expect water-tight harmonising on a wonderful array of “razor-sharp” (The Stage) original cabaret songs alongside music by Queen, Louis Prima, Tears for Fears, Ennio Morricone and the Proclaimers.

    The musical saw, the zither, the harmonium and the kazoo (played by the entire audience), are just a few of the instruments that feature in this eclectic and “abundantly creative” (Cabaret Scenes) show. According to the press and their audiences, ShooShooBaby’s shows are: funny, beautifully sung, clever and unexpectedly moving.

    ShooShooBaby have sung on ice, jumped out of cakes and performed at every conceivable type of event. Their shows have been staged in theatres, concert halls, spiegeltents and cruise ships and they have serenaded royalty, oligarchs and lots of extremely nice normal people.

    “The audience had a ball” The Stage
    “What sets the apart, is their musical wit and superb Harmony” Scotsman
    “Vocally fantastic” Musical Stages