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
Ramp DownRamp (down)

Ramp UpRamp (up)

Wheelchair Access to SideWheelchair Access to Side (by prior arr.)

Event Information:

  • Sat

    Dance Your Heart Out

    11:00 amWitham Hall, Horse Market, Barnard Castle DL12 8LYwww.thewitham.org.uk 01833 631107 info@thewitham.org.uk Centre ManagerFREE

    This is a fun, informal and physical workshop with a team of professional dancers and a live DJ.

    We will begin with a lively 1.5 hour workshop filled with games and tasks that will get us moving, dancing and interacting with each other in surprising and unexpected ways.

    After our active workshop we will break for some yummy and well deserved food. Lunch is on us!!

    ‘The Making Of’ workshop ends with a celebration in a big dome, with flashy lights and some funky beats. Prepare to be taken on a journey through a world where ‘normal’ doesn’t apply… come break the rules with us.

    No dance training or experience necessary, the less you know the better!

    Wear something comfy that you can move in… don’t worry about your socks as they’ll just be danced off.

    Comments from previous workshops:

    “A magical experience where anything is possible” Young person, Newcastle

    “Incredibly liberating” Adult participant, Blyth

    “…uplifted after the whole session” Adult participant, Newcastle

    “I would take that over anything. A night club or anything. It was so good.” A young person, County Durham

    When: Saturday 18 January 2020
    Who: Ages 7 – 11 years, all abilities and experiences welcome.

    When: Saturday 1st February 2020
    Who: Ages 12 – 18 years, all abilities and experiences welcome.

    When: Saturday 7th February 2020
    Who:  Families; parents, grandparents, carers, family members, friends, children and young people, come along and have a play!   Ages 0-8 must be accompanied by a responsible adult, all abilities and experiences welcome.