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:

  • Tue

    Witham Dances workshop

    16.00 - 17.45Witham Hall, Horse Market, Barnard Castle DL12 8LYwww.thewitham.org.uk 01833 631107 info@thewitham.org.uk Centre Manager£3.00

    Inspired by balletLORENT’s The Night BallWitham Dances celebrates the pleasure of dancing freely alone, closely in couples and as a vibrant group of energised people of varying ages and life experience.

    Witham Dances will be a dance theatre piece performed in the round alongside three leading balletLORENT dancers, and we want as wide ranging individuals as possible to join us! Whether 8 or 88 years old or anything in between, we welcome you to join us with your own individual experience and stories of social dancing. We will weave together your dances with ours and put together a short performance to be performed cabaret style at The Witham on 25th June.

    No experience necessary – but a desire for adventure and working kindly in a group of people is essential!

    Please watch this clip of The Night Ball to give you a taste, although bear in mind that Witham Dances will be a unique new version developed around your individuality. We are looking for up to 20 people to join us from different walks of life and surrounding areas.

    We would love you to come and watch the company perform our new production, The Lost Happy Endings, at Darlington Hippodrome, giving you the chance to see on stage some of the dancers who are going to be performing alongside you in this special opportunity to create a new memory for The Witham. There is a discount for you to access £10 tickets for this performance: use the code: WITHAM
    when booking for £10 tickets for The Lost Happy Endings at Darlington Hippodrome.

    This workshop from 4 pm – 5.45 pm will allow us to meet and have a taster workshop together to see if this experience is a good fit for you.