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.)
Wed06Nov20197:30 pmWitham Hall, Horse Market, Barnard Castle DL12 8LYwww.thewitham.org.uk 01833 631107 email@example.com Centre Manager£12.00
The Hard Road to Everest - Doug Scott CBE
Mountaineering talk by Doug Scott CBE
Legendary mountaineer Doug Scott give a fascinating insight into how a lad born in Nottingham during the darkest days of WWII got into climbing on the Black Rocks in Derbyshire – aided with nothing but his mother’s clothes line, and how this led him to Everest in 1975.
At dusk on 24 September, Doug and Dougal Haston became the first Britons to reach the summit of Everest as lead climbers on Chris Bonington’s epic expedition to the mountain’s south-west face. As darkness fell they scraped a small cave in the snow 100 metres below the summit and survived the highest bivouac ever – without bottled oxygen, sleeping bags and, as it turned out, frostbite. For Doug Scott, it was the fulfilment of a fortune-teller’s prophesy given to his mother: that her eldest son would be in danger in a high place with the whole world watching.
Scott and Haston returned home national heroes with their image splashed across the front pages. Scott went on to become one of Britain’s greatest ever mountaineers, pioneering new climbs in the remotest corners of the globe. His career spans the golden age of British climbing from the 1960s boom in outdoor adventure, to the new wave of lightweight alpinism throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Proceeds from the evening will support the work of Community Action Nepal www.canepal.org.uk and include a sale of Nepalese goods and an auction of signed framed mountaineering prints. Doug will update the audience about the post-earthquake reconstruction of CAN’s projects. He will also be signing copies of his posters and books