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:

  • Thu

    Creative Age Project (55+)

    14.00 - 16.00UTASS Middleton in Teesdalewww.thewitham.org.uk 01833 631107 info@thewitham.org.uk Centre ManagerFREE

    Creative Age Project  |  The Witham Arts Centre in Barnard Castle is seeking to recruit adults aged 55+ for a craft-based project led by local artist and former farmer, Trevor Dixon. Trevor produces beautifully detailed, miniature models of farmhouses, outbuildings and drystone walls using natural materials. These models reflect the landscape he has worked since adolescence.
    The project aims to bring together people who share a common background, i.e. working in rural Teesdale. While learning a new skill, or developing an existing one, it is hoped that the group will also use the session as an opportunity to socialise and share past experiences. The emphasis is very much on having an enjoyable afternoon in the company of like-minded people. No previous modelling experience is required, just enthusiasm! At the end of the project the work created by the participants will be displayed, alongside Trevor’s work, in the Gallery at The Witham during March 2020.

    Commitment: you must commit to attend weekly sessions on Thursdays, 2–4pm commencing 3rd October and concluding 27th February 2020. (No sessions over Christmas or New Year).
    Cost: This project is free of charge thanks to a grant from County Durham Community Foundation. Refreshments will be provided.
    Where: Sessions will take place at UTASS, 9-11 Chapel Row, Middleton-in-Teesdale, DL12 0SN