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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: The Witham, 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle DL12 8LY Registered Charity Number: 1146726



Parking On Street Parking

Ramp Down Ramp (down)

Ramp Up Ramp (up)

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

What's On at Witham Hall Barnard Castle

Weekly Contact Notes
10:10 Music with Mummy
Come along and join Emily for some singing, dancing and fun. Classes help develop children's rhythm, speech and listening skills. For pre-school children, babies upwards. No pre-booking required. For more information please contact or 07973 909758 or 10% discount given to attendees at The Dispensary Cafe
Centre manager
01833 631107
Monthly (first of a month) Contact Notes
The first Wednesday of every month
09:30 to 15:30 Chic Vintique Fair
Vintage collectables, fashions, arts, crafts, jewellery, home-ware, antiques, retro and much more. Always something different at Chic Vintique For all details and booking information contact Bridget at BR Events, see, email or call 07779342782
Centre manager info@th
01833 631107
Adults 50p. Until December 14
The first Saturday of every month
10:00 to 16:00 Northern Crafts
Everything from jam to jewellery. With over 15 stalls of locally handmade goods and luxury gifts on sale, why not pop along and have a look. Entry is free and everyone is welcome. You can also enjoy the refreshments on offer in the Cafe Bar during your visit. For more information see or email
Centre Manager
01833 631107



A variety of hire options are available, from meeting rooms to hot-desks and The Dispensary Cafe Bar offers drinks, snacks and meals. For more information please contact The Witham.