Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives

A view along the main entrance path at Woodhorn with the old colliery buildings in the background
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Woodhorn is a vibrant, exciting place to visit all year round with a great programme of activities and exhibitions for the whole family.

Inspired by monster coal cutting machines once used deep underground, the stunning Cutter building and original listed colliery structures house fascinating, hands-on exhibitions and displays. Take an emotional journey through Coal Town and discover a proud mining community; explore the colliery buildings and imagine what it would have been like to work underground; hum along to the brass band at the Miners’ Picnic, see the colourful banners and even design your own. Marvel at the original paintings of the Ashington Group – miners from the 1930s whose story has inspired remarkable play, Pitmen Painters, by Billy Elliot writer, Lee Hall.

Woodhorn is home to Northumberland’s public archive too.

Venue Type:

Museum, Industrial heritage site, Archive

Opening hours

Open: Wednesday through to Sunday (+ Mon & Tues in Northumberland School Hols)
October until March, 10am - 4pm
April until September 10 am until 5pm
(Archives Open 10am - 4pm Wed-Sat.)

Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives will be closed on Wednesday 9th September. We apologise for any inconvenience.

For the duration of 'Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn', we will be open every day from 10am - 5pm (Saturday 12th September - Sunday 1st November)

Full details of opening times on www.experiencewoodhorn.com

Admission charges

Free admission
All day parking £3.50

Getting there

Just off A189 Spine Road and C1 National/Coast and Castles Cycle Route east of Ashington.
Nearest public transport Ashington Bus Station - 15 minute walk

Additional info

Access: Most of the buildings at Woodhorn are accessible but as you might expect with the old listed colliery buildings, access to some is restricted. See our main website for a full access statement. Visitors are welcome to borrow one of three wheelchairs or a motorised scooter during their visit, and staff are happy to discuss any special requirements in advance of a visit.

Assistance dogs are welcome at Woodhorn, but family pets are not allowed in the fenced museum area. It would be best to leave your dog at home if possible as Woodhorn's car park does not offer any shade.

The Pitmen Painters were a group of mostly miners from Northumberland who founded the Ashington Art Group in the 1930s and who took as their subject everyday life in their mining community. Woodhorn museum holds the main Ashington Group collection of their work.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Fine Art, Industry, Natural Sciences, Science and Technology, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Pitmen Painters - Northumberland miners who founded the Ashington Art Group
  • Mining history
  • Oliver Kilbourn
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Close up of a poem and a small paper clip

Storehouse of Words

  • 16 July — 6 November 2016 *on now

Storehouse of Words reveals the story of the Northern Poetry Library and takes an inspired look at the connections between poetry and life.

Located in the heart of Northumberland, the library is an important archive but it is also a living, breathing library meant for people to use and enjoy.

Discover the Northern Poetry Library, find out more about contemporary poetry and have a go at writing your own poem!

Find out more about the Northern Poetry Library by visiting: http://northernpoetrylibrary.org.uk/

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Close up of a hand on a guitar

Thank Folk its Friday

  • 30 September 2016 2-3pm

Come to Woodhorn and enjoy our free monthly folk music performance in the Café, why not treat yourself to a cuppa, too?

This month’s performers is Beeswing.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.exepriencewoodhorn.com

A photograph showing an example of the Poetry Pocket Book Craft.

Poetry Pocket Book Craft

  • 1 October 2016 12-3pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a poetry writer? Join us at Woodhorn and get the chance to create your very own poetry notebook using beautiful craft paper. Use your notebook to store your precious thoughts and ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our ‘Storehouse of Words’ exhibition for some inspiration!

All donations welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph showing an example of the Poetry Pocket Book Craft.

Poetry Pocket Book Craft

  • 2 October 2016 12-3pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a poetry writer? Join us at Woodhorn and get the chance to create your very own poetry notebook using beautiful craft paper. Use your notebook to store your precious thoughts and ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our ‘Storehouse of Words’ exhibition for some inspiration!

All donations welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A painting of Sir Humphry Davy

Letters and the Lamp: Sir Humphrey Davy Talk

  • 5 October 2016 From 2pm

Please reserve a seat for the talk by calling 01670 624455. Spaces are limited.

In this talk, Professor Sharon Ruston will discuss a hitherto unpublished collection of letters held in the Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn Museum. These letters were written to the Reverend John Hodgson who has an important role in the invention of the safety lamp. They shed new light on the ensuing controversy over who first created a safe lamp, Davy or George Stephenson.

Professor Ruston is Chair in Romanticism at Lancaster University, and co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford University Press edition of The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy.

Portrait of Humphry Davy by H. W. Pickersgill after Thomas Lawrence, c. 1830s. © Royal Institution

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph showing an example of the Poetry Pocket Book Craft.

Poetry Pocket Book Craft

  • 8 October 2016 12-3pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a poetry writer? Join us at Woodhorn and get the chance to create your very own poetry notebook using beautiful craft paper. Use your notebook to store your precious thoughts and ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our ‘Storehouse of Words’ exhibition for some inspiration!

All donations welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph showing an example of the Poetry Pocket Book Craft.

Poetry Pocket Book Craft

  • 9 October 2016 12-3pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a poetry writer? Join us at Woodhorn and get the chance to create your very own poetry notebook using beautiful craft paper. Use your notebook to store your precious thoughts and ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our ‘Storehouse of Words’ exhibition for some inspiration!

All donations welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph showing an example of the Poetry Pocket Book Craft.

Poetry Pocket Book Craft

  • 15 October 2016 12-3pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a poetry writer? Join us at Woodhorn and get the chance to create your very own poetry notebook using beautiful craft paper. Use your notebook to store your precious thoughts and ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our ‘Storehouse of Words’ exhibition for some inspiration!

All donations welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph showing an example of the Poetry Pocket Book Craft.

Poetry Pocket Book Craft

  • 16 October 2016 12-3pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a poetry writer? Join us at Woodhorn and get the chance to create your very own poetry notebook using beautiful craft paper. Use your notebook to store your precious thoughts and ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our ‘Storehouse of Words’ exhibition for some inspiration!

All donations welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph of a Bride and Groom on their wedding day at Woodhorn Museum.

Wedding Open Evening

  • 19 October 2016 4-7pm

A special evening opportunity (4pm - 7pm) to view our wonderful venue and to chat to our friendly and experienced team about your special day.

See the Winding House and Workshop Galleries dressed for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

Enjoy a glass of bucks fizz on arrival then sample delicious canapés from our menus and chat to our chef from Kings Catering about your menu requirements.
See and be inspired by examples of work by Thoughts of You Flowers, Baking Bug, Simply Bows and Chair Covers Northumberland, , Crosby Hire, Cards by Di, and Coco Luminaire.

Enjoy live music presented by Abbey Strings and discover the services of AM DJ.

Free Admission – no need for an appointment.

Pre-register your attendance by emailing your names and wedding date to functions&venuehire@woodhorn.org.uk to be entered into our prize drawer for a chance to win a bottle of Prosecco.

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A carved out pumpkin sitting in one of Woodhorn's colliery buildings.

Pumpkin Trail

  • 22 — 30 October 2016

Are you brave enough to find all of our pumpkins that are hiding in the shadowy corners of Woodhorn Museum?

Pick up one of our Halloween trail sheets at the Welcome Desk and explore the museum to find the hidden pumpkins. If you find all of the pumpkins, take your sheet back to the Welcome Desk in return for a small spooky treat!

Suggested donation £1.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A close up photograph of a hand on a guitar

Thank Folk its Friday

  • 28 October 2016 2-3pm

Come to Woodhorn and enjoy our free monthly folk music performance in the Café, why not treat yourself to a cuppa, too?

This month’s performers are Kiddars Luck.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph of a Bird of Prey during a flying demonstration.

Halloween Weekend: Birds of Prey

  • 29 October 2016 11am-3pm

See spectacular displays and discover more about Birds of Prey.

Ridgeside Falconry will be at Woodhorn from 11am – 3pm to answer any questions you may have about these fascinating animals.

The popular and interactive displays will take place at 12noon or 2pm (weather dependant).

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

Gary Cordingly standing next to trees, wearing a top hat and suit.

Halloween Weekend: Terrible Tails

  • 29 October 2016 10:30am-4pm

Join professional storyteller Gary Cordingly to hear spine-tingling tales from Northumberland’s past!

Gary has been searching for some of Northumberland’s scariest stories from the past using Northumberland Archives here at Woodhorn. Set in Woodhorn’s atmospheric colliery site, these stories will leave you scared, shocked and fearful all in one session!

Sessions will take place at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm & 3pm.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph of a Bird of Prey during a flying demonstration.

Halloween Weekend: Birds of Prey

  • 30 October 2016

See spectacular displays and discover more about Birds of Prey.

Ridgeside Falconry will be at Woodhorn from 11am – 3pm to answer any questions you may have about these fascinating animals.

The popular and interactive displays will take place at 12noon or 2pm (weather dependant).

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

Gary Cordingly standing next to trees wearing a top hat and suit.

Halloween Weekend: Terrible Tails

  • 30 October 2016

Join professional storyteller Gary Cordingly to hear spine-tingling tales from Northumberland’s past!

Gary has been searching for some of Northumberland’s scariest stories from the past using Northumberland Archives here at Woodhorn. Set in Woodhorn’s atmospheric colliery site, these stories will leave you scared, shocked and fearful all in one session!

Sessions will take place at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm & 3pm.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A close up of a hand on a guitar.

Thank Folk its Friday

  • 25 November 2016 2-3pm

Come to Woodhorn and enjoy our free monthly folk music performance in the Café, why not treat yourself to a cuppa, too?

This month’s performer is John Jeffrey.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

A photograph of baubles hanging on a Christmas Tree.

Woodhorn Winter Weekend

  • 10 — 11 December 2016 10am-4pm

Woodhorn's annual Winter Market takes place in our beautiful Workshop Galleries.

The Market features a fabulous selection of gifts, food and produce from some of the region's finest makers, crafters and producers.

Entry to the Winter Market and Museum is free, on site parking is £3.50 per vehicle.
The weekend will also include our Pityard Skating Rink* and Father Christmas Stable Grotto*, making Woodhorn Museum a fantastic choice for a memorable and festive family day out.
*(additional charge and booking procedures apply. Further details to follow, please check our website for more details).

If you would like to find out about trading at the event please contact Nicola Davis at NDavis@woodhorn.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

Getting there

Just off A189 Spine Road and C1 National/Coast and Castles Cycle Route east of Ashington.
Nearest public transport Ashington Bus Station - 15 minute walk

Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives
QE II Country Park
Ashington
Northumberland
NE63 9YF
England

Website

www.experiencewoodhorn.com

E-mail

generalenquiries@woodhorn.org.uk

Telephone

01670 624455

Fax

01670 626121

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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