Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives

A view along the main entrance path at Woodhorn with the old colliery buildings in the background
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

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 for the entire week beginning Wednesday 1st March and re open the following Wednesday 8th March.

This will allow us to process a large, recently purchased collection. We apologise for any inconvenience.


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.
THE WILLIAMS EXPEDITION: Rediscovering Antarctica

THE WILLIAMS EXPEDITION: Rediscovering Antarctica

  • 10 February — 7 May 2018 *on now

Discover the little known story of William Smith, a carpenter’s son from Seaton Sluice who built a ship in Blyth and discovered Antarctica.
On a trade voyage in 1818, having survived pirates and sailing through treacherous gales, Captain William Smith made the first recorded sighting of Antarctica, the islands now known as the Southern Shetland Islands.
Although he died in poverty and unrecognised for his achievements, Captain William Smith is being remembered by the people of Blyth today.
Find out how this extraordinary Northumberland story has inspired the community to repeat his adventures today though the Blyth Tall Ship project.
This is a touring exhibition produced by Blyth Tall Ship.

February 10th 2018 to May 7th 2018

We have an exciting new membership scheme – pay once for unlimited returns for 12 months and those 16 and under admitted free. Full details at: http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/admission/

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free but donations are welcome

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/coming-soon...-the-williams-expedition--rediscovering-antarctica/

BEAM REACH BLASTING

BEAM REACH BLASTING

  • 10 February — 7 May 2018 *on now

BEAM REACH BLASTING chronicles life aboard the Oosterschelde, a three-masted schooner, among crew and trainees on a 500 nautical mile sail across the North Sea.
The film captures the sea and its changing sailing conditions as well as the everyday activities on the ship: physical work and downtime, social interaction and solitude, nocturnal and daytime life.
The film is the result of an artistic collaboration between filmmaker Cecilia Stenbom and musician Chris Sharkey resulting in an experimental documentary, an audio-visual poem about a journey made possible by wind propulsion only.

February 10th 2018 to May 7th 2018

We have an exciting new membership scheme – pay once for unlimited returns for 12 months and those 16 and under admitted free. Full details at: http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/admission/

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free but donations are welcome

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/coming-soon...beam-reach-blasting/

OPEN: OCEAN

OPEN: OCEAN

  • 10 February — 7 May 2018 *on now

Woodhorn Museum presents its first open art exhibition, OPEN: OCEAN.

Housed in the museum’s stunning Workshop Galleries, this exhibition showcases the region’s artistic talent and celebrates the North East coast, seascape, shipbuilding and seafaring heritage.

Exhibition runs from Saturday 10th February to Monday 7th May 2018.

We have an exciting new membership scheme – pay once for unlimited returns for 12 months and those 16 and under admitted free. Full details at: http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/admission/

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Admission

Free but donations are welcome

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/open-ocean/

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.
Children looking at winding gear

Dig Deeper! Guided Colliery Tour

  • 4 October 2017 — 4 October 2018 , *on now

Discover more about Woodhorn Museum’s industrial heritage on these guided tours of our historic colliery site.

Explore the colliery buildings and learn more about how Woodhorn Colliery operated during its working life.

Climb up to the winding room of the last Victorian engine house in Northumberland and see a demonstration of the winding gear (only available on these guided tours!).

We’re always interested in hearing your stories too, so come along & share your own knowledge about our coalmining past.

Dig Deeper! Useful Information
- Please meet at the museum Welcome Desk at least 5 minutes before the tour is due to start

- Tours last approximately 30 minutes

- Tour numbers are limited to 12 per session on a first come first served basis

- Tours are free, but as a charity, we welcome your support and have a suggested donation of £2 per person

- This tour takes place in heritage colliery buildings and although it is suitable for children & adults, we do ask that visitors take care and that children are supervised at all times.

- Access to the winding gear demonstration part of this tour involves climbing steep stairs. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes, and those unable to climb stairs are welcome to observe the winding gear turning from the lower level of the winding house.

If you would like to have a chat about whether this tour is suitable for you or your family/group members, please ask a member of staff or contact us on 01670 624455 or by e-mailing visitorservices@woodhorn.org.uk

If you would prefer to book a private and/or bespoke tour of the museum, please get in touch on 01670 624455 or by e-mail visitorservices@woodhorn.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free but donations are welcome.

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/dig-deeper!-guided-colliery-tour/

Songs of the Sea

Songs of the Sea

  • 10 — 18 February 2018 *on now

Join us in the Winding House Cafe as we celebrate the sea with a series of informal afternoon performances by singers and musicians from in and around Northumberland.
Sat 10th- Ken Phillipson
Sun 11th- Ann Wilkinson
Mon 12th- Fools Gold
Tue 13th- Michael Kelly
Wed 14th- Kiddar's Luck
Thu 15th – Beeswing
Fri 16th – John Jeffrey
Sat 17th – Silver Shantymen
Sun 18th- John Campbell and Jim Wigfield

We have an exciting new membership scheme – pay once for unlimited returns for 12 months and those 16 and under admitted free. Full details at: http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/admission/

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free but donations are welcome

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/songs-of-the-sea/

Captain Raggy Beard

Captain Raggy Beard’s Pirate School

  • 10 — 18 February 2018 *on now

Ahoy maties! Join Captain Raggy Beard’s Pirate School at Woodhorn Museum during half-term. Enjoy the Captain’s tales of the high seas and learn fun pirate skills. Pirate themed fancy dress positively encouraged!

Saturday 10th - Sunday 18th February
10.30 – 11am, 11.30-12noon, 12.30-1pm, 1.30-2pm, 2.30-3pm, 3.30-4pm.

We have an exciting new membership scheme – pay once for unlimited returns for 12 months and those 16 and under admitted free. Full details at: http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/admission/

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free but donations are welcome

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/captain-raggy-beards-pirate-school/

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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