|Location||Alnwick, Northumberland, England|
The Bailiffgate Museum is a small independent museum in Alnwick, Northumberland, England, dedicated to the history of Alnwick and North Northumberland. It is staffed by trustees and volunteers and has recently undergone an extensive upgrade.
The museum is located in one of the oldest parts of Alnwick and is close by Alnwick Castle. It is housed in St Mary's Church, dating from 1836, with the original organ still intact. Progress through the museum tracks the rich heritage of the region through several centuries using displays, audio-visual exhibits and hands-on activities.
Bailiffgate Museum’s collection is specific to Alnwick and District with the majority of items in the collection relating to local social history. The collection includes agricultural objects, domestic items, railway items, coal mining artefacts, printing objects, photos, paintings, and bound volumes of The Northumberland Gazette. A rare 18th century fire pump and a display about RAF Boulmer are also on show.
In 2013 the museum had two of the items on display designated as "Top 100 items" by the "History of the North East in 100 Objects" project. These were:
- The Davison Bible - a bible printed by local pharmacist and progressive reformer William Davison (publisher). His desire to increase and support learning in the Christian faith led him to develop an innovative approach. Rather than solely print The Bible in its entirety, his Universal Holy Bible or Complete Library of Divine Knowledge was published in 100 parts at 1 shilling each.
- The Rothbury Football. This small leather “football”, stuffed with hay, is not much bigger than a large handball. It was used in contests between the villagers of Thropton and those of Rothbury; the respective goals were Thropton Bridge and the porch of the Parish Church at Rothbury. This is an example of an item that traces its sporting origins to the medieval period.
The collection includes local newspapers that date back to the late 1800s and are a part of a rich research archive that is available to the public by appointment. The research material gives access to the 1881 Census and British Isles Vital Records Index, local history books, and other research materials.
Community and schools
The museum has links with the local community and offers activities for local schools and educational groups.
The museum encourages local artists and holds exhibitions of their work in a separate gallery area of the museum - for details see their website.
Two of the paintings were autobiographical. One painting called The Rumbling Kurn (2003) shows part of the Alnwick shoreline near Howick beach, whilst 27 Clayport Gardens (2004) depicts Vine in a pram as a child "outside her grandmother's old house". The third work depicts Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour called Belle (2004) is a painting with collage, with a ribbon and a small cut out ink jet print of a bee, stuck onto the painting.
In July 2006, Vine returned to the museum to hold a family art workshop People Pets and Places at the Bailiffgate Museum.
- Alnwick Castle
- Stella Vine (local artist who has supported the museum)
- William Davison (publisher)
- "The Collection". Bailiffgate Museum. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- Nairne, Andrew; Greer, Germaine (2007). Stella Vine: Paintings. Oxford: Modern Art Oxford.
- "Alnwick Sensation". BBC Inside Out. 27 September 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2007.
- "Children’s Art Day 2006". Retrieved 10 December 2008.