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Barnard Castle: Centuries of Colourful History at St Mary's Parish Church

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The first in a series of talks about the history, heritage and culture of the small market town of Barnard Castle and its medieval church

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At almost 900 years old, St Mary’s Parish church has accompanied the town of Barnard Castle since its beginning – through good times and bad times. But how did the church itself evolve with its changing uses from its foundation in the year 1130 to the present time?

In this online event, Peter Wise will be taking you on a journey through time, portraying the lesser known facts about this well-known church. Drawing on the eventful history of Barnard Castle, facing risings, cholera, industrialisation and extreme population growth, he illustrates how the towns earliest church reacted and adapted to all those changes, sometimes being the cause and sometimes the solution, but always right at the centre.

Peter is a retired teacher and had been Head of Physics at Barnard Castle School for 27 years. He has been a member of St Mary’s for over 45 years, had a stint as Church Warden and used to be on the Friends of St Mary’s committee, as well as the Parish Hall Committee. Over the years, he has been responsible for mapping the churchyard and producing a series of booklets covering different topics about the history of St Mary’s church and the town of Barnard Castle.

This talk was originally held at St Mary's Parish church in March 2020, but the project was postponed because of the pandemic. The heritage events are being relaunched this month, starting with the Youtube premiere of Peter's talk. Join us on the day and ask questions in the chat.

About Windows To The World:

This talk is the first in a series of talks for the NLHF funded 'Windows to the World' project. Originally planned to be held at St Mary’s Parish church every first Wednesday of the month, the current circumstances surrounding Covid-19 mean that some of the talks will take place online.

St Mary's Parish has an eventful history, going back over 900 years. Alongside the church's ongoing restoration, we are delving into the archives and uncovering the hidden gems from its past.

The talks will cover the eventful history and cultural peculiarities of St Mary’s Parish, Barnard Castle, and their wider surroundings. 900 years is a long time and you are bound to learn things you didn’t know before!

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