New Coquetdale Exhibition opens at The Sill on 5th July

Northumberland National Park is proud to announce the arrival of a new exhibition that is dedicated to sharing the history and heritage of one of the park’s most remote communities.

The ‘OOT & Aboot – Talking Coquetdale’ exhibition takes up residence at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre on Wednesday 5 July.

The interactive exhibition is designed to take visitors on an exciting journey through the rural heritage of Coquetdale, a tranquil area in the north of Northumberland National Park famous for the iconic Simonside Hills, rolling moorlands, ancient hay meadows, picturesque villages and mystical rocks.

The area has a rich cultural heritage, a unique dialect and many inspiring stories to tell.

Visitors can listen to the living memories of local people, hear music composed by home-grown musicians, peek into the past with archive footage and photographs, and explore a range of interactive displays and activities to learn more about the history of Coquetdale and its people over the centuries.

Photo of Shillmoor Farm - from Green Side and Pass Peth, Northumberland National Park, England

Sarah Burn, Head of Engagement at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted to welcome OOT & Aboot to The Sill. The exhibition is based on oral histories capturing the living memories and recollections of local people which cover all that is special and unique about Coquetdale.

“It’s a fascinating and heartwarming exhibition that we hope will inspire visitors by sharing the unique voices of the area through a combination of traditional and modern techniques. It is designed to be a multisensory experience that will appeal to all ages, packed with film, sound, historic artefacts, things to listen to, watch, touch, smell, try on and do.

“We’re also hosting a programme of free activities throughout the summer which runs alongside the exhibition to celebrate this special place and the generations of people who live and work there.”

The OOT & Aboot – Talking Coquetdale exhibition is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and was curated by The Out of Town (OOT) Museum, part of Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery in Alnwick.

a photo of a violin case on display in the OOT and ABOOT exhibition

Visitors to the exhibition can also listen to specially composed music by local musician Ian Stephenson for the Coquet Concert Band and the Rothbury Highland Pipe Band and see photographs by local artist Jose Snook.

Sally Brewis, OOT Project Manager, said: “Through National Lottery Heritage funding, we have been able to work with an extraordinary group of people who wanted to share their valuable memories of an old way of life and record the distinct Northumbrian dialects to ensure that we have a lasting record of a voice that is rapidly disappearing.

“The Sill is a fantastic location to host OOT & Aboot – Talking Coquetdale. It enables us to bring the story of this exceptional and remote place in the north of the Park to communities and visitors in the south.”

The ‘OOT & Aboot – Talking Coquetdale’ exhibition opens at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre at Twice Brewed, Hadrian’s Wall, on Wednesday 5th July 2023 and runs until Sunday 3rd September 2023. Entry is free. For more information, please visit –