Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum
Telephone: (UK) 01670 535200 ~ (Overseas) +44 1670 535200

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* The Museum's Infra-Red Sound System
Visitors to the museum may borrow special infra-red headphones. As the wearer approaches an exhibit, its own individual sound track commences. The experience for the visitor is greatly enhanced by hearing, as well as seeing the exhibits. 

Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum - then and now
Morpeth's Chantry bagpipe museum, whilst not quite unique, must be one of the UK's most unusual museums. Its purpose is to be not only an interesting tourist attraction, and a magnet for the true bagpipe enthusiast, but to preserve and maintain interest and development in piping, along with its associated cultures. Special emphasis is given, not unnaturally, to the Northumbrian Small Pipes, the unique local instrument of Northumberland. To that end, the Museum's accommodation is a regular venue for performance, discussion, workshops, lectures and lessons, all with a Northumbrian flavour.

The collection at the Black Gate, Newcastle upon Tyne
The original collection of bagpipes belonged to William Alfred Cocks, a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, and himself an amateur pipe maker and performer. This collection, augmented with many other artefacts, books and manuscripts related to bagpipes and piping was housed in the Black Gate and on display for 15 years until concerns over the long term storage and preservation of the collection precipitated a move to more suitable premises in Morpeth's Chantry in the mid 1980s. The museum was officially opened in 1987 by HRH Princess Margaret.

The Museum at Morpeth
The Bagpipe museum is most attractively housed in a spacious, uncluttered upper floor of the Chantry building. Most unusually, visitors are able not only to see the exhibits, but to hear many of them too, using the museum's infra-red sound system*. The visitor, wearing special headphones supplied by the museum, can hear a sound-clip of the exhibit currently in view. A move to another exhibit automatically causes the appropriate change in the music heard. This simple but effective system breathes life into the now extended collection of instruments.


The Chantry - 2011 MorpethNet