Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery is a people’s museum, where fascinating stories of the past are told about Alnwick and district. Our historic building is in the town’s Castle Quarter, very close to Alnwick Castle and Garden. It was previously a church, and provides a beautiful setting in which to celebrate our distinctive heritage, display special exhibitions and present a range of events for the whole family.
The museum is on three floors, all easily accessible by lift. Entry for those unable to tackle the front stairs is via a special entrance leading directly to the ground floor exhibition area and the lift. There is a museum shop, and a bistro next door for refreshments.
Access with steps
Travel by public transport
Alnmouth Station is on the East Coast Main Line -so readily accessible for London, Edinburgh and all connecting lines.There are transfer lifts on both platforms to enable all users to cross from the up to down line,
(Work is also underway to reconnect Alnwick to the coast and Alnmouth station by rebuilding the old steam railway. This is not yet complete but see the Aln Valley Railway website for progress)
Travel by taxi
Knights and AA Taxis have minibus-sized vehicles available, but only by pre-arrangement.
Parking on the street outside is free for 4 hours.
There is a special entrance door (940 wide) to the ground floor to the left of the main entrance stairs with flat access. This leads directly to the lift to all floors.
Path to main entrance
The door of the other entrance is always unlocked during opening hours, and has a prominent disabled sign. It opens directly into the ground floor exhibition area, to the rear of which is the lift to all floors.
Getting around inside
Main (only) Lift
Ticket/ information desk
Central section 760mm high
Things to See and Do
Main Exhibition Floor
The Main Exhibition Area allows flat floor access around several display areas describing the history of the Alnwick area from 10,000 years ago until the present day. There are large all-glass cabinets offering a clear view of the items displayed within. Also a number of large wall panels.
The Edwardian classroom at the centre of the exhibition is on a raised stage, so would not be accessible to wheelchair users to climb onto, but all elements of it are clearly visible from flat floor on 2 sides.
2nd Floor Gallery Area
The Gallery area is located on the second floor, easily accessible by lift. There is always a clear route of at least 1000mm width maintained around the area, which looks down onto the main exhibition floor. All 4 inner sides of the gallery area are protected by toughened, thick clear glass panels 1040mm high, with a metal rail running around the top.
This area is used to feature the current special exhibition or art, craft, history or whatever, always described in advance on the museum website. Pictures and panels would usually be visible to wheelchair height, but if not, by prior arrangement an extra volunteer can be arranged to accompany the visitor.
Ground Floor exhibition area
The Ground Floor Exhibition Area is accessible from the main entrance by lift or stairs, but is also where the additional access door to the street is located. The area has a number of cabinets and features mainly around the mining heritage of North Northumberland, including a naked miner in a bath and a full coal truck. There is also a small "mine" which is mainly entered by children on their knees, so would not be accessible to anyone of restricted mobility. It is, however, fun to watch excited children who are entering the dark tunnel one side appear from the other!
Room is 1440mm wide and 1900mm deep. with 2 fixed handrails and one drop-down rail. The toilet roll dispenser is 330 mm from the floor. The washbasin is 740mm from the ground with a suitable tap for disabled use. There is also a drop-down baby change facility. paper towels are available as are sanitary disposal facilities.
The shop is adjacent to the reception desk in the foyer, with cabinets and shelves on 3 sides of the area. It sells books, DVDs, toys and other items related to the museum contents. Because the shop is next to the reception desk, there is no problem asking the volunteer on reception to help any visitor to access and try any item not within easy reach.
Getting around outside
Customer care support
We provide magnifying plastic sheets to assist viewing of text.
Emergency evacuation procedures
Addition of flashing lights to the system currently being assessed for feasibility.
Customer care support
Some information in large text format.
Assistance dogs welcome, Water provided.
By prior arrangement, special tours of the museum can be arranged for parties of visitors with Special Needs of any sort .