Morpeth Heritage Books, by Bridget Gubbins
Over 7 years between 2011-2018, GMDT has helped local author Bridget Gubbins to publish a Morpeth Heritage Book Series covering different aspects of the town’s illustrious if at times somewhat murky past.
Bridget launched what has become an epic series of 7 books on the history of the town, with the publication ‘The Curious Yards and Alleyways of Morpeth’. She went on to write about the drovers who brought their cattle to market from as far away as the Scottish Highlands in the 19th Century; Newminster Abbey which now although a ruin was once an important northern Cistercian centre; and a grim and foreboding Morpeth Workhouse that was ‘home’ to so many local people who had fallen on hard times.
Her final 3 books – one of which ‘The Conquest of Morpeth’ was adapted especially for younger readers – have focused on the de Merlay family of Norman barons who arrived in Morpeth after King William’s successful conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. For more than 200 years this dynasty ‘ruled’ Morpeth and dominated the town’s history in a way no other family has done since. This latter project involved discovering the French village where the first baronial family of Morpeth originated, establishing links with the local mayor and school, and working on dramatic presentations. All Bridget’s books can be purchased through our website Shop.
Author, Bridget Gubbins: “What I hope my books have done is open up those and other chapters of Morpeth’s history perhaps in a way not done before, and that I have revealed facts about Morpeth’s past that were not widely known previously. Morpeth has had its full share of medieval history – a Royal market charter, the Kings’ wars, childbirth at the castle, a hated King, the illegal hunting and killing of deer in the King’s forest, a wicked Sheriff, and a child marriage… it is all there. Now I feel I have ‘done my bit’ for Morpeth and have reached the point where enough is enough. It is time for someone else to pick up the baton and run with it!”
GMDT Chief Executive, David Lodge: “We have been privileged to be able to encourage and support Bridget to produce a remarkable series of books about Morpeth’s history which is as colourful as that of anywhere in England. Together her books will stand the test of time as enduring social records of aspects of life in the town, perhaps not widely known or written about in the way Bridget has done.”