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Local people are being urged to help historians track down an original painting said to depict Northallerton’s ‘Bishops Palace’.

A copy of the oil painting, which was believed to hang above the mantel of a house near the palace, was passed on to members of the Heritage Hub team as part of its latest exhibition. 

The only other drawing of the building depicts it in ruins.   

The palace was sited in Northallerton town cemetery and although no exact date is available, it probably dates to around 1200and served as the residence of successive Bishops of Durham until approximately 1600.

 It played host to many Royal visitors mainly in connection with the English – Scottish wars for which Northallerton was frequently used as a rendezvous for the English army before they went to fight.

The hub’s new photography exhibition opened last month, featuring prints of the town across the years celebrating the people and places that make Northallerton.  It shows the evolution of photography and events including Carnivals, Miss Northallerton, Friarage and Rutson Hospitals Nurses Graduation, Armistice Day and Allerton School.

Since it opened six months ago the hub has welcomed close to 1500 visitors checking out the latest displays of artefacts and taking part in history themed workshops.   Run by Hambleton District Council as part of the Historic England High Street Heritage Action Zone, it looks to engage local people with the town’s heritage.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Peter Wilkinson said:  “Its benefit goes way beyond allowing people to explore the towns past - it is providing them with an opportunity to contribute their own memories, artefacts and stories allowing us to build a rich collection of material.

“A number of outreach sessions in conjunction with local groups are being planned to extend the hubs reach and benefit and school parties have visited - it has had equal appeal to the younger generation with pupils fascinated by the history of their home town.”

All the material gathered is being curated and posted into a digital depository – a dedicated website has been set up to allow the work to be seen way beyond the exhibitions.   The hub is open Wednesday to Friday from 10am until 4pm and alternate Saturdays.  See  www.northallertonheritage.uk for more details.

To find out what is happening and get involved, follow @HistoricEngland; @HE_Yorkshire; #HistoricHighStreets or visit: www.HistoricEngland.org.uk/HighStreetCulture 

Published: 27th October 2022

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