An historic picture of Hadrain's Wall taken by John Pattison Gibson

Hadrian's Wall exhibition reaches last stop

The last chance to see an exhibition of historic photographs of Hadrian’s Wall and the photographer who took them is on offer at County Hall in Morpeth.

The ‘Photographing the Roman Wall: Then and Now’ exhibition will be in reception until Feb 15 as part of a project to mark its 1900th anniversary.

With more than 40 images by renowned Hexham photographer and archaeologist, John Pattison Gibson the exhibition shows images dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

As well as the atmospheric pictures of the wall the exhibition also gives insights into J P Gibson's life (1838 – 1912) – from his family’s chemist shop in Hexham to portraits of himself and his son, Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, who became a well-respected poet.

With the advent of photography strongly linked to advances in chemistry and optics, many pharmacists took an interest during the 1800s, and Gibson was judged to have a rare talent – winning many awards locally and internationally.

He also had a keen interest in archaeology and the Roman Wall in particular, with his two hobbies leading to this exhibition more than 100 years after his death.

Councillor Jeff Watson, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Libraries said: ”This is a fascinating exhibition that offers an authentic look at life in the 1800s and shows how little Hadrian’s Wall has changed since then.

“I would encourage people not to miss the last chance to see it – and to combine the visit with a look at the newly refurbished County Hall – now very much a community base and warm space for our residents, as well as the administrative hub of Northumberland.

“It is free to visit with free parking and people might take the opportunity to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat at the restaurant, which is open to the public.”

The exhibition is a collaboration between Northumberland Library Service and Northumberland Archives and was funded by Arts Council England. These photographs are from a collection of 17,000 Gibson images held in Archives.

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