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Juliana & Ranulph

Juliana and Ranulph of Morpeth Castle: the earliest history of the Gospatric and de Merlay families

This book by well-known local author Bridget Gubbins tells the story of how Juliana was brought from her home in Scotland to marry Ranulph de Merlay, son of the first baron of Morpeth, in the year 1113.

It also tells the tale, never told before, of exactly what happened in the Morpeth area just before and immediately after the Norman Conquest:

  • how Juliana’s grandfather fought William the Conqueror
  • how Earl Robert de Mowbray enabled William de Merlay to take hold of Morpeth
  • how the castle and the family within it were captured by King William Rufus

Tel (01670 503866) or email GMDT to order your copy.


Morpeth's Music

CD of music associated with Morpeth - proceeds going to the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering

This fund-raising album of songs, tunes and spoken extracts features local choirs, bands and soloists performing old and new music relating to Morpeth.  There are traditional items such as the Morpeth Rant and more modern songs from last century, but also specially composed pieces created for the Gathering, the annual festival of local culture which has run each spring for almost 50 years. 

Order by phone (01670 503866) or email from GMDT

The Gathering’s commissioned items include Jez Lowe’s song on the Morpeth Olympics sung by Benny Graham, the York Waits’ tune for William Turner, Derek Hobbs’ brass band arrangement of the Mary Hollon Waltz for Northumbrian Water Ellington Colliery Band, special arrangements by Graham Stacy for Voice Male choir, and Colin Bradford’s setting of a wartime song by Morpeth Minstrel Charlie Shaw, sung here by the Gathering’s figurehead Morpeth Gadgy Alex Swailes MBE. Also featured is Stewart Hardy’s suite of tunes commissioned by Mayor Nic Best for the Town Hall’s 300th birthday. 

Among the musical tracks are spoken extracts from locally-born Dr Who and RSC actor Rod Arthur reading historic snippets about Morpeth’s colourful characters and events.  

Other performers on the CD include New Voices Choir, the young group Fligarishon, local musicians and singers John Bibby and Kim Bibby-Wilson and a variety of pipers - smallpiper Paul Knox playing a tune by Alistair Anderson written for the Gathering’s Silver Jubilee, the Northumbrian ensemble Pipers’ Fancy with tunes by Roy Hugman commemorating Emily Davison, Border Piper Matt Seattle with his tune evoking the Civil War Siege of Morpeth Castle, and Highland piper Stewart Todd with Dougie Pincock’s tune “Morpeth Highland Pipe Band’s Salute to the Chantry”, a mouthful on two counts!  Even the town’s historic curfew bell gets a hearing, recorded live at 8 pm one night last year and rung by Meg Wilson of the Clock Tower Bellringers. 

The Mysteries of Morpeth's Workhouse

"The Mysteries of Morpeth's Workhouse"

by Bridget Gubbins

To order this book from GMDT - please tel 01670 503866 or email


The Drovers are coming to Morpeth Town

​"The Drovers are coming to Morpeth Town"

by Bridget Gubbins

To order this book from GMDT - please tel 01670 503866 or email


The Curious Yards and Alleyways of Morpeth

"The Curious Yards and Alleyways of Morpeth"

by Bridget Gubbins​​

To order this book from GMDT - please tel 01670 503866 or email