The project

Lord Sanger’s Circus Heritage Trail was commissioned by the Greater Morpeth Development Trust (GMDT) as part of Morpeth Heritage Open Days 2011 and created and produced by November Club in collaboration with St Robert’s First School.

Heritage Open Days offers a wonderful platform for the arts and heritage to come together to celebrate England’s culture and architecture, and to bring local history to life.

The trail was created by Maurice O’Connell, Katie Doherty and Cinzia Hardy with Year 3 pupils of St Robert’s First School. The design element was realised by Neil Murray with Simon Henderson. Additional text by Fiona Ellis. Production management was by Culture Creative.

A very big thank you to all the children, school staff and volunteers who have made this project possible.

Year 3 Children

Max Adamson, Patrick Almond, Jessica Charlton, Joshua Cook, Lucy Anne Coulson, Thomas Cunningham, Daisy Duddell, Tamara Estrada, William Hope, Harry Johnson, Michael Laux, Oisin Lehane, Ellie McLaughlin, Joseph Miley, Ciaran Moran, Christopher Mould, Sienna Roth, James Seabrook, Kathryn Swales, Inderoop Thindal and Jamie Turnbull.


Vivien Cunningham (Acting Head Teacher), Ginetta Tym, Leanne Baty, Jennifer Sykes, Angela Cowen and Ann Tunmore.


Pamela Cassells, Kim Bibby-Wilson, John Bibby, Meg Bibby-Wilson, Helen Johnston, Barbara Scott, Iris McEwan, Janet Snell, Alison Walker, Margaret Pell and Ron Forster.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the following:
Northern Stage, by who’s kind permission Neil Murray has designed the visual elements of the trail; Tamsin Lilley (Heritage Officer at GMDT); Kay Easson (Lit & Phil); Iain Rutherford (Landlord of No. 30 Newgate Street); Julia Dobson Design and Illustration; John Stafford (Thread Media web design); Imogen Cloet; Zoe Bottrell and Helen Sheerman (Culture Creative); Pat & Billie Grix; Stephen Trobe.

We gratefully acknowledge financial assistance from Arts Council England and GMDT, and sponsorship from Potts Printers and Greggs.

Photographic and Archival Materials

The following images © Victoria and Albert Museum, London: Sanger’s Coronation Programme 1953; A.M. Bliss Company. “Charlie enjoys a pedicure’ late 19th century. Museum no. RP 81/2354; Lord Sanger, late 19th century; Sanger’s Circus Carriage, late 19th century. Museum no. RP 81/2354.

A circus makes it way down the A1 north of Alnwick, c.1910. Ref NRO 1656, Reproduced with permission of Northumberland Archives.

All material relating to the Morpeth Herald with kind permission from the Mackay Family

Images of Morpeth in the map section of this site are by kind permission of the Antiquarian Society, Rowland (Bygone Morpeth) and L.R. Mann and W.M. Coulson (Then & Now Morpeth)

Performance photography by Trevor Walker

St Robert of Newminster Catholic First School

Admiral Collingwood had his home in Oldgate from 1791 until his death in 1810. There was an extensive garden and orchard behind the house.

The land was purchased by Father G.A. Lowe for the building of St Robert’s Church, which opened in 1850. After that a school (St Robert of Newminster Catholic First School) was built to the right of the house. The church and school are dedicated to St Robert, the first abbot of Newminster.

November Club is a performing arts company based in Northumberland. Over the past 5 years award winning November Club has established itself as a pioneering company creating both indoor and outdoor performances and events of outstanding artistic quality with a unique mix of arts, heritage and community development.