Historic charter saved for the future

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HISTORIC Morpeth documents have been moved out of the town to preserve them for future generations.

Both the original Charter of Incorporation and Grant of Arms have been moved to Woodhorn Museum and Archives near Ashington for safe-keeping.

Previously, they could be seen in the Mayor’s Parlour of Morpeth Town Hall, along with some of the town’s treasures.

But Morpeth Town Council was concerned that the two-part Charter, which dates back to 1662 when it was granted by Charles II, and the Grant of Arms, which goes back to 1552, were showing signs of their age.

Now they have been placed in secure, controlled storage to ensure their survival.

However, Council Clerk Gillian Turner told members of the authority’s Property and Asset Management Committee that copies have been made for display.

She said: “The items that have been deposited at Woodhorn are the original charters.

“They are being preserved in a proper environment.

“They did copies for us, which have been framed and are back in the Mayor’s Parlour.

“You can hardly see any difference between the copies and the real thing.

“This is just to make sure that the documents are preserved and if we need them back for a special occasion there is no issue with that. We can get them back any time to put on display.”

The copies have been digitally enhanced to remove creases and make them easier to read.