Northumbria Region U3A

21st Century Northumbria Herbal

Forthcoming Events

Meeting Thursday 8 November 1pm to 4pm

The 21st Northumbria Herbal Project has been in existence for a year now and it is time to take stock and make plans for 2019 and beyond. The meeting will include:
• A short presentation/ recap on the origins and progress of The Project so far
• Ideas for the end results and what we need to do to achieve this
• Target dates, and who will be responsible to ensure they are met; Identify lead person/s for project areas
• Information and ideas for the Northumbria Region Exhibition featuring our herbal project in Durham Visitor Heritage Centre in April 2019

For more information or to book a place view the flyer here: 21C November


Please have a look at the other information on the following sub-pages:

Herbal Walks and Misc Herbal


Herbal Newsletters 2018

October NewsletterJune Newsletter April Newsletter Gardens to Visit

October Newsletter

This issue of our newsletter includes articles, write ups and photos of workshops (past and future), walks, gardens created and gardens visited and the history of 2 famous botanists and a world famous condiment.

There is a short article about a "Hapa-zome and Plant Dyeing" workshop. The full report can be found on the Misc Herbal page.

The following is a very small extract from just one of the articles:

Durham Mustard

In Durham, the monks are said to have been grinding their own mustard seeds since the early 15th century. And then came Mrs Clements …..

In 1720, a Mrs Clements of Durham ground mustard seeds like flour which removed the husks and produced a strong-flavoured mustard. It is thought that Mrs Clements business was in Fleshergate, now the site of Vennels Cafe Durham.

After her ‘Durham Mustard’ became popular with King George I (reigned 1714-1727), it’s fame spread throughout the country. According to an old saying from the 18th century, Durham City was famed for seven things - wood, water and pleasant walks, law, gospel, old maids and mustard.



We have been fortunate enough to secure exhibition space at Durham Heritage Centre, close to the Cathedral and Castle. The exhibition space is delightfully cosy and we have it for the whole of April 2019 to showcase the work of U3A with a focus on the Herbal project.

Our application to the Heritage Centre included a display describing a particular plant family – Artemisia - which will look at four important and valuable herbs in that family: Wormwood, Tarragon, Mugwort and Sweet Annie.

We want to showcase a variety of walks in the region and the medicinal plants that can be found on these walks. We plan to have a display of poetry, and folklore relating to herbs and, most appropriately given the venue, a display about Durham Mustard. We are also hoping to borrow the 1581 book of plant woodcuts from Beamish (see Newsletter 2) to display and explain the context and content of this remarkable book.


For more information contact:
Carol Burnett
Project Lead and Research Ambassador