The Moot Hall is the first court in the country to be licensed to hold civil weddings and civil ceremonies, and is also used on a regular basis for school and university Mock Trial Competitions.
The building was designed by John Stokoe as a courthouse to replace the facilities at the Castle for holding assizes which had been condemned for their inconvenience and unhealthiness. The foundation stone was laid by Earl Percy on 22 July 1810 and the building was completed in August 1812. The site had formed part of Pons Aelius in Roman times and two copper coins from the time of the Emperor Antoninus Pius and two Roman altars were found during the construction of the building. Alterations were carried out to a design by William Crozier, Durham County Architect, in 1877.
An inquiry in to the loss of SS Ina Mactavish was held at the Moot Hall in December 1907 and February 1908. The trial of then 11 year old Mary Bell for the murder of two young boys also took place at Newcastle Assizes in 1968. Other notorious court cases held at the Moot Hall included the trial of Robert Black for the murder of four young girls committed between 1981 and 1986 and the trial of Albert Dryden for the murder of Harry Collinson in June 1991.
The Moot Hall heard all Crown Court cases before the new combined court complex was completed on the Quayside in 1998. After becoming the first court in the country to be licensed to hold civil weddings and civil ceremonies, the Moot Hall hosted its first civil wedding in September 2005.
Description courtesy of Wikipedia - Moot Hall.
- Wikipedia - Moot Hall
- Historic England - Moot Hall
- Co-Curate - Moot Hall
- Prison History - Newcastle Moot Hall
- Chronicle Live - Moot Hall goes up for sale
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